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Gallup's Guide to U.S. Public Opinion on Guns
Gallup Blog

Gallup's Guide to U.S. Public Opinion on Guns

Here's a quick guide to Gallup's key data on gun violence and gun policy.

  1. Americans support stricter gun laws in Gallup's most recent updates on gun trends, but the majority don't embrace bans on handguns and assault rifles.

Six in 10 Favored Stricter Gun Laws in October 2018

U.S. Majority in 2018 Opposed Ban on Assault Rifles

  1. Gallup finds widespread support for background checks and other restrictions on gun purchases.

Americans Widely Support Tighter Regulations on Gun Sales

  1. The importance of gun control as a voting issue has increased in the past two decades.

One in Four Will Only Vote for Candidate Who Shares Their Views on Guns

  1. Americans supported six of seven ways to deter mass school shootings a month after the 2018 school shooting in Parkland, Florida, with Republicans and Democrats agreeing on five.

Public Opinion on Solutions to School Shootings

  1. At the same time, Americans thought prevention efforts (mental health screenings, school security) would be more effective than stricter gun laws.

Two Broad Approaches to Preventing School Shootings

  1. After the 2012 Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Gallup found nearly half of Americans blaming mass shootings on the mental health system for failing to identify potential shooters.

2013: Ranking the Potential Causes of Gun Violence

  1. Americans' focus on guns as the nation's top problem has historically spiked, and then quickly dissipated, after mass shootings.

Mentions of Guns as Top Problem Dropped by Half Two Months After Parkland Shooting

  1. Four in 10 Americans in 2017 feared being a victim of a mass shooting, with women, Democrats and young adults worried most.

Four in 10 Americans Fear Being a Victim of a Mass Shooting

  1. Approximately four in 10 Americans (43%) report they have a gun in their home, although this has varied by subgroup over the years.

Men, Married, Southerners Most Likely to Be Gun Owners

Crime Victims More Likely to Own Guns

Six in 10 Gun Owners Say They Own Guns for Personal Protection

  1. A slim majority of U.S. adults viewed the National Rifle Association (NRA) more favorably than unfavorably in 2018.

Gallup Update on NRA From June 2018

For full trends on gun ownership and all major Gallup trends on guns and gun control, visit Gallup's trend page for guns:

Trends A-Z: Guns


Lydia Saad is the Director of U.S. Social Research at Gallup.

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