Most U.S. adults think gun violence is increasing nationwide and want to see gun laws made stricter, according to a new poll that finds broad public support for a variety of gun restrictions, including many that are supported by majorities of Republicans and gun owners.
The poll by the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research also shows majorities of U.S. adults view both reducing gun violence and protecting gun ownership as important issues.
The poll was conducted between July 28 and Aug. 1, after a string of deadly mass shootings — from a New York grocery store to a school in Texas and a July 4 parade in Illinois — and a 2020 spike in gun killings that have increased attention on the issue of gun violence. Overall, 8 in 10 Americans perceive that gun violence is increasing around the country, and about two-thirds say it’s increasing in their state, though less than half believe it’s increasing in their community, the poll shows.
The poll found 71% of Americans say gun laws should be stricter, including about half of Republicans, the vast majority of Democrats, and a majority of those in gun-owning households.
The poll shows bipartisan majorities of Americans support a nationwide background check policy for all gun sales, a law preventing mentally ill people from purchasing guns, allowing courts to temporarily prevent people who are considered a danger to themselves or others from purchasing a gun, making 21 the minimum age to buy a gun nationwide and banning those who have been convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a gun.
A smaller majority of Americans, 59%, favor a ban on the sale of AR-15 rifles and similar semiautomatic weapons, with Democrats more likely to support that policy than Republicans, 83% vs. 35%.