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The editors at Criminal Justice Major Guide decided to research the topic of:
Gun Shy? A Look at Public Opinion on Gun Ownership
Despite recent polling indicating that a vast majority of Americans favor tightening restrictions on accessibility to guns (more than three-quarters favor making private gun sales and purchases at gun shows subject to background checks), the picture of public opinion on guns is much more complex upon closer examination.
- 85% of the public backs making private gun sales and gun show purchases subject to background checks
- 80% favor laws to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing guns
- 2 in 3 support creating a federal database to track gun sales
- 84% of Democrats
- 49% of Republicans
Do you support a ban on:
- assault-style weapons- 55%
- high-capacity ammunition clips - 54%
- online ammunition sales - 53%
When asked about specific policies, many Americans, including gun owners, favor stricter enforcement of existing laws as well as potential new regulations.
Policy - Favors
- Background checks for private and online gun sales - 85%
- Preventing people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns - 80%
- Instituting a federal database to track gun sales - 67%
- Ban on semi-automatic weapons - 58%
- Ban on assault-style weapons - 55%
- Two-thirds support putting more armed security guards or police in more schools.
- 4 in 10 say arming teachers and school officials with guns is a good idea.
- Pew Research Center