See the latest Pew Research Center data and reports on issues and attitudes toward gun control and related policies.
Public Attitudes toward Gun Control
Public opinion on previous mass shootings has been divided and unchanged.
Views on Gun Laws Unchanged After Aurora Shooting
There has been no significant change in public views on the issue of gun control and gun rights following the July 20th shooting at a movie theater in Aurora, Colorado. Other recent major shootings also had little effect on public opinion about gun laws.
The Generation Gap and the 2012 Election
In the last four national elections, generation has mattered more in American elections than it has in decades. This continues to be true as voters look ahead toward the 2012 general election. In a contest between President Obama and Mitt Romney, there is a 20-point gap in support for Obama between Millennials and the over-65 Silent generation.
Shifting Political Winds
Americans’ are less discontent with the federal government but no more ready for political compromise. Views of Congress remain heavily negative, while Obama’s ratings stay positive. On social issues, the public is, for the first time, evenly split on gay marriage, while support for legal abortion, legalized marijuana — but not gun control — have all risen.
No Shift Toward Gun Control After Tucson Shootings
The public remains divided — and deeply so along party lines — on the issue of gun control and gun rights. Most Americans say tragic events like the shooting are just the isolated acts of troubled individuals, and not a reflection of broader problems in American society.
Views of Gun Control — A Detailed Demographic Breakdown
Opinion about gun control has been split since April 2009, but this marked a substantial change in attitudes from previous years in which majorities of Americans consistently prioritized gun control over gun rights. See a breakdown of opinion about gun control across numerous demographic categories.
Gun Control Splits America
The public is divided over whether state and local governments should be able to pass laws banning the sale and possession of handguns as well as whether it is more important to protect gun owners’ rights or control gun ownership.
Public Takes Conservative Turn on Gun Control, Abortion
Public attitudes on two contentious national issues — gun control and abortion — have moved in a more conservative direction over the past year. In both cases, the changes have largely been driven by shifts in attitudes among men.
Handguns: Public Rejects a Ban — but Supports Controls
Nearly three-quarters of Republicans (73%) oppose a ban on handgun sales, a view shared by 59% of independents and just half of Democrats.
Va. Tech Shootings Produce Little Boost for Gun Control
Six-in-ten Americans say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 32% give priority to protecting Americans’ right to own guns. But a 55% majority opposes a ban on the sale of handguns.