Polls Show Americans Support Action to Strengthen Gun Laws

Expanded Brady Background Checks for All Gun Sales (Universal Background Checks)

The federal Brady background check law requires background checks for gun sales made through licensed dealers. It does not apply to private sale purchases, such as those made through the Internet, at gun shows or other through individuals. Very few issues have as much public support as requiring background checks on all firearm purchases.

  • 87% support “background checks for all gun buyers compared to only 8% of voters who are opposed to that” (Public Policy Polling 3.27.18)

    “It’s hard to find anything 87% of Americans agree on- in fact on this same poll we found that only 81% think the sky is blue with 11% disputing that notion” (Public Policy Polling3.27.18)

  • 94% support “requiring background checks for all gun buyers” (IPSOS/NPR 2.28.18)

  • 97% support “requiring background checks for all gun buyers” (Quinnipiac 2.20.18)

  • “Support for universal background checks is near universal” (Quinnipiac 2.20.18)

Assault Weapons Ban

In 1994, Congress passed a ten-year ban on new assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines. Congress failed to renew the ban when it expired in 2004, and we have seen devastating consequences since.

Polls show a strong majority of Americans support a ban on the manufacture and new sales of assault weapons and on large capacity ammuntion magazines:

  • 73% support “banning high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds”(IPSOS/NPR 2.28.18)

  • 72% support “banning assault-style weapons” (IPSOS/NPR 2.28.18)

  • 67% support “nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons” (Quinnipiac 2.20.18)

Other Common Sense Gun Violence Prevention Laws

  • 67% say “laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict” (Gallup 3.8.18)1
  • 61% say “tightening gun control laws and background checks will prevent more mass shootings in the US” (Suffolk University/USA Today 2.24.18)

  • 66% of “American voters support stricter gun laws - the highest level of support ever measured by the independent Quinnipiac University National Poll” (Quinnipiac 2.20.18)

  • 75% think “Congress needs to do more to reduce gun violence” (Quinnipiac 2.20.18)

  • 83% “support imposing a federal mandatory waiting period on all gun purchases” (Quinnipiac 2.19.18)

  • 80% support “banning the use of bump stocks” (Politico/Morning Consult 2.28.18)

  • 81% support “banning firearm attachments (i.e. bump stocks) (IPSOS/NPR 2.28.18)

  • “The only policy intended to curb gun violence that is opposed by a majority of Americans (59%) is the one most frequently touted by President Trump — the idea of training teachers to carry guns in schools.” (IPSOS/NPR 2.28.18) 

  • “The poll also found that while nearly every gun policy was supported by a majority of both Republicans and Democrats, the one exception was arming teachers.” (IPSOS/NPR 2.28.18)