New Poll Finds 6 in 10 See Gun Violence Control as More Important Than Gun Rights

May 24, 2023

A new NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll has found that 60% of Americans believe its more important to control gun violence than to protect gun rights.

NPR notes that this is the highest percentage of those who support gun control in a decade. 

The new poll further found that 40% of gun owners were in line with the majority opinion. 

Broken down by party, 88% of Democrats said controlling gun violence is more important, while 67% of Republicans say protecting gun rights is more important.

Meanwhile, 57% of Americans reported feeling that the schools in their local communities are safe from gun violence, down from 65% in February 2019.

A plurality of 27% of those polled said banning semi-automatic assault weapons sales would be the “most impactful” move to reduce gun violence. Another 17% believed mental health screenings for all gun buyers would be more impactful. Next in line came background checks for gun purchases at gun shows and other private sales (13%), red flag laws (12%), and allowing teachers to carry guns in the classroom (10%).

Still, 20% of those polled do not think any of these options would make an impact.

The new poll follows a Fox News Poll from late last month that found that the American public overwhelmingly supports more restrictive gun laws, including 61% of those who responded saying they favor banning assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons, while only 45% said they would encourage more citizens to carry guns to defend against attackers.

The vast majority of those polled by Fox News—81%—favored improving existing gun laws.

According to the Gun Violence Archive which defines the crime as four or more people killed or injured by gunfire, there have been 237 mass shootings in the U.S. so far this year. Wednesday was the 223rd day of 2023. 

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