Gunning for violence

Guns are deeply ingrained in American society and the nation’s political debates. President Joe Biden and other policymakers earlier last year proposed new restrictions on firearm access in an effort to address gun violence. Here are some key findings about Americans’ attitudes about gun violence, gun policy and other subjects, drawn from recent surveys by Pew Research Center and Gallup.

Four-in-10 US adults say they live in a household with a gun, including 30% who say they personally own one.

Personal protection tops the list of reasons why gun owners say they own a firearm.

Around half of Americans (48%) see gun violence as a very big problem in the country today.

Attitudes about gun violence differ widely by race, ethnicity, party and community type.

Roughly half of Americans (53%) favour stricter gun laws, a decline since 2019.

Americans are divided over whether restricting legal gun ownership would lead to fewer mass shootings.

There is broad partisan agreement on some gun policy proposals, but most are politically divisive.

Gun ownership is closely linked with views on gun policies. This is true even among gun owners and non-owners within the same political party.

Americans in rural areas typically favour more expansive gun access, while Americans in urban places prefer more restrictive policies.

From ‘Key Facts About Americans and Guns’, Pew Research Center

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