What the Public Really Thinks About Guns

For years the conventional wisdom has said that “gun control” is a deeply polarizing and divisive issue and that support for stronger gun laws has been declining. In the wake of the December shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, however, a wealth of new data challenges this conventional wisdom.

First, public opinion has shifted significantly. By many measures, support for stronger gun laws has substantially increased. Second, signs of an emerging national consensus on many gun issues—which was actually developing prior to the Newtown shooting—are also evident.

In this issue brief—co-authored by a bipartisan team of pollsters who have each conducted public-opinion research on attitudes toward guns in recent years—we hope to set the record straight and provide tools for polling outlets and reporters going forward. [cont.]

Center for American Progress

Recent polls: Guns