Public Opinion

1-2. The public favors most sensible gun policies, policies the U.S. does not have

We analyzed surveys of the American public over time.  Household gun ownership levels have been decreasing in the United States since the 1980s.  Most adults, and even most gun owners, favor most gun control laws short of bans on gun ownership.

Blendon, Robert J; Young, John T; Hemenway, David.  The American public and the gun control debate.  JAMA.  1996; 275:1719-22.

Young, John T; Hemenway, David; Blendon, Robert J; Benson, John M. Poll.  Trends: Guns.  Public Opinion Quarterly.  1996; 60:634-649.


3. NRA members support many regulatory proposals 

We analyzed data from a national random-digit-dial telephone survey.  National Rifle Association (NRA) members are similar to other gun owners in many respects, but they are more likely to own six or more guns.  Unlike the NRA leadership, both NRA members and non-member gun owners support waiting periods and mandatory registration of handguns.

Weil, Douglas S; Hemenway David.  I am the NRA: An analysis of a national random sample of gun owners.  Violence and Victims.  1993; 8:353-65. See also Weil DS, Hemenway D.  A response to Kleck (NRA).  Violence and Victims.  1993; 8:377-85.


4. Most gun owners would purchase a childproof gun

Using data from our National Firearms Survey, we find that among gun owners, over half of those who own handguns (55%) were willing to purchase a childproof gun.  This suggests a substantial market exists for childproof guns among potential purchasers of new guns.

This article contradicts the gun lobby assertion that there will not be a market for safer guns.

Wolfson JA, Teret SP, Frattaroli S, Miller M, Azrael D.  The US public’s preference for safer guns.  American Journal of Public Health.  2016; 106: 411-413.