In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, more Americans support tighter controls on guns. Six in 10 U.S. adults now support stricter laws covering the sale of firearms, up from 55% last year and the highest percentage since 2004. However, the public is sharply divided over an assault weapons ban, though the 48% in favor exceeds last year's record-low 36%. Americans still widely oppose an outright ban on handguns, but more favor such a ban than in 2016Lydia Saad at Gallup:
The great majority of Americans are in favor of more stringent regulation of the sale and ownership of guns in three ways that go beyond current law in most states. U.S. adults offer near-universal support for requiring background checks for all gun purchases, backed by 96%. Also, three-quarters favor enacting a 30-day waiting period for all gun purchases and 70% favor requiring all privately owned guns to be registered with the police.As previous posts have noted, however, there is an intensity gap on gun control
Large majorities of Americans support several specific policies intended to limit access to guns, including expanded background checks and restrictions on sales to the mentally ill. But relatively few Americans actually contact public officials to express their views, according to a Pew Research Center survey conducted in the spring.
Just 15% of all U.S. adults say they have ever contacted a public official to express their opinion on gun policy. About one-in-five gun owners (21%) have done this, including 9% who say they’ve done so in the past year. That compares with 12% of non-gun owners who have ever reached out to officials about gun policy, including 5% who have done so in the past year.
Furthermore, Americans who believe gun laws should be less strict are more likely to contact public officials on the issue than those who think gun laws should be stricter or are about right (22% have ever done so, compared with 15% of those who favor stricter laws and 10% of those who think laws are about right). Among gun owners, 19% of those who want less strict laws have contacted a public official in the past year, compared with 9% of those who want stricter laws.