Several gun control measures have majority support — including huge majorities for some

David MontgomerySenior data journalist
November 03, 2023, 9:28 PM GMT+0

Majorities of Americans support passing several major gun control measures. Some are broadly popular with more than 70% support: preventing people with a history of mental illness from owning guns, and so-called red flag laws that let courts temporarily remove guns from people who are believed to pose a danger to themselves or others. Other measures have majority support but are more controversial: banning assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons.

Democrats and people who don't own guns are more likely to support gun control measures, while Republicans and gun owners are less likely. But majorities of Republicans and gun owners support keeping guns away from people with histories of mental illness or who may pose a danger.

Bans of assault rifles or semi-automatic weapons lack this bipartisan support. 58% of Republicans oppose each measure, as do 67% of gun owners. In contrast, people who don't own guns support banning assault rifles by 72% to 21%, and support banning semi-automatic weapons by 70% to 22%.

— Carl Bialik and Taylor Orth contributed to this article

See the toplines and crosstabs from the Economist/YouGov poll conducted on October 28 - 31, 2023 among 1,500 U.S. adult citizens.

Methodology: Respondents were selected from YouGov’s opt-in panel using sample matching. A random sample (stratified by gender, age, race, education, geographic region, and voter registration) was selected from the 2019 American Community Survey. The sample was weighted according to gender, age, race, education, 2020 election turnout and presidential vote, baseline party identification, and current voter registration status. Demographic weighting targets come from the 2019 American Community Survey. Baseline party identification is the respondent’s most recent answer given prior to November 1, 2022, and is weighted to the estimated distribution at that time (33% Democratic, 31% Republican). The margin of error for the overall sample is approximately 3%.

Image: Getty