Share of Americans Who Believe Government Has Not Done Enough to Address Gun Violence Has Increased by Double Digits Since Last Summer
Washington, D.C. — Today, Navigator Research released results from a new survey addressing perceptions of gun violence in the United States. The survey was fielded following the racially-motivated mass shooting in Buffalo, New York, but before the shooting on Tuesday at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The survey results make clear that Americans want to see action on the issues of gun violence, mass shootings, and hate crimes.
By a large majority, Americans view gun violence and mass shootings as a crisis or major issue (71 percent and 72 percent, respectively). This finding holds true across race and partisanship, with majorities of Independents and Republicans agreeing. Nearly three in five gun owners believe that gun violence (58 percent) and mass shootings (62 percent) are a crisis or major issue.
That level of concern is reflected in the growing number of Americans who believe that we have not done enough to reform our gun laws. Since July 2021, there has been a net 14-point increase in the share of Americans who believe we need to do more to fix gun laws, with 62 percent now saying that we have not done enough to address the issue compared to just 38 percent who believe too much has been done.
“We’re in national mourning after a number of unspeakable and horrific mass shootings. Gun violence is a uniquely American crisis and the vast majority of Americans agree something needs to change — our government needs to take action,” said Bryan Bennett, Senior Director of Polling & Analytics at the Hub Project and Advisor to Navigator Research. “Our data shows Americans are tired of ‘thoughts and prayers’ followed by inaction. They want progress and meaningful change in preventing future tragedies. With Americans across demographics calling for stronger gun laws, Congress should recognize gun violence prevention reforms are not only politically popular, but morally necessary.”
Consistent with the rising number of Americans who support reforming our gun laws, a majority of respondents (58 percent) support stronger gun laws, with nearly four in five Democrats in support (79 percent). Since July 2021, the greatest swing in favor of stronger gun laws is amongst Republicans (net +9).
Politically, Democrats are most concerned about both gun violence and mass shootings, and are far more likely to support reforming gun laws than Republicans (+70 for Democrats; -22 for Republicans). Reforming gun laws enjoys majority support across all racial demographics, with support highest among Black Americans (80 percent in favor).
When it comes to violent crime generally, Americans are most concerned about mass shootings (54 percent), gun violence (43 percent), and hate crimes (43 percent). While all political groups, as well as white and Hispanic Americans, view mass shootings as their top concern, Black and AAPI Americans are most concerned about hate crimes (63 percent and 55 percent, respectively).
In addition to hate crimes being a top concern for most Americans, Americans across partisanship and race believe that hate crimes are a crisis or major issue. Although a majority of Republicans believe hate crimes are either a crisis or major issue, only 20 percent believe it is a crisis, compared to almost half of Democrats (47 percent) and a majority of Black Americans (59 percent).
About Navigator Research
The Navigator Research project is designed to act as a consistent, flexible, responsive tool to inform policy debates. By conducting research and providing reliable guidance to inform allies, elected leaders, and the press, Navigator helps top leaders in Washington and grassroots leaders around the country shape the debate on the issues that matter most. Follow us on Twitter for the latest updates.
About The Studies
Global Strategy Group conducted public opinion surveys among a sample of 998 registered voters from May 19- May 23, 2022. 102 additional interviews were conducted among Hispanic voters. 62 additional interviews were conducted among Asian American and Pacific Islander voters. 105 additional interviews were conducted among African American voters. 102 additional interviews were conducted among independent voters. The survey was conducted online, recruiting respondents from an opt-in online panel vendor. Respondents were verified against a voter file and special care was taken to ensure the demographic composition of our sample matched that of the national registered voter population across a variety of demographic variables.The margin of error at the 95 percent confidence level is +/- 3.1 percent.