Fewer Americans Support Stricter Gun Laws as Mass Shootings Increase

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An Oct. 2022 Gallup poll found 57% of American adults believed gun sales laws should be stricter, down 9% from June 2022, but up 5% from Oct. 2021. 32% believed gun laws should remain as is, while 10% would prefer less strict gun laws.

The poll, conducted since 1990, has shown support for stricter gun sales laws as high as 78% (1990) and as low as 43% (Oct. 2011). Support also has a clear partisan divide, with 86% of Democrats, 60% of Independents, and 27% of Republicans supporting stricter gun sales laws in Oct. 2022.

Similarly, gun ownership is divided among political parties, with 48% of Republicans owning a gun and 66% of Republicans living in a household with a gun, while 20% of Democrats were gun owners and 31% lived in a  household with a gun.

The shift in opinion comes as mass shootings continue to increase in the United States. The Gun Violence Archive, which has tracked shootings since 2014, reported 273 mass shootings in 2014. By 2021, the number had more than doubled to 690 mass shootings. As of the morning of Nov. 30, this year (2022) has had 619 mass shootings.

The K-12 School Shooting Database also noted an increase in school shootings. 2022 has seen 284 shootings on school property with a month left in the year, up from 250 in 2021. Both years are an increase from 2018 and 2019, which had 119 shootings each year, and a dramatic increase from 2012 when there were just 20 shootings on school property.

Discussion Questions

1. Should gun sales laws be stricter? If yes, why and how? If no, why not?

2. Should the US federal government or state governments enact more gun control laws? If yes, why and what sort of laws? If no, why not?

3. Should concealed guns be more or less regulated? Explain your answer(s).


Megan Brenan, “Diminished Majority Supports Stricter Gun Laws In U.S.,” news.gallup.com, Nov. 21, 2022

Gun Violence Archive, gunviolencearchive.org (accessed Nov. 30, 2022)

David Reidman, K-12 School Shooting Database, k12ssdb.org (accessed Nov. 30, 2022)