Nearly two in three Americans say that laws covering the sale of firearms should be made stricter (64%), while 28% say the laws should be kept as they are. Few Americans (7%) would like the laws to be made less strict.
These data are from Gallup’s annual Crime poll, conducted Oct. 1-13. Americans’ desire for stricter gun laws was greatest in 1991 — at 78% — when Gallup first fielded the question, but this view ebbed over the following two decades, bottoming out at 43% in 2011.
There was a spike to 58% in desires for stricter firearm sales laws in 2012, after the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, but figures returned to the 47% to 49% range for several years. Since 2015, however, support for stricter laws has registered at the majority level, peaking at 67% in March of last year after the Parkland, Florida, school shooting.