Gun violence is seen as a major problem by most U.S. adults, according to a report published in late August by AP-NORC.

A strong majority (75%) said that gun violence is a major problem, while 21% see it as a minor problem and 4% believe that it is not a problem.

A larger majority (80%) feel that gun violence has increased some / a lot in the last five years, with 15% saying it has remained the same and 5% saying that it has decreased some / a lot.

Most adults (71%) also want to see gun laws become much / somewhat more strict, a four-point increase from March 2019 and a 19-point rise since December 2013.

Respondents were presented with seven potential gun reform proposals, with a majority of adults saying they strongly / somewhat favor each:

  • A federal law requiring background checks on all potential gun buyers, including private sales and gun shows: 85%
  • A federal law preventing mentally ill people from purchasing guns: 85%
  • A federal law that bans those convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a gun: 83%
  • A federal law requiring expanded background checks for gun buyers between 18 and 21 years of age: 79%
  • Allowing courts to temporarily prevent people who are considered a danger to themselves or others, but have not been convicted of a crime, from owning a gun: 78%
  • Making 21 the minimum legal age to buy any gun nationwide: 75%
  • A nationwide ban on the sale of AR- 15 rifles and similar semiautomatic weapons: 59%

A majority of adults said there would be fewer mass shootings (65%) and fewer murders (57%) “if it were harder for people to legally obtain guns,” while half (50%) said this would reduce the number of suicides and robberies.

One in five (21%) said either they or a family member or close friend had personally experienced gun violence in the past five years, with 41% saying they felt it extremely likely / very likely / somewhat likely that they “might be a victim of gun violence within the next five years.”

The full report is available here. The topline results – noting a margin of error of plus or minus 3.8 percentage points – are available here.

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