A slim majority (53%) of the U.S. supports stricter gun regulations, according to a Pew Research Center report published April 20.
This is seven points below the result in a Pew survey conducted in September 2019.
It is the first time since 2017 that the desire for stricter laws declined, as those who strongly favored such legislation had risen from 52% in 2017 to 57% in 2018 to 60% in 2019.
By comparison, 32% of respondents in 2020 said “gun laws are about right” (up four points from 2019) and 14% said “gun laws should be less strict than they are today” (up three points).
Respondents who identified as Democrat or who lean toward the Democrat Party (81%) were significantly more likely than those who identified as Republican or who lean toward the Republican Party (20%) to favor stricter gun laws.
The nation is split on the results of such legislation, with 49% saying this would result in fewer mass shootings, 42% saying it would not make a difference and 9% feeling it would lead to more mass shootings.
Similarly, 34% of respondents said there would be more crime if more people owned guns, 34% that there would be no difference and 31% that there would be less crime.
Of five possible legislative proposals surveyed, a majority “strongly favor” two: preventing people with mental illnesses from purchasing guns (70%) and making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks (62%).
Both potential laws saw a decline in those who strongly favor them since 2019 – a six-point and nine-point decline, respectively.
The other three proposals all had slightly under half “strongly favor” such concepts: banning assault-style weapons (48%), banning high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds (47%) and creating a federal database to track all gun sales (46%).
Respondents who “strongly favor” these three proposals all declined since 2019, with drops of eight points, seven points and eight points, respectively.
The margin of error is plus-or-minus 2.1%.