US Insights

Overwhelming support for extended background checks

Laura Sigman

Director of Marketing, The Americas

Policy 10.05.2015 / 20:35

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But poll also shows doubts about their impact on violence, 2016

With the rising toll of mass shootings, Americans visibly support extended background checks for gun ownership. In fact, according to a new survey from Lightspeed GMI that was taken even before the latest tragedy in Oregon, 90% of consumers believe extended background checks, including mental illness and criminal history, are necessary. However, only 38% feel changes in gun control laws will reduce violent killings in the United States.

Key Numbers

  • 46% of women say having children changed their views
  • 35% of men say the same

According to General Social Survey: Trends in Gun Ownership in the United States, 1972-2014, 31% of households reported having a firearm in 2014. When asked about gun ownership, consumers on Lightspeed GMI's Mobile Panel show mixed emotions on this topic. One third believe it's OK to own a gun, but that assault weapons should be illegal (e.g., assault rifles, machine guns); 23% believe it's OK to have guns, but all guns and ammunition should be registered to one owner; 16% do not support banning guns of any kind; 15% support gun ownership, but all guns should be registered to one owner; and 13% are against civilian gun ownership. Of note, 68% of participants in this survey do not own a gun.

Additional key Lightspeed GMI survey findings include:

  • 44% support "stand your ground" laws
  • 42% will endorse a presidential candidate who supports stricter gun policies, yet 35% say a candidate's policy on gun control won't affect how they vote
  • 46% of women say having children changed their perspective, while only 35% of men say the same.

Source: Lightspeed

Editor's Notes

Survey conducted September 2015 on Lightspeed GMI's US Mobile Panel; 651 respondents age 18+. Journalists, for inquiries, contact us. Follow us @Kantar and sign up for our alerts.

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