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Contrary to What President Trump’s Advisers Are Telling Him, Gun Safety Laws are Extraordinarily Popular with the Public — Including Vast Majorities of His Own Voters


A New York Times story today reports that, with the Senate set to consider gun safety laws perhaps as soon as next week, President Trump’s advisers “said they had polling data showing that gun control was politically problematic for the president.”

The fact is, gun safety laws could hardly be more popular with voters. Even in an age of intense partisan polarization, voters from across the political spectrum — including those who say they intend to vote for Donald Trump in 2020 — express strong support for common sense gun safety policies.

Results released today from a new Everytown/Global Strategy Group poll that was conducted before the shootings in West Texas found overwhelming support for two key gun safety measures – background checks for all gun sales, and Red Flag laws:

  • Among voters who say they are definitely or leaning towards voting for Donald Trump in 2020, 92 percent support background checks for all gun sales and 74 percent support Red Flag laws.
  • Nationwide, 95 percent of voters support background checks – including 93 percent of Republican voters, 95 percent of independent voters and 92 percent of gun owners.
  • 85 percent of voters nationwide support Red Flag laws, including 77 percent of Republicans, 84 percent of independents and 78 percent of gun owners.

What’s more, voters are ready to hold politicians accountable if they continue to do nothing to curb gun violence:

  • Three quarters of voters in battleground states (75 percent) and nationwide (77 percent) agree with the following statement: “Last year, more Americans died from gun violence than from military combat overseas. And as mass shootings become more and more common, American families and communities worry they could be next. Yet the politicians in Washington DC have done nothing to curb gun violence out of fear of losing money from special interest donors. Enough is enough. We must hold these corrupt politicians accountable by voting them out of office.”
  • 77 percent of independents, 57 percent of Republicans, and 62 percent of gun owners nationwide agree with this statement.

Other recent polls have found similarly strong support for congressional action on gun safety measures:

  • A Politico/Morning Consult survey conducted in early August found that 91 percent of voters nationwide support background checks for all gun sales, including 90% of Republican voters.
  • And NBC/Wall Street Journal polling from mid-August found that 89 percent of voters nationwide support expanding background checks to all firearm sales and transfers, and 76 percent of voters nationally support Red Flag laws.

This data aligns with recent corporate action on guns that indicate support for common sense gun policies is firmly within the American mainstream, and opposition to these measures has become the fringe exception.

Just this week, Walmart announced its decision to prohibit open carry and limit ammunition sales in the wake of the mass shooting in El Paso. Since then, Kroger also announced it would prohibit open carry in its stores, as did CVS, Wegmans and Walgreens. They join a growing and diverse list of corporations that have taken a stand on gun violence prevention, including retailers like Levi Strauss & Co., TOMS, Dick’s Sporting Goods, L.L. Bean and REI, financial services companies like Citibank, Amalgamated Bank, BlackRock and PayPal, and tech companies like Facebook and Salesforce, to name a few. A sample of corporate action on gun violence prevention is available here.