Public Opinions on Gun Control

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The public is divided over whether state and local governments should be able to pass laws banning the sale and possession of handguns. The Supreme Court is expected to rule in the next few months on the constitutionality of a 28-year-old Chicago law prohibiting handgun ownership in Chicago.

Half of the public (50%) says that state and local governments should not be able to pass laws barring the sale or possession of handguns in their jurisdictions, while 45% say they should be able to pass such laws.

The divisions in public opinion regarding the question before the Supreme Court -- whether states should be allowed to pass laws banning handguns -- is similar to differences in views over gun control. Most Republicans (62%) and independents (57%) believe that states and localities should not be able to pass laws banning the sale and possession of handguns. A majority of Democrats (60%) say that state and local government should be allowed to pass such laws.

There also are sizeable gender and racial differences in these attitudes. A majority of men (57%) say localities should not be allowed to pass laws banning handguns while most women (51%) say such laws should be permitted. And while 57% of whites say state and local governments should not be allowed to pass laws prohibiting handguns, majorities of African Americans (64%) and Hispanics (61%) say they should be allowed to pass these laws.

For more statistics, continue to read the report here

Posted by

Sui Zhang