Press Release Headlines

Support for Stricter Gun Laws Remains Strong, Finds Emerson College Gun Policy Poll

BOSTON, March 26, 2013 /PRNewswire/ – Three months after the shooting in Newtown, CT, a new national survey by the Emerson College Polling Society (ECPS) finds that 49% of Americans support stricter gun laws, a 5% drop from a January ECPS poll. There was a 3.3% margin of error for the survey.

ECPS President Felix Chen observes that 46% of Americans consider gun control policy extremely important. The results suggest that, "Even three months after the Sandy Hook shooting, Americans still view gun control policy as a national priority, along with Healthcare (64%), jobs (58%), and the deficit (50%)."

Despite the U.S. Senate's recent decision to drop a proposed assault weapons ban, 58% of those surveyed supported such a ban. The most popular gun policy measures continues to be a requirement for universal background checks (80%) with a majority (57%) of support for a ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.

ECPS analyst Siobhan Robinson notes that, "despite significant support for various gun control measures, a majority (51%) of those surveyed do not believe these laws will actually help reduce gun violence, which may be why Congress has been slow to act."

Sixty-percent (60%) of those surveyed support raising the minimum age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21, and seventy-percent (70%) of Americans support Senator Patrick Leahy's (VT) proposal that would make it a crime to purchase a gun for someone else.

Men and women are divided on the effectiveness of gun control policy. Forty-nine percent (49%) of women surveyed believe that new measures will help reduce gun violence, compared to 39% of men.

Other Key Findings

Fifty-four percent (54%) of Americans have favorable rating of President Obama, an increase of five percent compared to the previous survey

Forty-four percent (44%) of the participants view the National Rifle Association favorably, a drop of 5% from January

Sixty-three percent (63%) of women support a ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, compared to 51% of men.

Eighty-five percent (85%) of women support a requirement for universal background checks on gun buyers, opposed to 75% of men.

Both Republicans and Democrats support background checks on gun buyers. Ninety-three percent (93%) of Democrats support the proposal along with 69% of Republicans.

Fifty-eight percent (58%) of registered Republicans support placing armed guards in schools, compared to only 33% of Democrats.

Caller ID: Data was collected between March 11th-13th, 2013, using an automated data collection system. The national survey consisted of 885 registered voters with a margin of error of +/-3.3% with a 95% confidence level. The full survey and results are available at the group's website:

About Emerson College Polling Society

Emerson College Polling Society is a student organization at Emerson College dedicated to formulating, administering, and analyzing public opinion polls. The results and analysis of this release are the sole views of Emerson College Polling Society and do not reflect the views of Emerson College as a whole.