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Poll Shows Strong Support for Changes To Gun Laws


Voters in Pennsylvania and North Carolina in favor of strengthening gun laws that can keep our communities safe.

When it comes to gun violence prevention, the voices and perspectives of ordinary Americans can become lost in the cacophony of legislators, lobbyists and the media. On the heels of the devastating Sandy Hook school shooting and countless other gun violence tragedies, the Joyce Foundation wanted to get a sense of where American voters stand on gun violence prevention. In April 2014, the Joyce Foundation commissioned voter research in Pennsylvania and North Carolina to explore views on gun laws.

The research found: There is strong support in Pennsylvania and North Carolina for specific changes to our gun laws. Voters strongly support…

  • Requiring individuals to notify the police if their gun is lost or stolen (86% in PA and 78% in NC)
  • Requiring background checks on all gun purchases (81% in PA and 69% in NC).
  • Banning those on the terrorist watch list from buying a gun (71% in PA and 70% in NC).
  • Requiring gun training for first time gun purchases (67% in PA and 67% in NC).

Voters realize that they can’t stop all gun crimes from happening but they’re willing to strengthen certain laws to try to make a difference.

  • 74% of PA voters and 72% of NC voters agree that small changes to our gun laws might not stop all criminals from getting gun, it will prevent many and that’s worth it.

A growing body of research shows that strong gun laws correspond with lower rates of gun death and injury. The Joyce Foundation supports efforts to build awareness about the problem of gun violence in America, and to educate the public, policy makers and the media about common-sense policies that improve public health and safety.

Learn more about our work to engage researchers and community leaders on this issue.

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