Skip Navigation

Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence Prevention and Policy

Public Opinion Polling

The Center utilizes public opinion polling and other research to better understand trends in gun ownership, attitudes towards firearms carrying, and other issues related to guns and gun violence in the United States.

The Center has conducted three national surveys since the December 2012 massacre in Newtown, Connecticut –surveys were fielded in January 2013, January 2015, and January 2017. In each of these surveys, results indicate broad support for many gun violence prevention policies among both non-gun owners and gun owners. The next survey will take place in January 2019. Our Center has also conducted surveys specifically on safe storage among gun owners.

Key Statistic

A national survey fielded in 2017 on support for 24 different gun policies found little difference in support between gun owners and non-gun owners for 15, or 63 percent, of the policies surveyed. For 23 of the 24 policies examined, the majority of respondents supported gun restrictions or regulations, including requiring a background check on every gun sale (universal background check) and prohibiting a person subject to a temporary domestic violence restraining order from having a gun for the duration of the order. [1]

“Policies with high overall support among both gun owners and non-gun owners may be the most feasible to enact, and some have strong evidence to support their ability to reduce gun violence. Widespread claims that a chasm separates gun owners from non-gun owners in their support for gun safety policies distracts attention from many areas of genuine agreement—areas that can lead to policy solutions and result in the prevention of gun violence.”

– Colleen Barry, Center Faculty



[1] Barry et al. Public Support for Gun Violence Prevention Policies Among Gun Owners and Non-Gun Owners in 2017. Am J Public Health. 2018 Jul;108(7):878-881. Epub 2018 May 17.