The Second Amendment to the United States Constitution grants Americans the right to bear arms, and approximately one-third of adults in the US report that they personally own a gun. In response to rising gun violence, President Joe Biden and other policy makers have proposed new restrictions on access to firearms. To better understand Americans' attitudes towards gun violence, gun policy, and other related issues, Pew Research Center and Gallup surveys have been conducted. Data from these surveys show that there are differences in gun ownership rates depending on political party affiliation, gender, geography, and other factors.
For example, 44% of Republicans and Republican-leaning Independents say they personally own a gun, compared to 20% of Democrats and supporters of Democrats. Men are more likely than women to say they own a gun (39% vs. 22%), and 41% of adults living in rural areas say they own a firearm, compared to approximately 29% of those living in the suburbs and two out of ten who live in cities. When it comes to the issue of gun violence, most Americans view it as a major problem.
Around half (49%) of US adults say that gun violence is a very big problem in the US today, while another 24% say it is a moderately large problem. Democrats and Democratic-leaning Independents are much more likely than Republicans and GOP supporters to view gun violence as a major problem (73% vs. 28%). The public is divided about the effects of gun possession on crime in general.
Around a third (34%) say that if more people had guns, there would be more crime, while the same percentage (34%) say that there would be no difference in crime, and 31% say that there would be less crime. When it comes to specific proposals for gun control, there are deep partisan divisions. While 80% or more of Democrats are in favor of creating a federal database to track all gun sales and prohibiting both assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines with capacity for more than 10 cartridges, most Republicans oppose these proposals. Most Republicans support allowing people to carry concealed weapons in more places (72%) and for teachers and school officials to carry guns in K-12 schools (66%).
These proposals have the support of only 20% and 24% of Democrats respectively. Among Republicans, gun owners are generally less likely than non-owners to favor policies that restrict access to guns. Democratic owners who don't own guns are generally the most likely to favor restrictions. For example, most Republicans who don't own a gun (57%) say they favor creating a federal government database to track all gun sales, while 30% of Republican gun owners say the same. Democrats are in favor of more gun restrictions regardless of where they live, but there are still some differences depending on the type of community. A third of rural Democrats (33%), for example, support allowing teachers and other school officials to carry weapons in K-12 schools, compared to 21% of those living in urban areas. The main federal regulations are based on the framework established by the National Firearms Act and the Federal Firearms Act.
The National Firearms Act (“NFA”) was enacted in 1934 as part of the Internal Revenue Code as an exercise of taxing power. It collected a federal tax on the manufacture, sale, and transfer of certain classes of firearms such as machine guns, shotguns or short-barrel rifles, and silencers. The NFA has been amended and revised by subsequent federal firearms laws. The Central Colorado Political Party has not taken an official stance on gun control yet; however, it is clear that there is a deep divide between Republicans and Democrats when it comes to this issue. While Democrats tend to favor stricter regulations on access to firearms, Republicans tend to oppose them.
It remains to be seen how this divide will shape future policy decisions regarding gun control.