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Am J Public Health. 2018 Jul;108(7):878-881. doi: 10.2105/AJPH.2018.304432. Epub 2018 May 17.

Public Support for Gun Violence Prevention Policies Among Gun Owners and Non-Gun Owners in 2017.

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Colleen L. Barry, Daniel W. Webster, Cassandra K. Crifasi, Jon S. Vernick, and Emma E. McGinty are with the Department of Health Policy and Management, Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Policy and Research, Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health, Baltimore, MD. Elizabeth Stone is with the Division of General Internal Medicine, Johns Hopkins School of Medicine, Baltimore, MD.



To compare public support for 24 different gun policies between gun owners and non-gun owners in 2017.


We fielded a national public opinion survey in January 2017 using an online panel to measure US adults' support for 24 gun policies. We compared support among gun owners and non-gun owners.


For 23 of the 24 policies examined, most respondents supported restricting or regulating gun ownership. Only 8 of 24 policies had greater than a 10-point support gap between gun owners and non-gun owners.


Policies with high public support and minimal support gaps by gun ownership status included universal background checks, greater accountability for licensed gun dealers unable to account for their inventory, higher safety training standards for concealed carry permit holders, improved reporting of records related to mental illness for background checks, gun prohibitions for persons subject to temporary domestic violence restraining orders, and gun violence restraining orders. Public Health Implications. Although there are important areas where Americans disagree on guns, large majorities of both gun owners and non-gun owners strongly support measures to strengthen US gun laws.

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