Where Republicans and Democrats agree, diverge on gun policy
Republicans and Democrats find rare common ground on certain proposals for US arms policy. Large majorities in both parties continue to favor banning the purchase of weapons from people with mental illness, banning the purchase of weapons by people on federal no-theft or surveillance lists, and background checks for private arms sales and sales at gun shows.
Yet there are stark partisan differences on several other issues – particularly on whether to let people carry hidden weapons in more places and to allow teachers and officials to carry weapons in K-schools. 12, revealed a new investigation from the Pew Research Center.
And Republicans and Democrats have fundamental and fundamental differences on issues relating to the causes of gun violence – and even whether gun violence is a serious problem in the country.
The broadest partisan divisions over gun policies relate to proposals to allow concealed carrying in more places and to allow teachers to carry guns. About seven in ten Republicans and Republican supporters support allowing concealed carry in more places (72%) and allowing the carrying of weapons by teachers and officials in K-12 schools (69 %); only 26% of Democrats and Skinny Democrats support each of these proposals.
Democrats also widely oppose proposals to shorten wait times for those wishing to buy guns legally (25% for, 74% against), while Republicans are divided (51% for, 48% against) . There is little support in either party to allow concealed transport without a license, although the proposal finds more support among the GOP (30%) than Democrats (10%).
Partisan divisions over gun policy proposals may reflect contrasting views among Republicans and Democrats on gun violence in the country today and the impact of gun access on crime and mass shootings.
Although a clear majority of Republicans (74%) and Democrats (92%) consider gun violence to be at least a moderately significant problem in the United States, a much larger share of Democrats (65%) than Republicans (32%) say gun violence is a “very big” problem in the country.
And while Republicans and Democrats are less likely to perceive gun violence as a big issue in their local community than in the country as a whole, Democrats are also more likely than Republicans (54% vs. 31%) to say gun violence in their local community is a very or moderately significant problem.
When it comes to views on some factors that may contribute to gun violence, Democrats and Republicans strongly disagree on the extent to which legally the weapons obtained contribute to armed violence. About three-quarters (76%) of Democrats say the ease with which people can legally obtain guns contributes a lot or somewhat to gun violence, compared to just 39% of Republicans.
In contrast, more than eight in ten Republicans (84%) and Democrats (88%) say how easily people can illegally obtaining firearms contributes a great deal or quite a bit to gun violence.
Republicans and Democrats also differ in their views on the impact of gun ownership on crime and mass shootings in the United States. less crime if more Americans owned guns; in contrast, 51% of Democrats say there would be Following crime if more Americans had guns.
Almost two-thirds of Democrats (64%) say there would be fewer mass shootings in the United States if it were more difficult for people to legally obtain guns; only about a quarter of Republicans (27%) say the same. And Republicans are skeptical that making it harder to legally obtain firearms would have an effect on mass shootings: 54% say it wouldn’t make a difference, while 18% think restricting the access to guns would result in more mass shootings.