POLL: 40% of Americans Want Stricter Gun Laws Following Elementary School Shooting

Numbers make all the difference. Here are the results of the most recent polls on gun control in the United States, taken over the weekend following the Sandy Hook school shooting . . .

What do you think is the best way to reduce gun violence in this country: by passing stricter gun control laws, or by stricter enforcement of existing laws?

  • Stricter Laws: 32%
  • Both: 8%
  • Stricter Enforcement: 49%
  • Neither: 7%
  • Unsure: 3%

Do you favor or oppose stricter gun control laws in this country?

  • Favor: 54%
  • Oppose: 43%
  • Unsure: 3%

Would you support or oppose a law requiring a nationwide ban on semi-automatic handguns, which automatically re-load every time the trigger is pulled?

  • Support: 52%
  • Oppose: 44%
  • Unsure: 3%

Would you support or oppose a law requiring a nationwide ban on the sale of handguns, except to law enforcement officers?

  • Support:27%
  • Oppose: 71%
  • Unsure: 2%

Would you support or oppose a law requiring a nationwide ban on high-capacity ammunition clips, meaning those containing more than 10 bullets?

  • Support: 59%
  • Oppose: 38%
  • Unsure: 2%



  1. avatar RKBA says:

    This Just In: “40% of Americans Don’t Get it.”

  2. avatar RKBA says:

    Most ‘Americans’ aren’t.

    Huge difference between an ‘American’ and a U.S. citizen.

    1. avatar Silver says:


  3. avatar JTPhilly says:

    Sample size was 620, polling done during height of media coverage. These numbers won’t hold up.

    1. avatar Benmc says:

      Well said, my stats prof would skin you if you presented these results and called it a “national” sample

      1. avatar Cyrano says:


        Too few people have read…


        It will open your eyes to how stats and sample sizes are misused for the media’s and politician’s needs.

        1. avatar Bob says:

          Thanks for that important reminder.

  4. avatar Aharon says:

    “Numbers make all the difference”
    — Demographics are the key to who will dominate.

    It will be interesting to see a much larger poll done several months from now.

  5. avatar Ralph says:

    According to a more authoritative poll taken in November, 50.96% of Americans are just plain stupid.

    1. avatar speedracer5050 says:

      Also a poll taken yesterday revealed what most gun owners already knew or at least suspected: Dianne Feinstein and her ilk are inbred complete idiots.
      Numbers don’t lie you know!!!!

  6. avatar g says:

    Where’s our usual “ammunition clips” comment?


    I think people in general are still running on their emotions from the incident, which is understandable (if regrettable). Let’s not forget that it’s only the Tuesday after the Friday.

  7. avatar mountocean says:

    At least 9% of respondants clearly don’t know what they are talking about. How can somone be for a semi-auto ban, but against stricter gun laws? semi-auto ban = stricter gun law. Not to mention the assumptive language used to bias the questions: “automatically” reload, “high” capacity.

    This means our neighbors still need educating before they have time to support something they don’t understand.

    1. avatar mountocean says:

      Sorry, I misread the graphs. Please disregard my first two sentances.

  8. avatar Old AF Sarge says:

    From the results of these polls, I’m thinking 40% of Americans should NOT be allowed to carry. Or vote. Or take polls.

    1. avatar MOG says:

      Or, take the initiative, have their own gun ban, with a 10′ x 10′ sign out front that forcefully states, “THIS IS A GUN FREE ZONE”. Might want to put one out back too, can never be too safe.

  9. avatar Randy Drescher says:

    I just participated in a poll that was 2 to 1 for no gun control. Randy

    1. avatar Matt in FL says:

      If you could see the results either without or immediately after voting, then it’s a crappy poll. Another forum I read regularly posts whenever there’s a poll that they want to nuke in their favor. They refer to it as a “Fire Mission,” and people chime in that they voted by saying “Hit!”

  10. avatar Roll says:

    “Gun” laws? Why? Why not “stupid people” laws?

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      We have lots of those too. You can see how much good they’ve done.

  11. avatar Leo Atrox says:

    “Would you support or oppose a law requiring a nationwide ban on semi-automatic handguns, which automatically re-load every time the trigger is pulled?”

    “Would you support or oppose a law requiring a nationwide ban on the sale of handguns, except to law enforcement officers?”

    I find it odd, inflammatory, and incredibily suspicious that CBS would even ask these two questions, since both are impossible since the USCOTUS “Heller v. District of Columbia” ruling, which stated that firearms “commonly used” for self-defense are protected by the Second Amendment.

    I believe that a ban on magazines which hold over 10 rounds and various other feature bans are certainly possible, as all previous “assault weapons bans” have withstood legal challenges thus far. I’ll be very disappointed if something like the Clinton-era AWB or the California laws pass.

    1. avatar Mark N. says:

      The question seems to me to be designed to be misleading–the use of the word “semiautomatic” and “which automatically reload” tends to disguise th fact that they are limiting the question to handguns and not including evil black rifles.

  12. avatar Eric says:

    How come I never get to be a participant in any of these polls?

    1. avatar rossi says:

      they already have a list of all our numbers. 🙂

    2. avatar mountocean says:

      I have been called by a pollster once. Regarding “safety”. It took me three minutes to ask the lady if she was talking about federal, state, or local government’s role. After explaining the differance to her it was panently obvious which direction her employer was trying to skew the data.

      Just like this poll, in the cited source other questions are sprinkled with buzz words like “AK-47” to play off the uninformed’s adversions.

  13. avatar John Boch says:

    How about a new title.

    60% of American’s don’t want further gun restrictions

    1. avatar Spoons Make You Fat says:


  14. avatar MOG says:

    I can almost guarantee, the first few times someone kills someone with a crossbow/high-tech bow/lethal specific knife, etc, either aggressor or defender, there will be a hew and cry to ban such weapons.

  15. avatar Nelson says:

    Are you frigging kidding me? Aside from the fact that every poll is a “push poll” designed to result in a predetermined outcome, as far as ‘scientific polling companies’ go, this is a NOBODY pollster. If it were Harris, Gallup, etc, it’d be one thing, but this is some nobody they trot out to rationalize the PRO-torturer/rapist/pedophile/murderer PAC the Branch Bunch. As pathetic and as blatantly and openly liberal PPP would even have even more credibility.

    Moving on!

    1. I have to agree. There’s a bit of leading the witness going on with those questions. The vague “do you favor stricter gun control laws in this country?” is rediculous.

  16. The question about banning semi-auto handguns and its results just demonstrate that people do not know what that means, back to muzzle loaders it is!

    I don’t like the question of do you favor stricter gun control laws. That is so incredibly vague. I do support that, but only things like making it so states that don’t report mental health records to the background check system do so…but that’s about it. Otherwise I support laws being rolled back or removed. Remove gun free zones and every state should be shall issue.

  17. avatar Sanchanim says:

    This was a CBS pole. the issue I have is they did not ask a simple question. Are you a gun owner? I am sure the numbers would have been different between gun owners and non gun owners.
    Also we don’t know who they poled, women, men, white, black, latino?
    There are plenty of demographics which will play a role in such a pole.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      If I got a call from a stranger asking me if I am a gun owner, I’d hang up.

      Concealed means concealed, right?

  18. avatar mp says:

    uhhh…. doesnt it say 54% favor stricter gun control laws..?

    1. What an incredibly vague question though. Refer to my above comment. What stricter gun control laws? Some people who said yes to that may simply want the states that don’t report mental health records to the background check system to do so. That I support. But I do not support much if anything between that and the extreme that is banning. They turned a multiple choice question (which endless choices) into a yes or no question.

      1. avatar mp says:

        I agree, just trying to jive the headline w the article……

      2. avatar Mark N. says:

        If you ask most people if there should be “stricter” laws they will say yes; but ask them what laws are on the books already, and unless they are a gun owner, they haven’t a clue. Politicians have been playing this game for years, telling people that “I’ll be tough on crime.” Makes people think the politicians will protect them from the evil in society. Hell, California has some of the toughest criminal laws in the country, second only to Florida. And still people clamour for more and tougher penalties. This is no different.

  19. avatar Don says:

    I was always told to refrain from making big decisions while in a heightened emotional state.

    Like the patriot act…


  20. avatar Dave Randel says:

    hmmm …. while we are attacking the 2nd amendment …. let’s go after the 1st amendment with all the “misinformation” coming from the media. How dare they spout out without knowing in the first hours of the shooting who did it, what weapon was involved and that he was wearing a “bullet proof” vest…. perhaps we should go after free speech as the media and Hollywood can say whatever they want with no consequences….. What does Hollywood think… you glorify killing in all the movies and now you are surprised by this…. hypocrites!!! How dare them. Yah….taking away the 1st does not make sense either.

    1. avatar Ducky says:

      I often ask others who suggest scaling back of the 2nd amendment what constitutionally protected right they would give away to take away my RKBA. Would they be willing to eliminate the right to peaceably assemble, or maybe the right to be protected from unreasonable search and seizure?

  21. avatar Jack says:

    So Americans are OK with revolvers (?). It’s a good thing the poll didn’t ask about those dangerous hollowpoint bullets.

    1. That question along with the semi-auto one should either be explained better or be prefaced with, do you know what a hollow point bullet is and what the benefits/drawbacks to it are? …no, okay then your answer is irrelevant, go educate yourself then get back to me.

      1. avatar Jack says:


    2. avatar Carrymagnum says:

      Don’t revolvers reload with each press of the trigger and also fire? So why would those be any better

      1. avatar Jack says:

        A revolver reloads with a second press of the trigger if it’s double action. But my point is that a lot of the general public puts a semiautomatic pistol in the “assault weapon” category.

  22. avatar MOG says:

    Let’s put forth a purely hypothetical question, in the form of a poll:

    Does your wife/gf know you getting some on the side??

    Answer yes or no please.

    1. avatar Ralph says:

      That position sounds terribly uncomfortable.

    2. Haha well put, assumed guilt, I see what you did there.

  23. avatar Matt in FL says:

    Watch this:

    I asked 250 people at my last gun show, “Should we do something about firearm laws in this country?”

    86% answered with some variation of, “Yes, we should get rid of about 90% of them, because they do nothing.”

    I then went to Times Square, New York City, and asked 250 people, “Should we do something about firearm laws in this country?”

    72% answered with some variation of, “Yes, this gun violence has gotten out of control.”


  24. avatar Silver says:

    It’s hard getting through the day knowing that half the people I randomly meet and pass during the course of my day are despicable, lowly, weak-minded fools unworthy of living in this country.

    1. avatar CarlosT says:

      + a billion

      It seems that every time something awful happens, people look around for some freedom we can toss in the garbage. It turns my stomach.

  25. avatar Lance says:

    Shows we have turned the tide of public opinion we must make sure congress get this too. Most oppose more gun bans. Face it most people know less guns means more crime. Thanks Nick.

  26. avatar Casey T says:

    I honestly take this pole as positive because the gun control numbers aren’t higher this soon after an elementary school shooting. Wait a week, give the same pole and I bet the numbers are even better for us. People aren’t all being sheep, hooray.

  27. avatar OldLawman says:

    What’s the old saying?

    There are lies, damned lies, and there are statistics.

  28. avatar Commie IL says:

    Ban Semi-Automatic handguns? Whats that leave Pre-Civil War Technology?

    It would be funny, if they (washington) weren’t serious

  29. avatar A Brit in MI says:

    It’s funny how there is a big fuss about semi auto handguns because they fire a round each time the trigger is pulled. A double action revolver does exactly the same!

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