From the Left

This article is from a writer rated Lean Left.

Gun control and gun rights are issues many Americans see themselves as being divided on. But some recent surveys have found that many Republicans and Democrats share significant overlaps when it comes to gun restrictions.

Check out these surveys:


(Survey conducted September 30-October 15, 2020)

  • 91% of Americans opposed making current gun laws less strict, including 98% of Democrats and 84% of Republicans

Pew Research Center

(Survey conducted September 3-15, 2019)*

  • 91% of Americans agreed that people with mental illnesses should be prevented from purchasing guns, including 91% of Democrats and 92% of Republicans
  • 88% of Americans agreed on making private guns sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks, including 93% of Democrats and 82% of Republicans
  • 71% of Americans agreed on a ban on high capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, including 87% of Democrats and 54% of Republicans
  • 69% of Americans agreed on a ban of assault-style weapons, including 88% of Democrats and 50% of Republicans

Marist/PBS NewsHour/NPR

(Survey conducted September 5-8, 2019)

  • 89% of Americans supported increasing mental health funding
  • 83% of Americans agreed with background checks for private and gun show sales


(Survey conducted August 10–14, 2019)

  • 89% of Americans favored Congress expanding background checks to all firearm sales and transfers
  • 76% of Americans backed "red flag" laws that help law enforcement temporarily remove guns from those deemed to pose a danger to themselves or others
  • 75% of Americans supported a voluntary program in which the government would buy back firearms that people no longer want

Pew Research Center

(Survey conducted September 24-October 7, 2018)*

  • 85% of Americans backed background checks for private sales and at guns shows, including 91% of Democrats and 79% of Republicans
  • 84% of Americans agreed to barring gun purchases by people on federal no-fly watch lists, including 86% of Democrats and 83% of Republicans

Partisan news may make issues seem more divisive than they are. Survey data tends to tell a more complete story.

* All Democrats and Republicans in these surveys include “leaners” — people that lean toward one party without fully identifying with it.

Hyria Stuart is a college student currently studying in Beijing. He majors in social work and serves as a political research assistant (American/international politics) at Boston College while planning to pursue a graduate degree (Public Administration/Policy) in the U.S. He has been interning as a policy analyst and editor since April 2020, focusing on nonpartisan proposals seeking to bring Americans together. He helped re-elect Rep. Andy Kim (D-N.J.) in 2020 as a campaign intern. Hyria has published in “Raise the Voices.” His political bias is Lean Left.

This piece was edited by Managing Editor Henry A. Brechter (Center bias), and was reviewed by James Coan (Center) of Braver Angels.