Texas Survey Reveals Overwhelming Support for Gun Safety Restrictions

Photo shows a small gun in the hands of a person

A new Texas poll shows support for gun and gun control is widespread statewide. Eight in 10 respondents agreed that a restraining order for stalking or domestic violence should ban gun ownership. More than three quarters supported criminal screening before purchase, with no exceptions for gun displays or private sales. Image copyright: Karolina Grabowska for Pexels

A new Texas poll shows overwhelming support for stricter gun and gun control. It also shows that support is widespread across a variety of socio-demographic and partisan groups.

The findings come from the Texas Trends Survey 2022 – Gun Safety report, released today by the University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs and Texas Southern University’s Executive Master of Public Administration Program at the Barbara Jordan-Mickey Leland School of Public Affairs was published.

“Despite Texas’ reputation as a gun-loving state, Texans fully support state-level gun safety proposals as well as many of the key provisions enacted by the federal bipartisan Safer Communities Act. While debates about the balance between Second Amendment rights and gun safety will continue to flare, the survey undoubtedly shows there are areas of consensus,” said Renée Cross, senior executive director of the UH Hobby School of Public Affairs.

Support for proposals to introduce stricter gun restrictions in Texas is widespread. Eight in ten (80%) survey respondents supported a proposal to ban gun ownership for those under a restraining order for stalking or domestic violence. More than three-quarters (78%) of all respondents supported criminal background checks for gun buyers, with no exceptions for gun shows or private sales. Almost as many (74%) said judges should have the power to remove guns from people who pose a threat to themselves or others. More than seven in ten (71%) Texans supported raising the age to purchase an assault rifle to 21, up from the current minimum age of 18.

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“We are reminded daily in the news that we live in a politically polarized time. And yet, majority support for one of the most contentious areas of public policy — gun safety measures — is found across demographic and political boundaries,” said Mark Jones, senior research associate, University of Houston Hobby School of Public Affairs and professor of political science, Rice University.

Through the numbers

Injunctions: Of the 80% of respondents who said “yes” to a gun ban for individuals under restraining orders for stalking or domestic violence, 90% were Democrats, 71% were Independents, and 74% were Republicans.

Background Checks: A criminal record check should be required of gun buyers, with no exceptions at gun shows or private sales, said 78% of all survey respondents (90% Democrats, 73% Independents, and 70% Republicans). .

Red Flag Laws: Overall, 74% of respondents believed that judges should have the power to confiscate weapons from those who pose a threat to themselves or others. This support included 89% of participating Democrats, 72% of independents, and 59% of Republicans.

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Minimum age: To purchase a firearm, 69% of respondents said the purchaser should be at least 21 years old (current Texas law sets the minimum age at 18). That includes 87% of the poll’s Democrats, 65% of independents, and 52% of Republicans.

Assault Rifles: The survey also considered questions specifically focused on buying and owning assault rifles. Respondents reported the following opinions.

  • Age of Purchase – 71% of all respondents said they should be at least 21 years of age to purchase an assault rifle. This includes 87% of Democrats, 66% of Independents and 56% of Republicans. There was a significant gender gap among Republicans, with 74% of Republican women supporting it compared to 39% of Republican men.
  • Waiting time – 69% support a waiting time between buying and receiving an assault rifle. This included 85% of the poll’s Democrats and 62% of the independents. Among the 54% of Republicans who were in favor, there was another gender divide, with 70% of Republican women in favor of waiting, but only 35% of Republican men.
  • Ban on sales – 55% of the survey participants support a ban on the sale of assault rifles. More than eight in 10 (83%) Democrats support banning the sale of assault rifles, compared to 49% of independents and 29% of Republicans
  • Ban on Possession – 56% of Texans support banning the possession of assault rifles. While the overall majority support this proposal, it shows a significant political divide, with 81% of Democrats, 46% of Independents and 29% of Republicans supporting such a ban.
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Reported by race and sex: More black respondents supported the gun control poll’s proposals, followed by Latinos and then whites. Across ethnic groups and races, women were more supportive of gun control than men.

2022 Bipartisan Safer Communities Act

On June 25, the Bipartisan Safer Communities Act 2022 was signed into federal law. Of the five components evaluated in the survey, support among survey participants ranged from 59% to 75%, including improved background checks (75%), school safety funding (75%) and a ban on buying straw weapons (72%). ).

“As we examined the poll responses, we found repeated confirmation that even on the much-discussed gun issues in Texas, there is room for agreement. This gives both sides an opportunity to listen and move forward together,” said Michael O. Adams, director of Texas Southern University’s Executive Master of Public Administration program.

Around the survey

For more information on survey results by age, gender, and political affiliation, see the full Texas Trends Survey 2022 – Gun Safety report.

This latest poll is one component of this year’s contributions to the five-year Texas Trends project, which measures shifting opinions and policy preferences within Texas’ changing population. This year’s first Texas Trends report examined the state’s general election. Upcoming releases for 2022 will take a look at the economy, criminal justice and healthcare.

Data for the Texas Trends Survey 2022 – Gun Safety was collected August 11-29 by YouGov from 2,140 respondents representing Texas’ burgeoning White, Black, Hispanic and Asian populations. The survey was conducted in English and Spanish and has a confidence interval of +/-2.1.

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