Gun Policy Opinion Survey

Answer the four questions that most sharply distinguished the two groups of experts we surveyed and see how your answers line up with theirs.

Question 1 of 4

Policy 1: Requiring a license to purchase or possess firearms or ammunition

This law requires a firearm license to purchase or possess a firearm or ammunition. These licenses require successful completion of a safety training course or safety test and a background check, and the licenses cost $100. They must be renewed every ten years.

Select the answer below that best expresses your overall opinion of this policy. Would you say that requiring a license to purchase or possess firearms or ammunition is...

Policy 2: Requiring firearm sales to be reported and recorded

This law requires reporting all firearm sales to a government agency, including information on the firearms and who bought them. This applies to sales by both firearm dealers and private sellers. Law enforcement is permitted to retain the data indefinitely for two purposes: to trace firearms found at crime scenes and to retrieve firearms from individuals who become prohibited possessors.

Select the answer below that best expresses your overall opinion of this policy. Would you say that requiring firearm sales to be reported and recorded is...

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Policy 3: 10-day waiting period to purchase a firearm

This law imposes a waiting period of ten days between the purchase of a firearm and when the buyer can take possession of it. For this question, assume that the state already requires background checks for both dealer and private sales of firearms.

Select the answer below that best expresses your overall opinion of this policy. Would you say that a 10-day waiting period to purchase a firearm is...

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Policy 4: Elimination of gun-free zones

Federal and some state laws prohibit carrying a firearm near schools and certain other public places. This policy allows firearms in these previously prohibited locations. For this question, assume federal and state laws change in a state that previously prohibited private citizens from carrying firearms into schools, universities, government buildings, and parks.

Select the answer below that best expresses your overall opinion of this policy. Would you say that the elimination of gun-free zones is...

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How Your Responses Compare with the Experts'

We surveyed 95 experts across the gun policy debate spectrum to find out their positions on various gun policies. Among these experts, we identified two groups with contrasting opinions about the merits of 15 gun policies. One group favored more-permissive policies for gun use and access (such as permitless carry and the elimination of gun-free zones), while the other favored more-restrictive policies (such as background checks and waiting periods). The figure below shows how each group rated the same four policies we asked you about, as well as how your ratings compare.

The figure shows a spectrum, ranging from "favor more-permissive policies" on the left to "favor more-restrictive policies" on the right. The middle 50% of experts who favor more-permissive policies land close to the left edge of the spectrum. The middle 50% experts who favor more-restrictive policies land close to the right edge of the spectrum. Your answers place you part of the way through the spectrum.

Favor More-Permissive Policies

Favor More-Restrictive Policies

middle 50% of experts who favor more-permissive policies

middle 50% of experts who favor more-restrictive policies

your answers

Where Your Answers Line Up for Each Question

middle 50% of experts who favor more-permissive policies

middle 50% of experts who favor more-restrictive policies

Policy 1: Requiring a license to purchase or possess firearms or ammunition Show policy summary

This law requires a firearm license to purchase or possess a firearm or ammunition. These licenses require successful completion of a safety training course or safety test and a background check, and the licenses cost $100. They must be renewed every ten years.

You answered that this is a policy. The middle 50% of experts who favor more-permissive policies answered that this is a bad policy or a very bad policy. The middle 50% of experts who favor more-restrictive policies answered that this is a very good policy.

Policy 2: Requiring firearm sales to be reported and recorded Show policy summary

This law requires reporting all firearm sales to a government agency, including information on the firearms and who bought them. This applies to sales by both firearm dealers and private sellers. Law enforcement is permitted to retain the data indefinitely for two purposes: to trace firearms found at crime scenes and to retrieve firearms from individuals who become prohibited possessors.

You answered that this is a policy. The middle 50% of experts who favor more-permissive policies answered that this is a bad policy or a very bad policy. The middle 50% of experts who favor more-restrictive policies answered that this is a good policy or a very good policy.

Policy 3: 10-day waiting period to purchase a firearm Show policy summary

This law imposes a waiting period of ten days between the purchase of a firearm and when the buyer can take possession of it. For this question, assume that the state already requires background checks for both dealer and private sales of firearms.

You answered that this is a policy. The middle 50% of experts who favor more-permissive policies answered that this is a bad policy or a very bad policy. The middle 50% of experts who favor more-restrictive policies answered that this is a good policy or a very good policy.

Policy 4: Elimination of gun-free zones Show policy summary

Federal and some state laws prohibit carrying a firearm near schools and certain other public places. This policy allows firearms in these previously prohibited locations. For this item, assume federal and state laws change in a state that previously prohibited private citizens from carrying firearms into schools, universities, government buildings, and parks.

You answered that this is a policy. The middle 50% of experts who favor more-permissive policies answered that this is a good policy or a very good policy. The middle 50% of experts who favor more-restrictive policies answered that this is a bad policy or a very bad policy.

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