Support for gun policies among young adults in the U.S., 2017-2019

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Support for gun policies among young adults in the U.S., 2017-2019

Category: Firearm Policies, Mass Shootings|Journal: Preventive Medicine (full text)|Author: C Barry, C Crifasi, D Webster, E McGinty, E Stone, J Vernick|Year: 2020

After the school shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida in 2018, there was an increase in gun violence prevention-related advocacy. While much of this recent political activity and engagement was led by young adults, little is known about support for specific gun policies within this age group. This study uses data from two nationally representative surveys fielded in 2017 and 2019 to compare public support for gun policies: (1) between young adults age 18–29 years and adults age 30 and older, and (2) between young adults in 2017 and young adults in 2019, before and after the Parkland shooting. Relative to adults age 30 and older, young adults had lower support for 16 of 20 gun violence prevention policies examined. Public support was largely unchanged between 2017 and 2019 among survey respondents ages 18–29; however, support for requiring a safety test for concealed carry decreased significantly among young adults between 2017 and 2019. Despite owning fewer guns and finding gun violence prevention important generally, young adults appear to have lower support for policies that regulate guns compared to older adults.

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