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Support for New Policies to Regulate Firearms: Results of Two National Surveys

NCJ Number
New England Journal of Medicine Volume: 339 Issue: 12 Dated: 1998 Pages: 813-818
S P Teret; D W Webster; J S Vernick; T W Smith; D Leff; G J Wintemute; P J Cook; D F Hawkins; A L Kellermann; S B Sorenson; S DeFrancesco
Date Published
6 pages
This article discusses strong public support, even among gun owners, for innovative strategies to regulate firearms.
A majority of 1,200 American adults surveyed in 1996 and 1997-1998 regarding the regulation of firearms favored safety standards for new handguns. Percentages of respondents who favored particular standards were as follows: childproofing 88 percent; personalization (devices that permit firing only by an authorized person), 71 percent; magazine safeties (devices that prevent firing after the magazine or clip is removed), 82 percent; and loaded-chamber indicators, 73 percent. There was strong support for policies prohibiting persons convicted of specific misdemeanors (especially crimes involving violence or the illegal use of a firearm or substance abuse) from purchasing a firearm and for policies designed to reduce the illegal sale of guns. Even among the subgroup of respondents who were gun owners, a majority were in favor of stricter gun regulations with regard to 20 of the 22 proposals covered in the poll. Tables, notes, references