Most U.S. adults believe that gun violence is increasing nationwide and hope to see gun laws made stricter. A poll from the University of Chicago Harris School of Public Policy and the Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research finds that Americans believe reducing gun violence and protecting gun ownership are both important issues. Eight in 10 Americans are aware gun violence is spiking and about two-thirds believe it's increasing in their state, the Associated Press reports. Some 71 percent of Americans support stricter gun laws, a number consisting of about half of Republicans and majority of Democrats, as well as people in gun-owning households.
Nicole Whitelaw, 29, a Democrat and gun owner who grew up in a strongly Republican family, supports some gun restrictions, such as prohibiting people convicted of domestic violence from owning firearms and a federal law preventing mentally ill people from purchasing guns. She opposes banning sales of AR-15 rifles, which she believes would lead people to hoarding guns. She supports small changes and seeing what impact they may have. The poll shows bipartisan majorities supporting a nationwide background check policy for all gun sales, and a law preventing mentally ill people from purchasing guns. Majorities advocate to allow courts to temporarily prevent people who are considered a danger to themselves or others from purchasing a gun, as well as making 21 the minimum age to buy a gun nationwide and banning those who have been convicted of domestic violence from purchasing a gun. The National Rifle Association argues that any limitations on who can have a gun or the type of firearms sold will eventually lead to nationwide bans on all weapons and ammunition. However, the poll showed support for changes, even among Republicans whose elected officials are vocal about opposing gun control.