Americans Want Armed School Guards and Tighter Gun Laws: Poll

A majority of Democrats and Republican voters support stricter gun laws.


(Reuters) — A majority of Americans, including Republicans, Democrats and gun owners, want stricter laws on gun ownership and armed guards in schools, according to a Reuters/Ipsos national poll taken in early March.

Hundreds of thousands of students and their families are expected to march in cities across the United States on Saturday to demand stricter gun control, part of the response to a mass shooting at a Florida high school in February.


The following are some of the main findings of the poll:

About 75 percent of adults say they want armed security guards in school, with some 53 percent in favor of publicly funding gun classes for teachers and school personnel and 45 percent saying school staff should be encouraged to carry a weapon.


A majority of Democrats and Republican voters support stricter gun laws, including 91 percent on both sides who say anyone with a history of mental illness should be banned from owning a gun. Eighty-four percent of Republicans believe people on the “no-fly” list should also be banned from gun ownership and 83 percent are in favor of expanding background checks. A majority of Republicans also say that assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips should be outlawed.


Gun owners are more politically active than others, the poll found. They are more likely to be registered to vote, and they express more interest in voting in November’s midterm elections, when one-third of U.S. Senate seats and all the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives will be decided.

Fifty percent of gun owners said they are certain to vote compared to 41 percent of people who do not own a gun.


Gun control is on a par with the economy as a top issue that will motivate U.S. voters in November, the poll found.


One in four adults say they own a gun and a majority of gun owners say they own more than one gun.

Nearly 60 percent of gun owners say that the National Rifle Association gun rights advocacy group is either doing “the right amount of work” or it “doesn’t do enough” to promote the interests of gun owners. About 30 percent say the NRA is “too aggressive” in promoting gun rights, according to the poll.

Separately, about 38 percent of gun owners also say they would like to vote in November for a congressional candidate who would oppose U.S. President Donald Trump and 39 percent say the country is on the wrong track.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll of 2,389 U.S. adults was conducted between March 5-7 and has an overall credibility interval of 4-5 percent.

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  • These young folks are not paying attention to the polls because the polls only show the easy stuff to correct, which the Repugnacans even come together to vote on. #votethemout, #NRAbloodmoney

  • If the Parents and Stakeholders in a school district, of a State that permits by legislation, wants to have armed personnel then that is their choice. Not the President or some zealous politician. This is another reason why school choice with vouchers is needed. If you don’t wish your child to be in that particular setting then move them. Texas has numerous school building where the practice goes on.

    • Michael J. "Orange Mike" Lowrey

      “School choice with vouchers” has devastated Milwaukee’s public schools, with many of them left unable to afford a librarian, a guidance counselor, a school nurse, and/or a music teacher, while the operators of for-profit voucher schools buy sports cars and sometimes skip town leaving teachers unpaid, while providing a shabby and inadequate “education”.

    • PIANKI, you don’t keep up with current events; the charter schools are in money trouble. The charter schools gladly take the money from the public schools (per student voucher program), then charge the parents ridiculous prices. The parents send their kids to charter schools for the prestige, not for the education. To make my point, listen to any interview Betsy DeVos does and tell the nation that she represents a good charter school education. Go here first:

  • I am not a gun owner and I will be voting. The NRA is scary to me, and their only purpose is money and power. If we arm teachers, who do you think will be the first student accidentally shot? I can see it now, “I felt threatened, and he was coming at me, I had to shoot, it had nothing to do with race.”

    • Yup, I’m not a racist. I have friends who are ____________. (fill in the blank)

  • I’m a gun owner, in a family of gun owners. I absolutely abhor the NRA, which is a morally bankrupt lobby for gun manufacturers. Like most Americans, I support universal background checks, bans on assault rifles, bump stocks and large-capacity magazines, raising the age for possession to 21, bans on gun ownership by those on the No-Fly List and those with a history of mental illness, etc. I do believe that we need to “harden” schools by reinforcing entry points, using metal detectors and the presence of armed security. I understand that most teachers do not want to be armed, and — frankly — arming teachers seems like a bad idea. Wouldn’t it be better to concentrate on trying to PREVENT school shootings, rather than responding by them by turning them into an all-out shoot-out, with the potential for even more casualties?

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