Cygnal Poll: Two-Thirds of U.S. Voters Want Changes to Gun Laws

WASHINGTON, D.C. – A nationwide opinion poll published today by Cygnal, a polling and market research firm, finds that 67% of U.S. voters believe that gun laws in the United States should be made more strict. The survey covered a range of topics related to guns and gun policy, as well as the 2020 presidential election and the direction of the country.

The survey, with a sample size of more than 1,200 likely 2020 voters from every region in the U.S., was commissioned by Cygnal.

Even though a large majority of American voters support various gun control measures, only 55% believe that stricter gun laws will reduce the number of mass shootings, according to Cygnal’s founder and CEO, Brent Buchanan.

“In the wake of recent tragedies, voters are looking for their elected officials to do something,” Buchanan said.  “Red-flag laws and tougher background checks have significant bipartisan public support, but the data shows there’s significant doubt that any of the measures would do much good in curbing gun-violence.” 

The poll also looked at voter opinion surrounding common gun control proposals. While all six proposals tested had the support of a majority of respondents, support for universal background checks (91% support), mandatory waiting periods (83% support), and “red-flag laws” (81% support) was particularly high.


In addition to gun control, the research covered voters opinions about the upcoming 2020 elections. Voters were asked who they would vote for if the November 2020 Election were held today, Donald Trump or the Democratic nominee for president. 41% of respondents indicated they plan to vote for Donald Trump, while 46% said they intend to vote for the future Democratic nominee. 13% intend to vote for someone else or are unsure.

This result closely mirrors the generic congressional generic ballot on the survey, which asked voters whether they intend to vote for a Democratic or Republican candidate in their Congressional district. 40% of likely 2020 election voters said they intend to vote for the Republican Congressional candidate, while 47% sided with the Democratic candidate. 13% of voters are still undecided.

“At a macro-level, you have the perfect recipe for an exciting election cycle – An incumbent who is polarizing but extremely popular with his base, an enormous Democratic field vying for the nomination, and a clear divide in the Democratic party between hyper-liberal leftists and more moderate liberals,” said Chris Kratzer, VP of Research and Analysis at Cygnal. “It would definitely benefit Trump and congressional Republicans’ chances to take action on the gun issue in some way, as the key voter groups of female and Independents feel strongly about the topic.”

This survey was conducted on August 7 – 10, 2019, with 1263 likely general election voters giving the poll a margin of error of ±2.76%. Interviews were conducted using an online sample collection platform across dozens of panels accessed via secure link. This survey was weighted to a likely 2020 general election universe. This methodology reflects the way voters now communicate, with more people using online communication than answering their phone. This poll was commissioned, paid for, and conducted by Cygnal.


Cygnal is a national public opinion and market research firm that specializes in data-driven approaches to decision making. Cygnal was recently ranked the #1 most accurate polling and research firm in the country for 2018 by The New York Times. Its team members have worked on more than 900 corporate, public affairs, and political campaigns in 45 states.