Millennials Largely in Favor of Gun Control, Poll Shows

(Photo: Pixabay, Creative Commons)

(Photo: Pixabay, Creative Commons)

A new poll recently released by the University of Chicago suggests that Millennials strongly support gun control, even going so far as to push for a complete ban of semi-automatic weapons.

Conducted by GenForward, part of the University’s Black Youth Project, the survey polled a total of 1,940 Americans between the ages of 18 and 30.  In all, 57% of respondents said they approved of a ban that would stop people from being able to purchase semi-automatic weapons.

Findings suggest 21% of participants actually own a firearm, which included 29% of white respondents and 11% of black respondents.

More than half of those who took the survey said they do not believe firearm restrictions on gun owners goes against the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms.  Broken down, the poll found 57% of African Americans support limits on gun ownership in comparison to 52% of white and Latino Americans.

In addition, 90% of millennials reported strong feelings concerning existing gun laws, saying they support criminal background checks as a requirement to purchase any sort of firearm.  The same percentage said they support increased punishments for the violation of gun laws.

The report suggests personal experience has a strong influence over opinions, with 37% of black Americans, close to 25% of Latino Americans, and 12% of white and Asian Americans saying they had some form of personal experience with gun violence within the course of their lifetime, reports Jenna Lawrence for Campus Reform.

Participant Keionna Cottrell’s brother was shot and killed earlier this year.  She said she supports an increase in gun control.

“People are dying here because there is no control of the weapons out on our streets,” she said of Chicago’s South Side, claiming that people who live in her neighborhood “have real military guns and they’re not scared to use them.”

In all, 40% of respondents said they live in a household with at least one gun owner.  That rate was found to be higher for white Americans at 52% when compared to black and Latino Americans at 24% and just 19% of Asian Americans.

Despite the strong feelings toward gun control, 60% of Millennials reported the belief that owning a gun is a good way to prevent crime from occurring.

The ability to carry a weapon was recently extended onto college campuses in Texas under the new campus carry law, which allows licensed gun owners to carry concealed weapons into most buildings on public college campuses in the state.  They were previously only allowed in common areas such as quads and sidewalks, reports Sam Hoober for The Daily Caller.

However, not everyone supports the move, with at least three professors arguing on a legal level that they should have the right to ban the weapons from their classrooms.  Lawyers for the state are requesting that the lawsuit be thrown out, warning the professors in question that they will be punished if they push forward with the case.

In terms of terrorism, the report uncovered 80% of Latino millennials being at least somewhat concerned, with 55% being very concerned, about terrorism committed by White Americans.  Meanwhile, 68% of White millennials said they were worried about White extremism, with one-third being very worried.