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POLL RELEASES
May 12, 2000

Gun Laws and Women
A new Gallup survey for Women.com

A recent Gallup Organization poll for Women.com probed Americans’ views on gun control, in advance of this weekend’s Million Mom March in Washington, D.C. Here are some key findings of the May 5-7 survey of national adults:

  1. There is widespread support for stricter laws regulating the sale of guns.
  2. Women are different from men on the gun issue, with women being more pro-gun control.
  3. Among women, mothers are no different from non-mothers in their level of support for gun control.
  4. Relative to other issues, gun control is not a high-priority election issue for mothers, or for women in general this year.
  5. Despite general support for the idea of stricter gun-control laws, women are more likely to say that the way parents raise their children (38%) is the primary cause of gun violence, rather than the availability of guns (24%).
  6. What Americans want is a reduction in gun violence, not necessarily strict gun control. Thus, it appears that despite Americans’ easy support for making gun laws more strict, gun-control politics can be finessed. The politician who emphasizes stricter enforcement can have almost as much success in attracting support, including support from women and mothers, as does the candidate who insists new laws are necessary to control gun crimes.
  7. Support for gun control is not rooted in personal experience with gun crimes. Very few mothers say that a gun has ever been used to threaten either themselves or their own child.
  8. A majority of mothers (57%) would prohibit their children from playing with toy guns; close to half (44%) say that toy guns contribute to criminal behavior later in life; and 76% would favor laws that prohibit the sale of toy guns that "closely resemble" real guns.
  9. When forced to choose between the two hot-button issues of abortion and gun control, women are more likely to say the candidates’ stands on gun control will be an important factor in determining their vote for president this year (51%), rather than abortion (31%).

Survey Methods
The findings below are based on telephone interviews with a national sample of 1,031 national adults, aged 18 and over, conducted May 5-7, 2000. The sample includes 538 women and 493 men. For results based on the total sample of national adults, one can say with 95% confidence that the error attributable to sampling and other random effects could be as much as plus or minus three percentage points. Results based on the sample of men and women have a margin of sampling error of plus or minus five percentage points. For smaller subgroups of the population (e.g., women with children under 18), the sampling error would be greater.

If you had to choose, which of the following issues is likely to be more important in determining your vote for president this year -- where the candidates stand on abortion or where the candidates stand on gun control?

Stance on abortion

Stance on gun control

SAME
(vol.)

NEITHER
(vol.)

No opinion

2000 May 5-7
Total

28%

53

9

8

2

Men

24%

55

7

12

2

Women

31%

51

11

5

2

 

In general, do you feel that the laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict, less strict, or kept as they are now?

More strict

Less strict

Kept as now

No opinion

%

%

%

%

2000 May 5-7
Total

62

5

31

2

Men

52

8

39

1

Women

72

2

24

2

2000 Apr 7-9

61

7

30

2

1999 Dec 9-12

60

10

29

1

1999 Aug 3-4

66

6

27

1

1999 Jun 25-27

62

6

31

1

1999 May 23-24

65

5

28

2

1999 Apr 26-27

66

7

25

2

1999 Feb 8-9

60

9

29

2

1995 Apr 23-24

62

12

24

2

1993 Dec 17-19

67

7

25

1

1993 Mar

70

4

24

2

1991

68

5

25

2

1990

78

2

17

3

Thinking about how the gun issue might affect your vote for major offices, would you -- only vote for a candidate who shares your views on gun control, would you consider a candidate's position on gun control as just one of many important factors when voting, or would you not consider gun control a major issue?

Only vote for candidate who shares views

Consider it as one of many important factors

Not consider a major issue

No opinion

2000 May 5-7
Total

12%

63

22

3

Men

11%

62

27

*

Women

13%

64

19

4

1999 Jun 25-27

15%

62

21

2

1999 May 23-24

15%

64

19

2

Do you personally own a handgun, rifle, shotgun or any other kind of firearm?

Yes

No

No opinion

2000 May 5-7
Total

34%

64

2

Men

46%

51

3

Women

22%

76

2

Which of the following do you think is the primary cause of gun violence in America -- the availability of guns, the way parents raise their children, or the influences of popular culture such as movies, television, and the Internet?

Availability of guns

Way parents raise their children

Influences of popular culture

OTHER (vol.)

No opinion

2000 May 5-7
Total

21%

45

26

6

2

Men

18%

51

23

5

3

Women

24%

38

29

7

2

Would you be more likely or less likely to vote for a presidential candidate who took each of the following positions on guns, or would that issue not have much effect on your vote? First,… . Next, … . (Rotated)

More likely

Less likely

Not much effect

No opinion

A. A candidate who favors stricter registration of all handguns

2000 May 5-7
Total

65%

17

16

2

Men

58%

25

16

1

Women

72%

11

15

2

B. A candidate who favors stricter penalties for those who commit crimes with guns

2000 May 5-7
Total

84%

4

10

2

Men

83%

5

11

1

Women

86%

2

9

3

C. A candidate who favors limiting gun purchases to no more than one per month

2000 May 5-7
Total

43%

26

27

4

Men

41%

28

28

3

Women

45%

25

25

5

D. A candidate who favors allowing citizens with special gun permits to carry a concealed handgun

2000 May 5-7
Total

35%

40

20

5

Men

40%

33

23

4

Women

30%

46

18

6

E. A candidate who favors requiring gun manufacturers to install built-in trigger locks on all handguns

2000 May 5-7
Total

66%

14

17

3

Men

62%

18

18

2

Women

70%

11

16

3

F. A candidate who does not favor new gun laws, but who instead emphasizes stricter enforcement of current gun laws

2000 May 5-7
Total

58%

20

18

4

Men

60%

20

18

2

Women

57%

21

17

5

G. A candidate who favors new gun laws, in addition to supporting stricter enforcement of current gun laws

2000 May 5-7
Total

58%

22

16

4

Men

50%

29

17

4

Women

66%

16

14

4

Not including military combat, have you ever used a gun to defend yourself, either by firing it or threatening to fire it?

Yes

No

No opinion

2000 May 5-7
Total

7%

93

*

Men

9%

91

*

Women

5%

95

*

Not including military combat, has a gun ever been used to threaten you in a robbery, mugging or some other criminal situation?

Yes

No

No opinion

2000 May 5-7
Total

14%

85

1

Men

18%

82

*

Women

10%

89

1

Not including military combat, has a gun ever been used to threaten one or more of your children in a robbery, mugging or some other criminal situation?

BASED ON -- 358 -- PARENTS WITH CHILDREN UNDER 18; +/- 6 PCT PTS

Yes

No

No opinion

2000 May 5-7
Total

2%

98

--

Men

1%

99

--

Women

3%

97

--

If you had a young child right now, or if you do have a young child, would you allow or prohibit that child from playing with toy guns?

Allow

Prohibit

DEPENDS (vol.)

No opinion

2000 May 5-7
Total

44%

52

2

2

Men

56%

40

2

2

Women

33%

62

3

2

As you may know, some states have passed laws that prohibit the sale of toy guns that closely resemble real guns. Do you favor or oppose such laws?

Favor

Oppose

No opinion

2000 May 5-7
Total

70%

26

4

Men

63%

34

3

Women

76%

20

4

Do you believe the use of toy guns by children is or is not an important factor contributing to criminal behavior when those children reach adulthood?

Yes, an important factor

No, not an important factor

No opinion

2000 May 5-7
Total

37%

59

4

Men

30%

68

2

Women

44%

50

6

* Less than 0.5%
(vol.) Volunteered response

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Modified Saturday, March 11, 2017

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