Gun Control
October 13, 2018
Is public sentiment shifting toward tougher measures?

Gun control advocates say recent gun violence, particularly a February school shooting in Parkland, Fla., has brought new energy and public support to their cause. Student survivors of the Parkland shooting started a grassroots political movement calling for tougher gun control measures, and many states responded this year with new laws limiting access to firearms. Gun-rights advocates and the National Rifle Association (NRA) have resisted those moves, saying it makes more sense to arm teachers to boost school safety. President Trump initially responded to the Parkland shooting by expressing support for new gun restrictions, but he walked back some of his statements after meeting with NRA officials. The Republican-controlled Congress has not enacted significant gun legislation this year, but polls show growing public support for tougher gun control measures.

A man impersonating President Abraham Lincoln participates in the March for Our Lives rally held in Washington on March 24, 2018, to demand more action on gun violence. The event drew more than 750,000 people, including students who survived a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., in February 2018. (Getty Images/Giles Clarke)   A man impersonating President Abraham Lincoln participates in the March for Our Lives rally held in Washington on March 24, 2018, to demand more action on gun violence. The event drew more than 750,000 people, including students who survived a school shooting in Parkland, Fla., in February 2018. (Getty Images/Giles Clarke)

Since February, at least 26 states — including some with Republican governors — have adopted a total of more than 55 gun control measures, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence, an organization in Washington that advocates for tougher gun control laws. 1

“The politics have shifted dramatically,” said Robin Lloyd, the center’s government affairs director. 2

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