The Stream

How has American support for gun reform changed in the pandemic?

On Tuesday, April 19, 2022 at 19:30 GMT: 
An uptick in gun violence across the United States has reignited a push for more commonsense firearm reforms. But despite growing public safety concerns – and a mass shooting in a New York subway this month – Americans appear more divided than ever on gun control.

Pandemic instability spurred one in five American households to buy a gun between 2020 and 2022, according to a new study. The report also found that new gun owners are getting younger, more diverse and support less strict gun laws, like their older counterparts.

Still, more than 50 percent of Americans continue to favor gun reform. And the urgency to act is growing ahead of the summer months, which is when gun violence traditionally spikes in the U.S. There’s also a concern that Democrats will lose their legislative majorities during the fall midterm elections. If Republicans take power as expected, they have vowed to further relax gun control measures.

President Joe Biden has enacted some firearm reforms through executive order, most recently regulating the sale of untraceable “ghost guns” assembled from kits. But other measures, such as requiring universal background checks, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and ending the gun industry’s civil liability immunity, would need action from a reluctant Congress.

In this episode of The Stream we ask, how has American support for gun reform changed since the pandemic? Join the conversation.

In this episode of The Stream, we are joined by:
Jennifer Mascia, @JenniferMascia
News Writer, The Trace

David Muhammad, @davidmuhammad
Executive Director, National Institute for Criminal Justice Reform

Philip Smith
Founder and President, National African American Gun Association