Poll: Americans want armed school guards, tighter gun laws

(Reuters) - A majority of Americans, including Republicans, Democrats and gun owners want stricter laws on gun ownership and armed guards in schools, according to a Reuters/Ipsos national poll taken in early March.

Hundreds of thousands of students and their families are expected to march in cities across the United States on Saturday to demand stricter gun control, part of the response to a mass shooting at a Florida high school in February.

The following are some of the main findings of the poll:


About 75 percent of adults say they want armed security guards in school, with some 53 percent in favor of publicly funding gun classes for teachers and school personnel and 45 percent saying school staff should be encouraged to carry a weapon.

“75 percent of adults say they want armed security guards in school”


A majority of Democrats and Republican voters support stricter gun laws, including 91 percent on both sides who say anyone with a history of mental illness should be banned from owning a gun. Eighty-four percent of Republicans believe people on the “no-fly” list should also be banned from gun ownership and 83 percent are in favor of expanding background checks. A majority of Republicans also say that assault weapons and high capacity ammunition clips should be outlawed.

RELATED: Powerful images from the National School Walkout

Powerful images from the National School Walkout
See Gallery
Powerful images from the National School Walkout
Stop sending us to school to die #Enough #NationalWalkoutDay https://t.co/R8txeyiVvz
Elementary school walkout in Alexandria, Virginia. More than 65 kids, and they are totally silent. Look at those fa… https://t.co/JG9X38iSoE
Success Academy Hell's Kitchen elementary students doing a small walkout with a teacher https://t.co/VNuh6Zbc8t
We stand with students. #ENOUGH #NationalSchoolWalkout #ProtectOurKids #StopGunViolence @WomensMarchY https://t.co/5ZByYpmUuu
Student walkout at #LaGuardiaHighschool #NBCNews https://t.co/WXa1AbKXba
HAPPENING NOW: Hundreds of students at Eleanor Roosevelt High leave class as part of the National Walkout. They cha… https://t.co/0bSLhyfKSO
Elizabett Baez, senior at Urban Assembly Gateway School https://t.co/F5IshUZOsi
At Baltimore Polytechnic Institute, students are pouring out the back doors and making their way to the football fi… https://t.co/BSfTWoyCa5
East Lansing High School Students walking out of classes join in the National School Walkout. #ELHS #MSU… https://t.co/dAU6olHa7H
HAPPENING NOW: It’s after 10 and the walkout at Heritage High is beginning now. https://t.co/2SV4sT0fZk
Students @IamCPS SCPA #walkout https://t.co/OlkKzp6lgw
Proud to stand outside Ft. Hamilton HS today as students walk out to protest gun violence and the horrific NRA. Fea… https://t.co/410SR2xDSU
Walk out is underway at East Chapel Hill High School https://t.co/ksTpiZPjwA
Hundreds of middle & high school students in Hartford walk out of class to protest school & gun violence https://t.co/S4XcRqyiVF
RIGHT NOW: Hundreds of students protest gun violence in front of the White House, as part of nationwide walkout. https://t.co/vhKGxcjiq8
Students participating in the #NationalWalkoutDay at City High Middle School in Grand Rapids. @WOODTV https://t.co/t0RqcUjceY
Students at Wolfson H.S. walking out of class in protest for stricter gun laws. #NationalWalkoutDay @ActionNewsJax… https://t.co/LNxgIHuISm
Students at Columbia High School will ha e a moment of silence for the victims of the Parkland shooting… https://t.co/IFRBuUqdoq
#NationalWalkoutDay marching right now! A lot of us wearing orange and orange bracelets to represent the movement!… https://t.co/LdYJJ2E9j7
Massive stream of kids marching out of Williamsburg Prep to protest gun violence #neveragain https://t.co/bHKTWOWkW4
@BrearleyNYC students participating in #NationalWalkoutDay https://t.co/JWaKKuwzvM
While Congress sits on its hands, students like my son will stand and walk out of school this morning to demand act… https://t.co/ayIm1fYYI1
So very proud of our students today. Respectful, powerful, strong. Their silence was deafening. 700 strong.… https://t.co/JngotcxfsX
.@realDonaldTrump-Take a look out your window & you can see students taking part in a #NationalWalkoutDay. Or watch… https://t.co/CiIB3RN4FL
we are here and we will not be silenced #enoughisenough #nationalwalkoutday https://t.co/d5vJ4IfQPW
Currently at the White House. #ENOUGH #NationalWalkoutDay https://t.co/rfBuExcdkg
Students at Warwick High School walking out of class right now. Principal expecting around 600 or more. #13NewsNow… https://t.co/hLM5B8a4iI


Gun owners are more politically active than others, the poll found. They are more likely to be registered to vote, and they express more interest in voting in November’s midterm elections, when one third of U.S. Senate seats and all the seats in the U.S. House of Representatives will be decided.

Fifty percent of gun owners said they are certain to vote compared to 41 percent of people who do not own a gun.


Gun control is on a par with the economy as a top issue that will motivate U.S. voters in November, the poll found.


One in four adults say they own a gun and a majority of gun owners say they own more than one gun.

Nearly 60 percent of gun owners say that the National Rifle Association gun rights advocacy group is either doing “the right amount of work” or it “doesn’t do enough” to promote the interests of gun owners. About 30 percent say the NRA is “too aggressive” in promoting gun rights, according to the poll.

Separately, about 38 percent of gun owners also say they would like to vote in November for a congressional candidate who would oppose U.S. President Donald Trump and 39 percent say the country is on the wrong track.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll of 2,389 U.S. adults was conducted between March 5-7 and has an overall credibility interval of 4-5 percent.

Read Full Story