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Blog Post · May 26, 2022

Californians Worry over Mass Shootings, Favor Stricter Gun Laws

photo - An Evidence Marker at a Crime Scene

Another horrific mass shooting—this time in Uvalde, Texas—has left 19 elementary school children and 2 teachers dead. In the wake of this incident, state and national leaders will again debate ways to prevent a similar tragedy from happening in the future.

According to PPIC Statewide surveys, about half or more California adults and likely voters have consistently expressed concern about the threat of a mass shooting in the area where they live. The intensity of this concern is generally evenly divided between “very concerned” and “somewhat concerned” with the exception of September 2019 (38% very concerned, 28% somewhat concerned) when more Californians were very concerned in the aftermath of the Gilroy Garlic Festival shooting that killed 3 attendees and wounded 17.

During the six times between 2015 and 2021 when we asked whether laws covering the sale of guns should be more strict, less strict, or kept as they are now, majorities of California’s adults and likely voters have consistently favored stricter laws. Fewer than two in ten have supported more lenient laws, while about one-quarter have thought laws should be kept as they are now.

As the nation mourns with Uvalde, and as our leaders decide what steps to take next, PPIC will continue to monitor Californians’ views and concerns on this critical public safety issue.


crime Criminal Justice gun laws guns Political Landscape public safety Statewide Survey voters