Harvard Poll: 58 Percent of Americans Under 30 Support Banning ‘Assault Weapons’

(Photo: Teens for Gun Reform)

Maybe we can chalk this up to post-Parkland hysteria or maybe we can’t. But a new poll indicates that 64 percent of Americans ages 18 to 29 support tougher gun laws.

As it specifically relates to black rifles, what gun-grabbers call “assault weapons,” 58 percent of voters under 30 support a ban, according to a survey conducted by Harvard University’s Institute of Politics.

Only five years ago, support for a black rifle ban amongst that same demographic was at 41 percent. And that was in 2013, on the heels of the high-profile mass killing at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut.

“For several years, the opinions of young Democrats, Republicans and independents have been steadily shifting toward greater support for gun control measures,” said John Della Volpe, the institute’s polling director, in an interview with the Washington Post.

“The difference today is that the Parkland students have created an environment where the lack of progress on reducing gun violence is now symbolic of all the ills plaguing Washington, D.C.,” he continued.

The poll was conducted back in March. Over 2,600 young adults were surveyed and the results are said to have a margin of error of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points.

SEE ALSO: Support Gun Control You Child Hating Bigot!!

I checked Gallup to see if it had similar findings. But the last time it polled the public on the question of “assault weapons” was back in October. Days after a psycho shot up a country music concert in Las Vegas, killing 58 and wounding hundreds more.

The trend as it relates to banning black rifles.  This is all age groups, not just youngsters. (Photo: Gallup)

Gallup’s results indicated a 50/50 split. Approximately half support the ban and half opposed. But that metric reflects all respondents, not just those under 30. Still, one would think that it might be higher given the wave of anti-gun sentiment that pervades the airwaves following a national tragedy like Vegas.

A closer look at the breakdown.  (Photo: Gallup)

So, what gives?  Why was Parkland more impactful?  Well, it certainly had more staying power in the public consciousness when compared to other tragedies.  No doubt that was a result of non-stop media coverage and protests funded by Michael Bloomberg and other elites.

The CNN graph below shows Google searches of gun control after mass killings.  You’ll notice that the Parkland peaks (in purple) are higher than many of the others listed.

Google searches after mass killings. (Photo: Google/CNN)

Are we seeing a real shift in opinion on modern sporting rifles, particularly amongst millennials?  Probably too early to tell.  We’ll need more data from other reputable pollsters to make a real determination.  Yet, I’d be lying if I said I wasn’t unnerved by the results of the Harvard poll.

About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

{ 42 comments… add one }
  • Ken October 16, 2020, 10:57 am

    I’ve been carrying since age 15. I am 73 now. Extensive military service and combat experience. More gun fights than you have fingers and toes. Confirmed Democrat with advanced degree. Texan for past 23 years.

    I think that open carry scares the hell out of the general public and results in anti gun bias.
    Not only that… its rude!

    The sight of those armed men in front of the Michigan State Capital is disturbing on many levels and does damage to reasonable 2A advocacy.

    Every time I see someone obviously not a cop open carry I put my hand on my pistol… just in case. I do a 360 check to make sure you have no accomplices and then I try to make sure I keep you in my field of view… I also try to maneuver so your back is to me in case I have to open up on you.

    The only time I open carry is when my suit jacket is off due to the heat and I am pumping gas. If I have to go inside the gas station I wear my jacket.

    Yes, we have the right to open carry, etc… but at some point the outcry of fear at the sight of guys with AR’s at political events and at the mall may well result in the loss of those rights.

    Put yourself in the shoes of a young mother walking around or sitting in a restaurant with her two grammar school age children who is suddenly confronted with a couple of guys with AR’s slung on their backs.

    Also, consider this… if you open carry… how likely is it for somebody to reasonably consider you an eminent deadly threat for purposes of them justifiably shooting you in self defense? Specially in these times of mass shootings.

  • john May 11, 2020, 12:09 pm

    The recent news videos of people protesting stay at home orders with AR 15s in unnecessary. It implies a armed confrontation,not a peaceful protest. The protest at the Michigan statehouse was worse. Armed protesters screaming at state police is a provocation looking for an overreaction by either side leading to a shootout. Things like this scare folks who know nothing about firearms. When a picture is in their mind that scares them, they will naturally want it banned. I got my first gun at 10 to bird hunt, i’ve hunted and target shot for over 50 years and am a firm believer in 2A. We need to be responsible in our actions and consider the consequences.

  • Jay December 8, 2018, 6:37 pm

    Too bad nobody will teach them that “gun control” and “reducing gun violence” are mutually exclusive.

  • Dan Martin May 29, 2018, 12:14 pm

    Just goes to show that brainwashing in schools is working!

  • Gary Ramey May 3, 2018, 8:04 am

    99% of them don’t know what an assault rifle is.
    Sad to see uninformed people willing to give away their rights.

  • Andrew N. April 28, 2018, 8:09 pm

    Not surprising considering what colleges are teaching nowadays. A Socialist Agenda is being pushed through our higher education system and we need to stop it. I don’t worry too much about polls of 18-30 year olds, they start growing up after that, and thinking more critically. Critical thinking will demonstrate that it’s the shooter, not the gun. Otherwise we would have 5-10 MILLION mass shootings if the AR-15 was actually the all powerful, self-operating system the “Press” is pushing down our throats.

  • Scotty Gunn April 28, 2018, 1:57 pm

    This is a result of years of brainwashing in our schools. From the gun shaped pop tart to the little girl with a stick. Teach them to loathe and fear guns, and they will be happy to give that right away.

  • CoupDecu April 28, 2018, 12:45 pm

    its because they don’t know a Dam thing about the True God Given Freedoms that were so hard to get at the start of this Nation!!!!!

  • Bigkielbassa April 28, 2018, 10:07 am

    Why don’t they protest illegals if they really are concerned about violent crime ? Americans need an AR to protect themselves against the boards of ghetto thugs flooding into America. Check out every city they have trashed already . I never burned an American flag .🇺🇸

  • WWRickGrimesDo? April 28, 2018, 4:02 am

    Curiously the same demographic tends to watch The Walking Dead which is one of the best proponents of the Second Amendment in pop culture (you can see what happened last season when The Heaps gave up their weapons…..)

  • David J Forler April 27, 2018, 11:17 pm


  • Paul April 27, 2018, 10:26 pm

    This is the same group that when “polled” thought that “Titanic” was just a movie and “Lord of the Rings” was based on historical events …. we have a future of morons….. we’re doomed.

  • bbbs53 April 27, 2018, 4:28 pm

    Correct me if I’m wrong, but didn’t these idiots say that Hillary was going to be the next president? Thank God they were wrong. These “polls” are funded by the same people that want your and my rifle, and will stop at nothing to get people to believe that what they think is wrong. If anything, the last election should teach us exactly what the value of “polls” are and to reprint their lies is a disservice and only further gives them assumed validity they don’t deserve. One can assume anything from Harvard is going to have the liberal bent.

  • phoenix michaels April 27, 2018, 2:45 pm

    The question is disingenuously FLAWED: there is NO SUCH THING as a semi-automatic assault rifle!!! This is not an error, but rather purposely oft repeated disinformation. An M16 is an assault rifle, an AR15 is NOT NOT NOT! They do yes look IDENTICAL, but one is full auto and one semi-auto. One is a military assault rifle, one is a civilian hunting/shooting rifle. Imagine two Ford Shelby Cobras, both painted identically. However, one has a 289 H.O. engine, the other a squirrel in a wheel for power. Are they both RACECARS??? No.

  • MIKE OKELLY April 27, 2018, 2:04 pm

    real libtard poll as i see it

  • frank April 27, 2018, 1:26 pm

    A Harvard poll? And what does the opinion of these Harvard wanna be communist students matter unless they are trying to change the constitution. Things that make you go, Hmmmmmmm??

  • Rangemaster11B April 27, 2018, 11:32 am

    We have come 180 degrees. Never trust anyone UNDER 30.

  • MikeB April 27, 2018, 11:26 am

    Isn’t this the same age group that demands “safe spaces” and lists of “trigger words”? I’ve often wondered how many HR people have fallen out of their chairs from laughing when one of these snowflakes asked where the “safe spaces” were located.

  • Sandman April 27, 2018, 11:06 am

    This is because theses”CHILDREN” have been brainwashed since birth.
    Most teachers are good people but their brainless attempts to TEACH our kids that its O.K. for little boy to pee in the girls rest rooms because they feel like girls that day and then they get into high school or collage and do the same just to get a free peek at some poor young lady—-is this the making of a molester in disguise?
    Then we have the “UGLY/SCARY BLACK GUNS”—paint them pink so they wont be black any more or scary either—but do it in a camo pattern.These unfortunate little sponges have absorbed so much of the B.S. communist/obama propaganda puked out by the libatard teachers who we have entrusted in them to educate our kids and it is backfiring on us.
    Perfect example–the kids in Florida who experienced a terrible shooting in their high school–have you actually listened to the “SPEECHES” some of these kids spewed in T.V. The first thing I recognized id they were all scripted in one way or another,those speeches were written by Some left wing gun hating liberal –NOT A HIGH SCHOOL KID. tAKE THE TIME TO LISTEN AGAIN–THE VERBAGE ALONE IS MORE THAN OBVIOUS–BUT WHAT DID THE LIBERAL LYING (SO CALLED)NEWS DO—THEY GAVE THEM A TON OF AIR TIME AND THE KIDS ARE SO HUNGRY TO HAVE THEIR 5 MIN OF FAME THAT THE WILL SAY ANYTHING TO GET THEIR LITTLE SNOWFLAKE KISSERS ON T.V.

    • Jim November 18, 2020, 12:07 pm

      More guns in the hands of citizens trained in their use and we can stop the mass killings in schools, churches, etc.

  • Scott April 27, 2018, 11:00 am

    Of course these kids under 30 would ban AR15’s. They have never had to fight for their freedoms. They don’t have a clue even from their history teachers what losing their freedoms would be like. They mostly grew up in an affluent society where everything was given to them.

    But they don’t know what it is like to have soldiers show up at your home and drag you into a camp, or shoot you on the spot, with no resistance capability at all.

    Go unarmed. Fine. But wait for the generation that will have no defense when they come breaking down your door. Whether it is a criminal at your house or an army.

    So many nations of unarmed citizens have fallen before you, and you will fall with them.

  • Jim Jadwin April 27, 2018, 10:34 am

    Next time don’t poll only LIBTARDS

  • Luke April 27, 2018, 10:27 am

    Harvard? Since when does this indoctrination center have credibility OR integrity?

  • joefoam April 27, 2018, 9:41 am

    Are these the same people who, when polled about the shape of the earth, 30% thought it was flat?

  • Victor Chamoun April 27, 2018, 9:14 am

    You must be kidding. Harvard is nothing more that a finishing school for indoctrinated liberal lunatics! They don’t know how to think, they only know what to think!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Moore April 27, 2018, 9:13 am

    When the “enlightened intellectuals” combine with the “check people” and the “folks that don’t return the grocery buggies” and lawfully elect into office the end of Democracy, we all will understand why the Founding Fathers made the Second Admendment second only to the freedom of speech, religion, and the right to assemble. Without 2 you don’t have a 1.

  • GRA April 27, 2018, 8:48 am

    I trust this poll about as much as I do a sex offender at a baby shower.

  • Roger April 27, 2018, 8:20 am


  • TerryBob April 27, 2018, 8:04 am

    I hate to burst your bubble folks, but polls are for the most part meaningless. They depend not only on the veracity of the poll taker and person(s) being polled, but equally important on the actual poll population. If your population being polled on these questions are students on Havard’s campus vs. The University of Alabama I suspect the numbers to be substantially different. I would also submit that there are few if any truly unbiased poll takers.

  • tom jacobs April 27, 2018, 7:32 am

    Where was the poll taken? How may people were polled? What was the geographic distribution? What questions were included and how were they written? There were several polls certain Hillary will be the next POTUS. Every polling organization pre-selects the types of participants to obtain the results they are paid for.

  • Pseudo April 27, 2018, 6:56 am

    So just where does a 22 rifle with an 18 round tube magazine fit in! As to this poll maybe 58 percent of the brain dead would be a more apropos title? How quickly the academic community forgets or total denies Hitlers formation of the Nazi Youth camps and their aftermath.

    • CharlieKing1 April 27, 2018, 9:47 am

      Pseudo- that’s been one of my questions, too. Further, I think the AR rifle is a greatly misunderstood rifle. At first blush, it looks scary to the uninitiated. But upon further study, it’s no different than the semi-auto hunting rifle Teddy Roosevelt used over a hundred years ago. I’ve decided to try and educate the uninitiated…

  • Art The Fart April 27, 2018, 5:00 am

    Very few people own actual “assault weapons”, since select fire fully automatic firearms require a very stringent background check, and an expensive ATF stamp, and a long waiting period, before anyone could purchase one. That being the case, I don’t see how banning them would make much difference, when it comes to crime. I don’t know of any major shooting incident in this country that involved an “assault weapon”.

  • John Franco April 27, 2018, 4:00 am

    Talk about a fake poll! Harvard sure isn’t what it used to be.

  • Dr Motown April 26, 2018, 8:07 am

    We need to be more pro-active on this subject. If the MSM won’t give us equal time for a fair rebuttal of the garbage they are spewing, then we need to start buying air time and putting together educational series on the truths about guns, violence, automobile deaths, medical malpractice deaths, etc.

    • tom jacobs April 27, 2018, 7:43 am

      Don’t forget opioids. At last review, in 2016 over 65,000 deaths from opiods overdoses (174 deaths per day). The number of deaths is 2.5 times greater firearm related deaths. The laws and regulations are far more stringent to get a prescription for fentanyl or other strong opioids. How come Bloomberg, Soros and Cuomo aren’t publicizing those facts and involved in the elimination of deadly and illegal drugs? Are they looking the other way? What about Millenials? Have they been polled on their view of banning opioids?

      • Pitchfork peasant May 18, 2020, 12:47 am

        Opioids. Another conflated term. In propaganda known as a glittering generality. Illicit forms of fentanyl is the problem. Not licit forms. Opioids include both illegal and legal drugs. Been reading about illicit forms of fentanyl and counterfeit prescription pills since 2006. Even found a mention in a un report. Been on dea website since 2006. Guess where the illicit drugs come from and across our border to us. China. Cdc, nih, and a host of other government alphabet agencies used to make distinctions between chronic and severe chronic pain, which costs an estimated 635 BILLION per year in the us. Who benefits. Look at insurance company stocks over the past decade. Govt pays for treatment of vets. Ins pays for civilians

  • Blue Dog April 25, 2018, 12:34 pm

    Some sort of assault weapon legislation is coming. It probably won’t happen under the current President (but never say never!) and it may not even happen under the next Democrat but probably would under the next Democrat after them (her?). Sometime within the next two Democratic presidencies, some kind of assault weapon restrictions are almost certainly going to happen. And when I say assault weapon restriction, at bare minimum I mean the new sales of assault weapons, as defined by the Merriam-Webster dictionary to include semi-automatic AR-15s and AK-47s among others, and hi-cap (or even standard capacity) magazines. Maybe that assault weapons ban will include confiscation of rifles already in civilian hands, maybe not. States are the labs for democracy – that means as more states remove grandfathering exemptions and require registration or outright confiscation of assault weapons and hi-cap magazines, they find more legal bases and precedents for registration and/or confiscation of grandfathered weapons for the next national ban. The community of firearm enthusiasts can either obstruct the inexorable creep from the wrong side of history or they can get in front of it and try to compromise so they can have input when the next ban comes.

    A new assault weapon ban is inevitable and probably in our lifetimes. Take joy in your AR-15s and AK-47s while you can – they are not coming for them today or tomorrow but after that, who knows, the future is an undiscovered country.

  • Sepp W. April 24, 2018, 8:38 pm

    Highly dubious. Polling the incapable and unproductive. The generation that thinks they are owed entitlements.

  • Jaque April 23, 2018, 4:28 pm

    Do you really believe a poll conducted by a Marxist college.

    • Al April 27, 2018, 9:01 am

      BINGO! Harvard is a bastion of Left Wing demagoguery, I have NO faith in ANY poll conducted by ANY of their Departments.

    • Zupglick April 27, 2018, 12:13 pm

      If the poll is correct (suspect because of who sponsored it) then it is a result of our Communist controlled education system that doesn’t even allow the mention of God in the classrooms.

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