Fox News Poll: 71 percent say gun violence a 'major problem' government should address

Most voters think the government needs to address gun violence, including a majority of those living in gun-owning households.

Seventy-one percent of registered voters say gun violence is a major problem that needs attention from the government, according to the latest Fox News Poll. The only issue tested that voters are more concerned about is the opioid addiction crisis, with 79 percent saying it’s a major problem. About two-thirds, 65 percent, say the same of climate change.

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The poll, conducted May 11-14, was completed before Friday's mass shooting at a municipal building in Virginia Beach, where 13 people were killed including the gunman. It was the deadliest mass shooting since November when a gunman killed 12 people at a bar in Thousand Oaks, Calif., before killing himself.

Majorities across the board agree gun violence is a significant issue the government should work on, including those in households with a gun (64 percent), Democrats (89 percent), independents (58 percent), Republicans (54 percent), men (68 percent), women (75 percent), voters under age 45 (69 percent) and those 45 and over (73 percent), whites (68 percent) and nonwhites (82 percent).

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Would stricter gun control laws help? Nearly half think they would. Forty-seven percent say "passing stricter gun control laws" would make the country safer. That's a slight increase from last year when 44 percent felt that way, but shy of the 52 percent high in June 2016, shortly after the Orlando nightclub shooting.

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Nearly one voter in five, 19 percent, believes stricter gun laws will make the U.S. less safe, up from 12 percent last year.

Close to one-third (32 percent) say stricter laws will make no difference either way, down from 42 percent in 2018.

Among gun-owning households, 26 percent think harsher laws will make the country less safe, up 11 points from 2018. The shift comes from a 13-point drop in those believing the laws would not make a difference: 37 percent vs. 50 percent last year. Thirty-five percent say they will make the U.S. safer, similar to last year (33 percent).

President Trump’s job approval rating on guns remains underwater by 11 points (40 percent approval vs. 51 percent disapproval), a slight improvement from -14 points last year.

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Trump does worse on health care (-19 points) and immigration (-13), and better or the same on taxes (-11) and border security (-5).

The president receives positive job ratings on the economy (+2).

Conducted May 11-14, 2019 under the joint direction of Beacon Research (D) and Shaw & Company (R), this Fox News Poll includes interviews with 1,008 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide who spoke with live interviewers on both landlines and cellphones.  The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.