Millennials Straddle the Fence on Gun Control

Recent polling of millennials had some pretty surprising results when it came to how they viewed gun control, showing they are less likely to support stricter gun laws than people over 30.


An Gallup poll conducted in October of last year showed 50% of 18-29-year-olds in support of stricter gun laws. Comparatively, the poll showed gun control support from 57% of those ages 30-49, 56% among those 50-64, and 55% among those 65 and older.

According to Gallup Poll Editor-in-Chief Frank Newport, “Millennials are … less interested in gun control than those who are older, so the data suggests it’s unlike a number of other attitudes say like, gay marriage where young people are much more liberal. We did not see that in our data on guns.”

NBC News talked with millennials on both sides of the gun control debate.

“I never want to be in that situation again,” 24-year-old Ryan Bradley said, who said four years ago, a man pointed a gun at him and called him a “white devil.” “Luckily, he didn’t shoot me but I can guarantee you if there was any gun laws on the books he would probably still have his gun.”

“I became an accidental activist, and realized that the only way I would be able to move forward from what happened was if I transformed my pain into positive action,” said 20-year-old Sarah Clements. She became a gun control activist after her mother survived the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting in 2012.

“We as gun reform activists need to continuously say we support the Second Amendment — we are not trying to do away with it or ‘take away all the guns.’ That said, I do not believe it gives us the right to own a gun anytime, by anyone, and to be taken anywhere,” Clements clarified.


Bradley, who works as a grassroots field representative for the National Rifle Association, says before he has a civil debate with gun control proponents, he’d like to take them to a gun range and have them shoot if they’ve never done it so they can experience what the debate is really about.

“We’re talking about a fundamental right, we’re talking about the Second Amendment which is a guaranteed right to self-defense,” Bradley said. “Feelings don’t belong. I don’t think that somebody should be using derogatory language to somebody but they have the First Amendment right to do so and nobody’s talking about taking that First Amendment right away. So I think that gun control supporters need to bring something more to the table than just feelings.”


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