May 25, 2022 - News

Where Texas public opinion stands on guns

A gun rally at the Texas Capitol

2nd Amendment activists held an open carry rally at the state capitol on Jan. 1, 2016. Photo: Erich Schlegel/Getty Images

Even as pluralities of Texas voters support stricter gun control measures, the voters who elect statewide leaders generally favor keeping the laws the way they are.

The big picture: Pluralities, or majorities, of Texas voters going back to late 2015 have supported stricter gun control laws, per polling data from the Texas Politics Project at the University of Texas.

Yes, but: Mass shootings, like the one in El Paso in 2019, have done little to budge public opinion.

Plus: Republican voters, who play a key role in selecting the state's political leadership, tend to think gun laws should stay as they are or be less strict.

By the numbers: 62% of Republican voters approved strongly or somewhat of the job lawmakers did on gun violence in Texas after the 2021 legislative session — in which gun laws were loosened to allow the carrying of handguns without a license or training.

What they're saying: "At the moment, there's no way for the gun control issue not to enter the governor's race given the horrific nature of the tragedy," Texas Politics Project research director Joshua Blank told Axios on Tuesday.

  • "But the election is still a long way off. Democratic and Republican voters have very different views about the causes of mass shootings. The economy is still a major driving issue, immigration will remain at the forefront, abortion will likely re-emerge again when the Supreme Court releases its final ruling impacting Roe v. Wade, and any other number of other issues could come up to compete for the public's attention."


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