Public Religion Research Institute survey: Catholics more likely to favor gun control

As the gun control debate simmers on the back burner amid fiscal cliff negotiations, let’s break down how various religious adherents feel about gun laws.

According to a new survey by Public Religion Research Institute, 52 percent of the public favor passing stricter gun control laws, while 44 percent are opposed. There are dramatic differences by religious and political affiliation, gender, race, and gun ownership.

Six-in-ten Catholics and religiously unaffiliated Americans (62% and 60%) favor stricter gun control laws, compared to fewer than half of white evangelical Protestants (35%) and white mainline Protestants (42%).

More than 7-in-10 (72%) Democrats favor passing stricter gun control laws, while nearly two-thirds of Republicans (65%) and nearly 8-in-10 (78%) Americans who identify with the Tea Party movement are opposed.

It is not surprising, then, that in the aftermath of the Newtown, Conn., massacre, President Barack Obama has chosen Vice President Joe Biden, a Catholic Democrat, to lead the gun control effort.

Fewer than 15 percent of Catholics said that people should be allowed to carry guns into churches, compared with 32 percent of white evangelical Protestants.

Do these survey results surprise you?

About John Hilton

I grew up in Susquehanna County, Pa. and graduated Syracuse University with a dual degree in journalism/political science in 1998. After working for nearly three years for a weekly paper in upstate New York, I came to southcentral Pennsylvania. I spent 13 years as a reporter and editor for The Sentinel in Carlisle and joined the York Daily Record as religion reporter in September 2011.
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One Response to Public Religion Research Institute survey: Catholics more likely to favor gun control

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