Americans Support Students’ Right to Walk Out over Guns, March 2018

Marist National Poll

A national student walkout to protest gun violence is scheduled for tomorrow, and more than seven in ten Americans support the students’ right to do so.

72% of residents nationally think students who participate in the National School Walkout should not face disciplinary action by their schools. 22% of Americans think these students should be punished, and 6% are unsure.

Regardless of demographic group, at least a majority of Americans say students who want to participate in the walkout should not fear retribution. This includes even a majority of gun owners (58%), Republicans (53%), and those who supported President Trump in the 2016 election (53%).

More than three in four Americans (77%) think the students from Parkland, Florida who have been speaking out against gun violence and the mass shooting at their high school will have either a major (33%) or minor (44%) impact on gun reform in the United States. 19% think the students will not have any impact on the issue at all. Four percent are unsure. In a Marist Poll conducted in late February, a similar 74% of U.S. residents said these students would influence the gun debate. The proportion who thought they would not have any impact has decreased from 23%.

Efforts by companies to distance themselves from the NRA receive mixed reviews from Americans. Four in ten Americans (40%) say they are more likely to support a brand or company that has cut ties with the National Rifle Association (NRA). A similar 37% report they are less likely to support a brand who does so. 17% say a company’s association with the NRA makes no difference to them, and 6% are unsure.

A clear partisan split is in play. 65% of Democrats would be more likely to support a company who severed its ties with the NRA while 63% of Republicans would be less likely to back such a brand. Among independents, 38% would be more likely to buy products from a company who dissociated itself from the NRA, 35% would be less likely to support such a brand, and 25% say it makes no difference to them.

A gender gap exists. Women (42%), including 50% of small city and suburban women, are more likely to support a brand that cuts ties with the NRA while 42% of men are less likely to do so.

Complete March 13, 2018 Marist Poll Release of the United States
Complete March 13, 2018 Marist Poll of the United States (Tables of Adults and Registered Voters)
Marist Poll Methodology
Nature of the Sample