Suffolk Poll Shows Vast Majority of Dallas Residents Want Gun Reforms

CityView poll finds support for background checks, assault weapons ban, and raising age to purchase guns

An overwhelming majority of Dallas residents want to raise the gun purchasing age from 18 to 21, ban semi-automatic assault weapons, and institute mandatory background checks prior to the purchase of any weapons, according to an exclusive Suffolk University/Dallas Morning News CityView poll.

Ninety-five percent of respondents support mandatory background checks prior to the purchase of a weapon. Nearly nine out of 10 (86%) want to raise the gun purchasing age from 18 to 21 (including 84% of gun owners) and more than two-thirds (68%) want to ban semi-automatic assault weapons like the AR-15 and AK-47. A clear majority of gun owners also support the ban by a decisive 57% to 39%.

"In the wake of the Uvalde tragedy, Dallas residents are giving Congress a clear mandate for real policy change," said David Paleologos, director of the Suffolk University Political Research Center. "These numbers reveal an irrefutable reality. Dallas residents want gun reform."  

The poll was fielded June 6-9, two weeks after a lone gunman murdered 19 children and two adults at the Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

Nearly 85% of Dallas residents (including 87% of gun-owning households) support prohibiting people with a history of mental illness from owning a gun.

Not all possible measures were supported in the poll. Nearly six in 10 (59%) opposed arming teachers and staff in schools and 56% opposed allowing only one entrance/exit to a school.

With strong opinions on gun legislation emerging from Dallas residents, the poll also found that 78% of respondents want Governor Abbott to call a special legislative session to address gun violence and school safety, including 72% of gun owners, 81% of women, 83% of those ages 18-34 years, and 87% of Black respondents.

The poll is part of Suffolk University’s CityView series examining attitudes toward city issues, policing, public safety, race relations and other issues in cities across the United States. In 2021, Suffolk polled the cities of Milwaukee, Detroit, Los Angeles, Louisville, and Oklahoma City. This year the university plans to survey five major cities as well, and this week Suffolk University and the Dallas Morning News will be releasing results of poll questions on policing and race that were asked in 2021 to gauge differences from city to city.


This survey of 500 Dallas residents was conducted June 6-9, using live interviews of cellphone and landline users, and is based on live interviews of adults 18 years of age or older, residing in all 14 city council districts in the city of Dallas. Quota and demographic information —including region, race, age, education, and income—were determined from census and American Community Survey data. Surveys were administered in English and Spanish. The margin of sampling error for results based on the total sample is +/- 4.4 percentage points. Error margins increase for smaller subgroups in the cross-tabulation document. All surveys may be subject to other sources of error, including but not limited to coverage error and measurement error. Marginals and full cross-tabulation data are posted on the Suffolk University Political Research Center website. For more information, contact David Paleologos at 781-290-9310, [email protected]


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