College Student Attitudes Towards “Smart” Guns: Results from a Nationwide Survey

Lacey N. Wallace, Kaylin C. Dunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


Existing studies focusing on “smart” guns, weapons that can only be fired by an authorized user, have focused largely on overall views towards the topic. Little is known about how views differ within key demographics or why Americans feel positively or negatively towards smart guns. This study used data from a nationwide web survey of 520 college students to address these concerns. Multinomial regression was used to identify patterns of smart gun preference in quantitative data. Respondents’ open-ended reasoning for their views was examined through common themes and descriptive statistics. About half of the sample preferred smart guns over traditional firearms, with support more likely among females and liberals. Those with more advanced academic standing were more likely to have a traditional gun preference. The sample did not rank cost as a significant concern. Child protection was a much less prominent theme than concerns over (un)authorized users.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)55-64
Number of pages10
JournalJournal of Community Health
Issue number1
StatePublished - Feb 1 2018

All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes

  • Health(social science)
  • Public Health, Environmental and Occupational Health


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