Reason-Rupe Public Opinion Survey

Poll: 60% of Americans Say Government Should Prohibit People from Printing 3D Guns


3D printers can create a variety of items from plastic, including working guns. However, the new Reason-Rupe poll finds six in 10 Americans say Americans should not be allowed to print 3D guns. Thirty percent of Americans believe people should be allowed to print 3D guns at home.

Majorities of Democrats, Republicans, and independents agree that printing 3D guns should be prohibited. However, Democrats are more unified in their opposition with 67 percent who favor prohibiting 3D printed guns compared to 52 percent of non-partisan independents and 55 percent of Republicans. Twenty-five percent of Democrats and a third of non-partisan independents and Republicans think people should be allowed to print their own functioning 3D guns.

Even 50 percent of self-described Tea Party supporters think the government should prohibit people from printing working 3D guns, while 37 percent say the government should allow this activity. At the same time, Regular Republicans who don't identify with the tea party movement are slightly more likely to favor banning 3D printed guns 61 percent to 31 percent.

While majorities of all age groups oppose people making their own 3D guns, young Americans are more likely to think it should be allowed than older Americans by a margin of 37 percent to 22 percent.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted Dec 4-8 2013 interviewed 1011 adults on both mobile (506) and landline (505) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.7%. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results, detailed tables, and methodology found here. Sign up for notifications of new releases of the Reason-Rupe poll here.

NEXT: George W. Bush Sends Supportive Note to Alabama Kicker Who Missed Two Field Goals in Upset Loss to Auburn

Editor's Note: We invite comments and request that they be civil and on-topic. We do not moderate or assume any responsibility for comments, which are owned by the readers who post them. Comments do not represent the views of or Reason Foundation. We reserve the right to delete any comment for any reason at any time. Report abuses.

  1. six in 10 Americans say Americans should not be allowed to print 3D guns

    Well have fun trying and failing at stopping them, douchebags. Oh, and fuck you while we’re at it.

    1. This is why no one takes the American public seriously.

    2. 60% of Americans don’t care who rules them. Which works out pretty swell for democracy.

  2. 60% of Americans apparently don’t understand the point of 3D Printing.

    1. 60% of Americans apparently don’t understand the point of 3D Printing believe that magical thinking is better than regular thinking.

      1. ‘Course it is. It’s got unicorns.

  3. The question I’d love to see on that one is “How far are you willing to go to prevent someone from 3D printing a gun?”

    Registration of 3D printers? Raids of people suspected to have unregistered printers? Bans on software? Bans on stepper motors? Heater elements? Requirements that all computers run tracking software to find schematics?

    1. My thoughts precisely. It’s as predictable as asking whether the respondent would like a bonus paycheck and as disingenous as asking how often he beats his wife. The plural of anecdote is not data, and a plurality of banal sentiments is not actionable policy.

      I have been watching a lot of Yes, Prime Minister today. The 2013 series holds up decently well.

      1. Did not know about the knew one. I kept hearing something about a stage production, and I go deaf at the mere mention of plays. Brrrr. Thanks for informing me, I’m looking forward to it.

      2. Did not know about the new one. I kept hearing something about a stage production, and I go deaf at the mere mention of plays. Brrrr. Thanks for informing me, I’m looking forward to it.

        1. Trust me, the second one is .03% better.

    2. Please to stop giving them ideas, comrade.

  4. Shorter 60% of Americans: “Derp.”

  5. 40% of Americans just searched for “3d printer” on Amazon.

  6. While 60% of Americans say government is too big and intrusive, 60% of Americans also want government to be bigger and more intrusive..

    1. That’s the new, new math.

  7. Time to get the xmas cards in the mail:…..-main-link

  8. I don’t see the value of a poll of ~1000 people. 60% of 1000 people think something. That’s not very representative. Poll 100,000 people and then I might believe there’s some accuracy to the poll.

    Plus, give me a warning when Pollmageddon is coming so I can avoid linking to H&R for a couple of days.

    1. The whole point of pollmageddon is that it is a surprise.

    2. The marginal increase in accuracy of a poll drops off very sharply after 1000 people.

      1. Yep. For the guy above who doesn’t understand statistics:

        Confidence interval= 3.7

        1. I have no cinfidence in a confidence interval that large.

          1. You can still put a number on it. Above 95 percent.

        2. Hey, I got a B in Statistics 36 years ago, and I only play the lottery when it goes over $100M.

      2. Assuming your sample is an accurate representation of the population as a whole. If it isn’t, then it doesn’t matter how big your sample is.

        The science of polling goes way beyond the raw numbers.

    3. Fucking Statistics — How do they work?

      1. We should poll every single American just to be sure!

    4. Take a class in statistics.

      1. I learned two things in statistics:

        1: polls and surveys are some of the worst data collection methods for accuracy (unless you’re trying to influence the results) and

        2: ‘statistics’ is shorthand for ‘lying with numbers’.

        1. There are three kinds of liars in the world: liars, damn liars, and statisticians — Mark Twain

        2. I have not taken a systematic study of the subject, but it does seem impressive to me that in at least one area where the accuracy of polls can be tested in the real world, election polls, they seem generally consistently correct. That makes me think that they must be worth ‘something.’

          1. Market analysis, where a company’s bottom line is at stake, can be quite accurate.

            Journalism, which can be subverted to propaganda, can be totally useless.

          2. There’s not a lot of misunderstanding when you give people a binary choice. “Are you going to vote for A or B?” is a lot more meaningful than abstract policy questions that are subject to bias and misinterpretation.

            1. I was called by a political poll once. They wanted to know if I was voting D, R, or undecided. Dude got really confused when I said I was totally decided on L.

        3. It depends how the poll is conducted. Poor methodology can really fuck up results. Well-done, unbiased polls do not need tens or hundreds of thousands of respondents to give a pretty accurate picture of the general population.

        4. I had to take a Statistics class for my major. What I learned is that the math really does work, but it is based upon some pretty unrealistic assumptions.

          1. My job involves using formal statistical methods. Statistics are a very powerful tool if you realize the underlying assumptions/ their limitations. But if you understand that correctly, then the methods are very useful. The dificulty is explaining to the business types that arent very stat inclined at my company, what I just did and getting them to realize the limitations.

          2. “I had to take a Statistics class for my major.”

            Which is why you’re so eager to make a fool of yourself shooting your mouth off about it.

            It’s always one asshole who thinks his one class makes him an expert.

            You don’t even understand what you don’t know.

    5. I don’t see the value of a poll of ~1000 people.

      You don’t understand probability and statistics, do you?

      1. I do. I make an obscene amount of money at it, and your post is retarded.

        What now.

    6. As an actuarial, I’m enjoying watching the stats experts who never made it past STA231 respond to someone’s perfectly valid objection with the ignorance of one who thinks they know.

      Rod is right. The rest of you are idiots.

      1. You might want to retake stats or ask for your money back as you and Rod are wrong.

        If 60% of 1000 (assuming good polling methods, representative sampling, etc) cannot be extrapolated to have any meaning beyond the 1000 people asked then statistics literally has no meaning at all.

        Your entire field would be non-existent if what Rod said was true.

        Yet you agree…

      2. The check is in the mail.

    7. The first rule about Pollmageddon is: you don’t talk about Pollmageddon.

  9. Is it really necessary to have like 12 polls over two days? And many of them have similar questions?

    Also is this evidence of “increasing social tolerance”?

    1. Your questions could only be answered with a poll.

    2. All of these polls were part of the same phone survey.

      1. So why does she need to make like 12 different posts especially when she asks several very similar questions?

        1. Page views, brother.

  10. Perhaps I have too much faith in my fellow man, but I would like to think that most of those answers, especially the ones from the Tea Partiers (whatever else their faults I have rarely met one that is not rightly described as pro-2nd Amendment), answered the way they did because they thought this meant an eventual easy bypass of any checks on minors, the mentally ill, etc., having access to a firearm.

  11. Banning 3D-printed guns will be about as effective as banning prison inmates from making shanks.

    1. We would also have accepted “as tits on a boar,” “as a screendoor on a submarine,” and “as voting.”

  12. I think the biggest problem is that the vast majority of people have no idea at all either:

    1) How useless current 3D printed arms are (or how many of them require various non-3D-printed parts and end up being a lot like “a normal plastic-framed gun”).

    2) How easy it is to make a perfectly good metal gun without a 3D printer; it’s not hard at all, especially if the goal is “a single shot like all those 3D prototypes”.

    3) That if you restrict people to #2, while people who obey the law will continue the garage gunsmithing they’ve been doing for years, legally, those who are criminally minded will rapidly discover it’s both no better than the black market in general, and if they DO get forced off the black market, that they might as well just build a sub-machine gun.

    Because an open-bolt SMG is actually much easier to build in a garage than a semi-auto pistol (and a revolver? God, no, those things are tricky…).

  13. A majority of Americans love claiming thewy want less government control…yet clamor for more government control. Obviously the product of feckin’ public schools. Drink! Arse! Girls!

    1. Can’t argue with your last 3 points.

  14. Breaking news:…..story.html

    Federal investigators found hundreds of videos depicting underage boys engaging in sexually explicit conduct on a computer hard drive recovered from the home of the former chief of staff to Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), according to court documents filed Thursday.

    1. Oh shit!

  15. These people would shit themselves if they knew how much DIY gunsmithing was going on all over the country.

    1. No joke. It is my opinion that the reaction to the Assault Weapons Ban with the birth of the internet created an explosion of garage arms building across the US. Before that time it was nowhere nearly as easy to get information about the fine details of putting together an AK or a FAL.

      Once it became clear how easy building your own legal, semi-auto rifle could be the market for parts kits – disassembled rifles without the receiver (the part which holds them all together) – expanded and drove prices down to a pittance.

      I am pretty sure the US market for these parts kits sucked every idle or unissued rifle out of every armory in the former East Blok.

  16. Reason/Rupe poll question: “Should the government prohibit people from making a working gun with a 3-D printer or should the government allow people to do this?”

    LiberTarHeel poll question: “Should we cede to ‘government’ the authority to prohibit/allow people to make tools (including firearms) with a 3-D printer or is that not only unconstitutional but a violation of fundamental rights and liberties?”

    Admittedly, I am not a professional pollster, but I think I could frame the important issue better than some people I’ve observed.

Please to post comments

Comments are closed.