Northeasterners more likely than other Americans to rely on law enforcement, support gun control measures

New Avvo study explores beliefs surrounding personal safety, gun ownership, and the justice system in the Northeast

Seattle, Wash — Oct. 27, 2015The latest Avvo, Inc. consumer perception study finds that Northeasterners stand out as individuals who turn to police in times of need more than other Americans. Also, more than half of Northeasterners believe an increase in gun ownership will not make society safer, far more than any other region of the country.

Almost two-thirds (63%) of Northeasterners say that if someone harmed them or their family, they would turn to the police or the law to solve their problem. This is significantly higher than the proportion of those in the Midwest and South (56% in each region) that say the same. Fifty-seven percent (57%) of people who live in the West agree.

Far fewer Northeasterners believe they can protect themselves. Thirty percent (30%) of Northeasterners believe if they had a gun and were in danger they could effectively protect themselves. In this respect, Northeasterners are similar to Westerners and Midwesterners, with 38% of Westerners and 34% of Midwesterners saying they could protect themselves with a gun. Northeasterners stand apart from Southerners, however: 45% of individuals in the South believe they can protect themselves with a gun if in danger. Among Northeasterners, New Yorkers seem particularly less likely to feel able to use a gun for self-protection, with about one-fourth (23%) saying that they’d be able to protect themselves with a gun if in danger. Compare this to 35% of New Jersey residents who say the same.


Northeasterners support gun control measures more than other regions by a statistically significant margin.


Across a number of gun control topics, Northeasterners have significantly different opinions on gun control when compared to the rest of the country. Individuals in the region are least likely to believe owning a handgun (45%), semi-automatic weapon (14%), or assault weapon (11%) should be legal. They also are the least likely to believe that people have the right to openly carry a gun in public (14%), buy high-capacity ammunition clips (10%), or inherit a gun without restrictions (13%).


When it comes to controls and regulations surrounding guns, Northeasterners also stand out among other areas of the country. Significantly more people in the Northeast believe in requiring a waiting period for gun purchases (76%), tracking gun sales by the government (65%), and holding gun owners responsible for harm caused by their gun but committed by others (44%).

PS Charts_Attitudes on gun control laws_ownership

PS Charts_Attitudes on gun control laws

About this study

Avvo conducts periodic studies of issues and topics at the intersection of the law and society to better understand the dynamics facing individuals engaging with the legal system.

These are findings from an Avvo poll conducted in collaboration with Research Now in late August and early September 2015. A sample of 2,600 U.S. adults (18 and over) were surveyed. The precision of Research Now online polls is measured using a credibility interval. In this case, the poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.5 percentage points for all respondents. The data were weighted to the U.S. current population data by gender, age, and region based on Census data.

About Avvo, Inc.

Avvo is the leading online legal marketplace connecting consumers and lawyers. Avvo offers on-demand, affordable legal advice through Avvo Advisor®, which delivers a highly reviewed lawyer for 15 minutes over the phone – anytime, anywhere – available online or via a free app for iOS devices. In Avvo’s Q&A forum, consumers can get their legal questions answered for free by more than 230,000 participating lawyers or search more than 7.5 million previously asked questions and attorney provided answers. Avvo’s lawyer directory provides Avvo-rated profiles, client reviews, and peer endorsements for 97% of all lawyers in the U.S., so consumers can find the lawyer who’s right for them.  Avvo also helps lawyers grow their businesses with marketing tools and services including the Avvo JD App and Avvo Ignite, a cloud-based marketing platform designed specifically for attorneys.  Avvo, Avvo Advisor, Avvo JD App, and Avvo Ignite are trademarks or registered trademarks of Avvo, Inc.  Avvo was founded in 2006 and is based in Seattle, Wash.