ST. LOUIS–A Saint Louis University Poll taken within the last month found bipartisan support for measures to address the ability to obtain a firearm, in sharp contrast with the prevailing political sentiment in the GOP-controlled Missouri state capitol.

The school and YouGov surveyed roughly 900 likely Missouri voters between Feb. 8-14, and found 79% favored requiring criminal background checks for anyone buying a gun, including at gun shows and in private sales. That figure included 73% who identified as a Republican.

On the question of requiring mental health checks for all gun purchases, including at gun shows and private sales, 69% said they agreed, including 60% of Republican voters.

Sixty-nine percent of those polled said gun owners should be at least 21 years old to purchase one, including 59% of Republican voters, and 60% said there should be a 72 hour waiting period after the sale of a gun, which garnered 46% of GOP support.

Asked if they supported legalizing “Red Flag” laws, which would allow a judge to temporarily take guns away from people who post a danger to themselves or others, 60% said they agreed, including 46% of Republicans.

More stringent proposals, such as banning all guns, handguns or hunting rifles were opposed by at least 80% of respondents. 

In the last ten years GOP lawmakers repealed the law that required a permit to carry a firearm, passed the Second Amendment Preservation Act, which effectively nullifies federal gun laws in the state, and have spoken out against “Red Flag” laws. Federal legislation that passed following the fatal school shooting massacre in Uvalde, Texas included federal financial incentives for states to enact “Red Flag” legislation.

In the wake of the fatal school shooting at Central and Visual Performing Arts High School in St. Louis last fall, State Rep. Peter Merideth introduced bills setting an age minimum at 21 and to create “Red Flag” laws. Neither bill has been assigned to a committee.

“While Missouri may be more of a “Red” state, there is some support for say, some more progressive policies,” said Dr. Steven Rogers, SLU/YouGov Poll Director.

At the same time, a plurality of poll respondents also said they supported making it harder to make changes to the state constitution. In recent years voters have passed measures like Medicaid expansion along with medical and now recreational marijuana.

State lawmakers have a handful of bills in the General Assembly this session that would make changes to the process to get a question on the ballot as well as the threshold needed for approval.

The SLU poll found 33% of voters would favor a threshold of 66% for approval.  

“That’s Missourians almost saying to some degree, “make us have less influence’... they’re taking power away from themselves,” Rogers said. 


Complete poll results can be found here after 8am Thursday.