Belmont University Research Symposium (BURS)

Publication Date

Spring 5-2-2023


Liberal Arts and Social Sciences, College of


Political Science, Department of

BURS Faculty Advisor

Nathan Griffith

Presentation Type

Oral Presentation


Mass shootings in the United States have led to debate about gun rights and increased division over the second amendment. Have parties’ positions on gun laws affected voter alignment? This study seeks to determine the effects of restrictive gun laws over time on party alignment within the United States. The urban rural divide in the United States has played a distinctive role in voter alignment on issues like restrictive gun laws. To evaluate this claim, this study uses the Pew Research Center and other opinion polls from the last twenty years to determine whether restrictive gun laws produce higher levels of partisanship amongst voters on rural areas versus voters in urban areas. Additionally, this research serves to evaluate whether levels of partisanship have seen shifts in how people identify with their party on restrictive gun laws.