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Thirty percent of teens and young adults have experienced gun violence personally and another quarter (24%) have a friend or family member who has.

  • More than a quarter (28%) say either they themselves or a friend or family member have been shot at. 
  • Among Black and Latino young people, more than 60% have personal experience with gun violence or know someone who has.

Gen Z ranks gun violence as a bigger problem than climate change or abortion access.

When asked to rank gun violence among other problems, the majority of young people (51%) said it was an important problem. On access to abortion, 47% saw it as a problem. On climate change, just 37% of those polled said it was a major problem.

School shootings and mass shootings are top of mind for young people, heightening perceptions that they are unsafe.

Half of young people (50%) report thinking about mass shootings at least weekly, while another 48% say they think about school shootings as often.

Black teens feel considerably less safe in their schools.

Only 26% of Black young people report feeling “very safe” when at school, a full 13-points lower than white young people (39% very safe) and 4-points lower than Latino young people (30% very safe).

Movies, television and video games are key sources of information about guns.

  • More than half (51%) of young people cite movies and television as a source for learning about guns, and 37% said they learned about guns from video games. 
  • Black youth are more likely to say that they learned about guns from television and movies (62% of Black youth) than white youth, who cite friends and family as the most prevalent source of information about guns.

Gen Z Gun and Culture Insights Report

In 2022, Project Unloaded partnered with Global Strategy Group to survey 1,000 Americans, ages 13 through 25, to understand how young people, particularly Gen Z, think about guns and gun violence. The resulting report, Gen Z Gun and Culture Insights, details the findings, including:

The survey echoes past research showing that most young people believe that having a gun makes them safer. But after reading simple messages on the risks of using guns, young people shifted away from the notion that guns make them safer by nearly 20 points. The magnitude of the shift is not seen in surveys of older populations. This change happened across all demographics – even young people in homes with guns shifted their views.

The survey highlights how deeply gun violence impacts young people and how willing they are to listen to the facts and change their views based on the data. By empowering young people with the facts on guns, we can correct the widespread myth that guns make us safer and reduce rates of gun ownership among future generations, which will save countless lives.

Help Stop Gun Violence

To turn the page on gun violence, we must tell a different story about guns. With your help, we can grow our work and save lives.