Hover for more information, Click to highlight a candidate

Tap for more information

Do you support a federal assault weapons ban?

Yes, with a mandatory buyback

Yes, with a mandatory buyback

Cory Booker

Booker

Marianne Williamson

Williamson

Yes, with a voluntary buyback

Yes, with a voluntary buyback

Michael Bennet

Bennet

Joe Biden

Biden

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Castro

John Delaney

Delaney

Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar

Bernie Sanders

Sanders

Tom Steyer

Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

Warren

Andrew Yang

Yang

Yes, stance on buyback unclear

Yes, stance on buyback unclear

Mike Bloomberg

Bloomberg

Tulsi Gabbard

Gabbard

Deval Patrick

Patrick

ShowHide former candidates

Democrats are clamoring to tighten the nation’s gun laws after years of outrage following mass shootings and pent up frustration with inaction in Congress. Gun control became a major issue during the 2018 midterm elections and 2019 state elections, especially in suburban districts.

The candidates universally support requiring a background check for every gun purchase and a federal ban on assault weapons. Most backed laws that allow courts to take guns from mentally unfit individuals.

But Democrats disagree on how to handle existing assault weapons. Most are pitching a government program to buy weapons if gun owners choose to turn them over. A smaller group has said such a program should be mandatory. Gun-rights advocates say that these measures and others would violate their Second Amendment rights and could lead to confiscation of their weapons.

Where the candidates stand

Here’s where the candidates stand on gun policy, based on their statements, voting records and answers to a questionnaire that was sent to every campaign.

Question 2 of 6

Yes, for all guns

Yes, for all guns

Mike Bloomberg

Bloomberg

Cory Booker

Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Castro

Tom Steyer

Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

Warren

Marianne Williamson

Williamson

Andrew Yang

Yang

Only for assault weapons

Only for assault weapons

Bernie Sanders

Sanders

Michael Bennet

Bennet

Joe Biden

Biden

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

John Delaney

Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar

Deval Patrick

Patrick

Hover for more information

Tap for info

ShowHide former candidates

Background Gun-control activists argue that federal law should require gun owners to obtain a license or permit for purchasing firearms, which a study found reduced gun deaths. Six states and the District require a license or permit to purchase all types of guns, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

States that require a permit or license to purchase guns

Required for all types of guns

Required for some guns

Source: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

States that require a permit or license to purchase guns

Required for all types of guns

Required for some guns

Source: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

States that require a permit or license to purchase guns

Required for all types of guns

Required for some guns

Source: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Question 3 of 6

Cory Booker

Booker

Elizabeth Warren

Warren

Marianne Williamson

Williamson

Andrew Yang

Yang

Only for assault weapons

Only for assault weapons

Joe Biden

Biden

Julian Castro

Castro

Bernie Sanders

Sanders

Tom Steyer

Steyer

Michael Bennet

Bennet

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Michael Bloomberg

Bloomberg

John Delaney

Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar

Deval Patrick

Patrick

Hover for more information

Tap for info

ShowHide former candidates

Background This proposal would require gun owners to register their firearms with law enforcement. Advocates say such a federal database would hold gun owners accountable by more closely tying a gun to its owner. Opponents say such a registry would provide the federal government with too much information about gun owners and possibly lead to confiscation of their firearms. Six states and the District have instituted some version of gun registries, but eight states ban them, according to the Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence

States that have instituted or have banned gun registries

Has some form of a gun registry

Has banned registries of some or all guns

Source: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

States that have instituted or have banned gun registries

Has some form of a gun registry

Has banned registries of some or all guns

Source: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

States that have instituted or have banned gun registries

Has some form of a gun registry

Has banned registries of some or all guns

Source: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Question 4 of 6

Cory Booker

Booker

Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar

Tom Steyer

Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

Warren

Marianne Williamson

Williamson

Yes, with exceptions

Yes, with exceptions

Michael Bloomberg

Bloomberg

Bernie Sanders

Sanders

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg

John Delaney

Delaney

Andrew Yang

Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Michael Bennet

Bennet

Joe Biden

Biden

Julian Castro

Castro

Tulsi Gabbard

Gabbard

Deval Patrick

Patrick

Hover for more information

Tap for info

ShowHide former candidates

Background Federal law prohibits licensed gun dealers from selling handguns to anyone under 21 and long guns to anyone under 18, though unlicensed sellers face fewer restrictions. State laws are a patchwork, and some allow those in rural areas as young as 14 to buy guns used for hunting. Many Democrats wish to hike the minimum age and apply it more broadly to all sellers.

Question 5 of 6

Michael Bennet

Bennet

Michael Bloomberg

Bloomberg

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg

John Delaney

Delaney

Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar

Bernie Sanders

Sanders

Tom Steyer

Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

Warren

Marianne Williamson

Williamson

Andrew Yang

Yang

Encourage states to pass them

Encourage states to pass them

Joe Biden

Biden

Cory Booker

Booker

Julian Castro

Castro

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Tulsi Gabbard

Gabbard

Deval Patrick

Patrick

Hover for more information

Tap for info

ShowHide former candidates

Background Seventeen states and the District have adopted “red-flag” laws, also known as extreme risk protection orders, that allow courts to temporarily block access to guns for individuals deemed mentally unfit following a petition from family members or law enforcement. Supporters say the laws have been used to preempt mass shootings and suicides where they have been implemented.

President Trump backed a federal “red-flag” law following mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, Ohio, but quietly abandoned it. A September 2019 Washington Post-ABC News poll found 86 percent of the public favors such a law.

States that have adopted “red-flag” laws

Has adopted “red-flag” law

Source: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

States that have adopted “red-flag” laws

Has adopted “red-flag” law

Source: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

States that have adopted “red-flag” laws

Has adopted “red-flag” law

Source: Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence.

Question 6 of 6

Michael Bennet

Bennet

Joe Biden

Biden

Michael Bloomberg

Bloomberg

Cory Booker

Booker

Pete Buttigieg

Buttigieg

Julian Castro

Castro

John Delaney

Delaney

Tulsi Gabbard

Gabbard

Amy Klobuchar

Klobuchar

Deval Patrick

Patrick

Bernie Sanders

Sanders

Tom Steyer

Steyer

Elizabeth Warren

Warren

Marianne Williamson

Williamson

Andrew Yang

Yang

Unclear/No response

Unclear/No response

Hover for more information

Tap for info

ShowHide former candidates

Background Federally licensed gun dealers are required by the Gun Control Act of 1968 to conduct a background check on buyers before selling a gun, but occasional sellers can do so without such a check. President Barack Obama repeatedly argued for legislation extending background checks to all gun sales and took executive action to modestly expand background checks in the last year of his presidency.

A September 2019 Washington Post-ABC News poll found 89 percent of the public favor requiring background checks for all potential gun buyers.

How candidate positions were compiled

The Washington Post sent a detailed questionnaire to every Democratic presidential campaign asking whether it supports various changes to U.S. gun policy. Candidates with similar stances were organized into groups using a combination of those answers, legislative records, action taken in an executive role, and other public comments, such as policy discussion on campaign websites, social media posts, interviews, town hall meetings and other news reports and surveys. See something we missed? Let us know.

We expect candidates to develop more detailed policy positions throughout the campaign, and this page will update as we learn more about their plans. We also will note if candidates change their position on an issue.

Curious about where candidates stand on another policy? Fill out this suggestion form.

Kevin Uhrmacher is a graphics editor for politics at The Washington Post. His work includes mapping trends in election results, analyzing data about President Trump’s political appointees and explaining the impact of congressional policies. He joined The Post in 2014 as a news designer.

Kevin Schaul is a senior graphics editor for The Washington Post. He covers national politics and public policy using data and visuals.