Support For Gun Control Plunges To New Low, New Poll Shows
The American people appear to be souring on the idea of tougher regulations on firearms, Gallup revealed in a new survey that was published on Tuesday.
Gallup began tracking the public’s pulse on the issue of gun control in 1990 when 78% of the population favored enacting tougher rules surrounding access to guns.
“Calls for tougher gun control have generally spiked in the wake of prominent mass shootings and faded as the memory of each receded,” Gallup noted. But its latest poll suggests that support for limitations to the Second Amendment has cratered, reaching its lowest approval rating since 2014.
“Americans’ support for stricter gun control has fallen five percentage points to 52%, the lowest reading since 2014. At the same time, 35% of U.S. adults think laws covering the sale of firearms should be kept as they are now and 11% favor less strict laws,” Gallop’s poll found.
“The decline in support for stricter gun laws last year was mostly due to a 14-point drop among Republicans, to 22% – the group’s lowest point on record. This year’s decrease is driven by a 15-point plunge among independents,” Gallop explained. “For their part, Democrats’ desire for more restrictive gun laws ticked up to 91%.”
Starker still is the collapse in support for a hypothetical ban on handguns. Gallop routinely asks respondents how they would feel about “a law which would forbid the possession” of “pistols and revolvers” for civilians.
“Support for banning citizens’ ownership of handguns peaked at 60%, the initial measure, in 1959. After that first reading, it never rose to the majority level and has been below 30% since 2008,” Gallop’s data revealed. “Today’s 19% favoring such a ban is the all-time low, and down six points in the past year.”
Gallop noted that support for stricter gun laws typically waxes following mass-casualty events such as school shootings and likewise tends to wane as those tragedies fade into the collective memory.
Gallup also pointed out that “the public favors stricter laws when Republicans are in office and less strict laws when Democrats are.”
In 2020, nearly 23 million guns were bought – a record. That surge has continued through 2021. And, there has been no letup in mass shootings either. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 638 mass shootings so far in 2021. (The site defines a mass shooting as one with 4 or more victims, either injured or killed, not including the gunman).