American’s support for tougher gun control laws has dropped to the lowest level recorded in seven years, according to a Gallup survey that was released this week.
According to the poll, 52% of United States adults say they want more stringent gun laws, a five-point decline from Gallup’s last survey and the lowest reading since 2014. The results of the survey come as violent homicides and crimes are increasing in America and after citizens set a record for firearms bought last year.
Gallup observed that calls for tougher gun control laws typically surge when mass shooting events receive widespread news coverage and fades as that attention fades away. For example, several years ago after the Parkland, FL school shooting, American’s support for tougher gun control laws surged to 67%, the highest level since 1993.
Now, 35% of American adults think laws that regulate the sale of guns should remain the way they are, while 11% believe gun laws should be a lot less strict.
Support for gun control dropped by 15 percentage points with independent voters, which contributed to the overall 5% decrease in support recorded. Dems remain nearly unanimous in support for stricter gun laws, while 56% of Republicans like gun laws as they are now, the rest of Republicans are divided between favoring more gun control (24%) and wanting less gun restrictions (20%).
Furthermore, support for a total ban on handguns in the United States has reached an all-time low of 19%. Support for such a ban reached 60% when Gallup first asked the question in 1959 and has not been that high since.
“Americans’ support for more stringent gun laws has generally risen in the aftermath of high-profile mass shootings and dropped during periods without such events. Changes in the party that occupies the White House might also influence preferences for gun control laws,” Megan Brenan wrote for Gallup.
Perceptions about crime might be associated to the lack of support for gun control laws. Gallup found that a large majority of American gun owners (88%) cite protection from crime as the primary reason they own a gun.
Author: Scott Dowdy