Support for gun control drops ahead of midterm elections

Submitted by Freedomman on Wed, 10/24/2018 - 15:58

WASHINGTON (PNN) - October 18, 2018 - A new poll released on Wednesday shows support for new gun-control laws dropped significantly over the last seven months.

The Gallup poll of 1,019 adults, conducted between Oct. 1 and 10, found 61% of respondents support making gun laws stricter. That's down 6 points from when Gallup asked the same question between March 1 and 8. At the same time, support for the idea that gun laws should be kept the same increased from 28% to 30%, and support for the idea they should be made less strict doubled from 4% to 8%.

Overall, opposition to stricter gun-control laws moved from 32% to 38%. Two percent of respondents said they had no opinion. (It's unclear why Gallup's raw numbers add up to more than 100 percent but the discrepancy is likely the result of rounding.)

Support for stricter gun control has wavered significantly over the last few decades. When Gallup first asked about it in 1990, support for stricter laws came in at an all-time-high of 78%. In 2012, support hit an all-time-low of 43%. Support for stricter laws has trended back up since 2012, but this month’s numbers may indicate it is once again receding.

The poll found Republicans and Democrats were at odds over support for gun control. Eighty-seven percent of Democrats favor stricter gun-control laws, 10% favor keeping our gun laws the same, and 3% favor making them less strict. Only 31% of Republicans favor stricter gun-control laws while 55% favor keeping gun laws the same, and 13% favor making them less strict. Independents fell between the two groups with 61% favoring more strict laws, 28% favoring keeping them the same, and 7% favoring making them less strict.

Gun ownership was also a telling factor in how those polled responded. Seventy-three percent of those who didn't own guns favored stricter gun-control laws while only 38% of those who own guns did. Similarly, 48% of gun owners said they want gun laws to remain the same while only 20% of those who don't own guns said the same.

The groups are not as split on the question of an outright ban on handguns. Opposition to a handgun ban remained near an all-time-high and unchanged from the last time Gallup asked about it, with 71% against it and 28% in favor. Democrats had the highest level of support for a handgun ban at 42% but still registered 55% opposition to such a ban. Ninety percent of Republicans said they'd oppose a handgun ban with only 10% saying they'd support it. Gun owners were the most opposed to a handgun ban with 93% saying they'd oppose it and only 6% saying they'd support it.