NPR poll: Support for assault weapons ban down since October

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A joint Ipsos and National Public Radio poll conducted last month found support for banning “assault-style” rifles has declined 7 percent since October.

The survey of 1,005 adults shows 72 percent favored the ban, compared with 79 percent as of Oct. 17. Nearly nine out of 10 Democrats support the policy, down 3 percent from six months ago. Meanwhile, support among Republicans and Independents dropped double digits — 12 percent and 10 percent, respectively. As of Feb. 28, five out of 10 Republicans and six out of 10 Independents support such a measure.

NPR said the recent mass shooting in Parkland, Florida that left 17 dead and 15 wounded last month called for a new look at American perspectives on gun control. The news outlet noted concern over gun-related violence typically surges after high-profile shootings.

As such, the poll indicates “crime and gun violence” represents the top most worrisome issue for Democrats and Independents, rising 9 percent and 15 percent, respectively, since October. Only 26 percent of Republicans agreed.

The survey sample includes 351 Democrats, 341 Republicans, and 203 Independents, NPR said. Other policy issues with majority support across all groups included raising the legal age to own a rifle to 21, banning rifle attachments like bump stocks, and eliminating magazines carrying more than 10 rounds.

Nine out of 10 respondents also favored “requiring background checks on all buyers” and adding mental health diagnoses to the National Instant Criminal Background Check System.

While there was broad support for school safety measures such as metal detectors and armed security guards, all three groups discounted arming teachers as an effective way to prevent mass shootings. All three groups put the onus on Congress to do more about gun-related violence.

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