A recent poll released last week shows that support for banning “assault rifles” has changed over time, waning in recent years.
Gallup released the results of a poll taken over the first part of October that found 57 percent of respondents were against a ban on such guns — up eight points since a poll taken last year just after the Las Vegas shooting — while only 40 percent were in favor.
The pollster, which has surveyed the question eight times since 1996, has seen the popularity of such a ban flip, with some 57 percent gauged as in favor of outlawing the guns when it was first posed some 22 years ago in the midst of the Federal Assault Weapons Ban.
“The current 40 percent support for an assault rifles ban is below the historical average of 47,” said Gallup, pointing out that Americans without a gun in the home were more likely than those with a gun to favor such a ban by a spread of 13-points.
The poll results came the same week that Gallup reported that 61 percent of Americans surveyed are in favor of stricter laws on the sale of firearms, which is down seven points from a similar poll in March, shortly after the Parkland, Florida school shooting which saw a spate of new regulations proposed in several states. Again, partisan differences were observed, with nine out of 10 Democrats in favor of such increases while just three of 10 Republicans were.
Similarly, just three in 10 surveyed voiced support for an outright ban on handguns when polled. What does it all mean when just weeks away from a mid-term election where the polarity of Congress is at stake?
“Current support levels for tougher gun control would tend to indicate the issue would be an advantage for Democrats, though with the recent drop in support for tighter legislation, not to the extent it was seven months ago,” observed Gallup.