Most Republicans Satisfied With US Gun Laws, Most Democrats Dissatisified: Poll

February 19, 2021 Updated: February 19, 2021

A majority of Republicans are satisfied with gun laws in the United States while most Democrats are not satisfied, according to a new survey.

Nearly 7 out of 10 GOP respondents said they’re very or somewhat satisfied with current regulations on guns. On the other hand, just 22 percent of Democrat respondents expressed satisfaction with the laws.

Independents were closely divided, with 43 percent expressing satisfaction and 38 percent saying they’re dissatisfied.

Of all respondents who expressed dissatisfaction, the majority want stricter gun laws.

While 56 percent of respondents said they’re dissatisfied with the current policies on guns, that figure is lower than the record high of 62 percent seen in 2016, and a slight 1 percent increase from the last survey.

Satisfaction has hovered around 42 percent since 2011, with several aberrations, such as a dip to 34 percent in 2016. The survey that year took place shortly after the mass shooting in San Bernardino, California.

The record-high was 57 percent satisfied, with 38 percent dissatisfied, in 2001, the first year Gallup conducted the survey.

Gallup has asked voters every year since what they think about the nation’s gun laws, except during 2009, 2010, and 2011.

Over time, the split between parties has opened up wider. The 47 percent gap is one of the largest in the history of the poll.

This year’s results are based on telephone interviews conducted between Jan. 4 and Jan. 15, with a random sample of 1,023 adults chosen. Subsets of that sample indicated that most of the respondents were Independents.

The margin of sampling error was plus/minus 5 percentage points.

Former President Donald Trump’s administration banned bump stocks, a gun accessory, by classifying them as machine guns, which are banned under federal law. The Supreme Court ultimately left the ban in place.

Trump declined to pursue other legislation that would restrict gun ownership, to the consternation of Democrats.

With President Joe Biden in the White House, and Democrats controlling both chambers of Congress, the party is launching a renewed push to pass legislation restricting gun ownership.

Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School,
Suzanne Devine Clark, an art teacher at Deerfield Beach Elementary School, places painted stones at a memorial outside Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School during the one-year anniversary of the school shooting in Parkland, Fla., on Feb. 14, 2019. (Wilfredo Lee/AP Photo)

Biden on Feb. 14, on the anniversary of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Florida, called for Congress to “enact commonsense gun law reforms, including requiring background checks on all gun sales, banning assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, and eliminating immunity for gun manufacturers who knowingly put weapons of war on our streets.”

Biden administration officials also recently convened with leaders of groups that want stricter gun laws, such as Shannon Watts from Moms Demand Action.

House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) said the same day that Democrats will try to pass stricter measures.

“We will not rest until all Americans, in schools, in the workplace, in places of worship, and throughout our communities are safe, once and for all,” Pelosi said in a statement.

Republicans, though, have said they will work to block what they describe as attempts to weaken the Second Amendment.

“The Parkland shooting 3 years ago was an act of unspeakable evil,” Texas Attorney General Paxton wrote in a tweet on the anniversary of the shooting. “But Democrats cannot be allowed to use this tragedy as an opportunity to cram down unhelpful and unconstitutional gun laws.”

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