Support for Stricter US Gun Laws at Lowest Level Since 2016: Gallup

November 16, 2020 Updated: November 16, 2020

Americans’ overall support for stricter gun law has fallen to its lowest level since 2016, while the disagreement between Republicans and Democrats over the issue has continued to widen, according to a Gallup survey.

The report, published on Monday, shows that Americans are “less likely than they have been since 2016 to call for increased gun control.” Some 57 percent of respondents are in favor of stricter gun laws, a 7 percent decrease from 2019. Meanwhile, 34 percent of respondents prefer that gun laws be kept as they are now, while 9 percent say they should be less strict.

Gallup noted that support for a handgun ban (25 percent) has also fallen to the lowest level since it began tracking opinions 40 years ago.

“The latest reading [for a handgun ban], which is down 18 points from its 1991 high, is a slight decline from last year’s 29 percent,” Gallup wrote. “Currently, 74 percent of U.S. adults say such a ban should not be put in place.”

The Gallup findings also highlight the increasingly partisan views on gun regulation. According to the poll, a majority of Republican respondents are in favor of no change to existing gun laws, with 62 percent in support, and 16 percent in favor of less strict laws. Only 22 percent of Republican support stricter gun laws, compared to 85 percent of Democrats.

“The 63-point gap between Republicans and Democrats is the highest on record over the past two decades,” the report reads, adding that the percentages of Democrats (85 percent) and independents (60 percent) calling for more gun control are near the highest recorded by Gallup since 2000.

When it comes to gender differences, 67 percent of female respondents are in favor of implementing stricter gun laws, and 4 percent seeking less strict laws, with the rest preferring no change.

In comparison, male respondents have only 46 percent in favor of stricter gun laws, 15 percent seeking less strict gun laws, and 39 percent preferring no change.

Gallup said this year’s decline in support for stricter gun laws could be explained by the lack of mass shooting events in the country since mid-2020 and that Americans had to deal with other serious issues, such as the CCP (Chinese Communist Party) virus pandemic.

“Since the early 1990s, Americans’ preferences for tougher gun control have generally peaked in the wake of prominent mass shootings and waned as the memory of each fades,” Gallup wrote. “A recent example was the 2018 school massacre in Parkland, Fla., after which support for increased gun control hit 67 percent. Support remained near that level last year in two readings taken after mass shootings in Dayton, Ohio, and El Paso, Texas.”