Americans’ Support for ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban at Record Low

Support for a ban on “assault weapons” is at the lowest rate in two decades, according to a poll released Wednesday.

In an October survey from Gallup, 36 percent of Americans favor an assault weapons ban, down 21 percent since the pollster asked the same question in 1996.

Image Credit: Gallup
Image Credit: Gallup

And the decrease in support for broader gun control measures spans all political affiliations.

While 50 percent of Democrats support a ban, Independents and Republicans are more closely aligned with 31 percent and 25 percent support for an assault weapons ban, respectively.

The only part of Gallup’s survey that had Americans favoring stricter gun laws north of 50 percent centered on firearm sales specifically. According to Gallup, 55 percent of Americans think gun transactions should be more strict. However, that figure is also lower than levels from the 1990s.

While assault rifles with selective fire are limited to military use absent a very rare and special permit, proposed assault weapons bans generally encompass semiautomatic rifles, shotguns, and handguns that some lawmakers deem too dangerous for public use.

Gun rights and gun violence issues have been at the forefront of the presidential election for much of the year. But with many terrorist attacks and mass shootings resulting in politicians’ calls for bans, the opposition has only grown stronger.

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