Most Americans now disapprove of a ban on so-called "assault weapons" — for the first time in 20 years.
According to a new ABC/Washington Post national poll, there is a growing sense that armed citizens could help thwart a "lone wolf" terrorist as confidence in law enforcement's ability to do so deteriorates.
The poll found that 53 percent of Americans oppose a ban on assault weapons — the most on record, according to ABC.
Only 45 percent do favor such a ban, which is significantly less than the 1994 peak of 80 percent. In 2013, 56 percent of Americans favored such a ban.
New ABC News/WaPo poll: 53% oppose banning the sale of assault weapons, highest on record: https://t.co/WNAiVy5pImpic.twitter.com/XoL5wj9gfR— ABC News (@ABC) December 16, 2015
The poll also shows that only 22 percent of Americans are confident in the government's ability to stop a lone wolf attack, and 77 percent of Americans are skeptical. However, 43 percent of Americans do have confidence that the government can thwart a larger scale terrorist attack.
And a plurality of Americans — 47 to 42 percent — believe that prompting citizens to legally carry guns would be a better way to thwart terrorism than a ban or stricter gun control laws.
The poll was conducted Dec. 10-13 — several days after two gunmen opened fire in at a San Bernardino social services center, killing 14 people. The results have a margin of error of +/- 3.5 points.
Read more about the new poll at ABC here.