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Support for stricter gun laws falls to lowest point since 2016; backing for handgun ban falls to near record low


People want to be able to protect themselves

Photo by TIMOTHY A. CLARY/AFP via Getty Images

With all the civil unrest that plagued the country over the last year, support for instituting stricter gun laws has dropped, while support for making gun laws less strict has seen a bump. And support for a ban on handguns has fallen to nearly record-low levels.

As Americans watched neighborhoods burn, business suffer looting, protesters demand that we "defund the police," and fellow citizens hit with violence from rioters and other criminals, they made their way to gun stores, hoping to add another level of security for themselves and their families.

And as a result, the nation has seen a surge in gun sales the last few months, with gun sales shattering records this summer.

In early October, Rasmussen revealed that 22% of gun-owning households said they had added at least one firearm to their arsenal since the start of violent anti-police and Black Lives Matter protests.

When those factors are combined with the absence of a mass shooting in the U.S. this year, it likely comes as no surprise that Americans have grown significantly less supportive of imposing stricter gun laws.

A new Gallup survey posted Monday showed that a shrinking majority — 57% — of Americans support calls for stricter gun laws, which is down seven points from last year and down 10 points from 2018.

The share of U.S. citizens who want guns laws to be made less strict moved up from 4% in 2018 and 7% in 2019 to 9% today.

The percentage of voters who believe gun laws should be left untouched grew from 28% last year to 34% this year.

When broken down by demographics, the widest difference of opinion is found, unsurprisingly, between political parties, with the gap between gun owners and non-gun owners coming in second.

  • 85% of Democrats want to see stricter gun laws imposed, while 22% of Republicans feel the same.
  • 72% of non-gun owners support stricter gun laws, while just 26% of current gun support such a move.

Gallup also reported that support for a ban on handguns in the U.S. has fallen to a near record low of just 25%. The previous record low was 23% in 2016.

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