A new Gallup Poll finds most Americans are opposed to a ban on handguns and believe firearms in the home make it a safer place, but a staggering number of Democrats disagree and are supportive of banning not only so-called assault weapons, but commonly owned pistols as well.
Gun control advocates will be heartened by the top-line takeaway from Gallup’s most recent survey on attitudes towards gun ownership, with the polling outfit finding 56% of Americans in agreement that “the laws covering the sale of firearms should be made more strict”. That number is down considerably from the early 1990s, when nearly 80% of survey respondents agreed with that proposition, and is ten points lower than the 66% support Gallup found for new gun control laws in June of 2022, but it’s still above 50% (It’s also worth noting that nother recent poll, this one from Rasmussen that was conducted after the murders in Lewiston, on the other hand, found just 44% of respondents supportive of more gun laws.)
That’s about the only good news for anti-gunners to be found in Gallup’s survey, however. Only about 1-in-4 respondents support the idea of banning handguns, and just 1-in-3 of those who were surveyed believe that a gun in the home makes it a more dangerous place.
Democrats are outliers in both respects, according to the survey, and are far more likely than Republicans and independent voters to back a handgun ban or view a gun in the home as a bad idea.
Almost 9-in-10 Democrats surveyed support putting more restrictions on gun ownership in place, and 49% of them support a ban on handguns. Given the poll’s margin of error, it could very well be that a handgun ban actually enjoys majority support on the Left though that idea is well outside of the mainstream opinion of most Americans.
The long-term trends are also bad news for gun-banners, with Gallup surveys showing declining support for handgun bans and growing support for gun ownership.
While Democrats are overwhelmingly supportive of more restrictions on the right to keep and bear arms, Gallup’s most recent survey shows that the gun control advocates are even losing ground among their base, at least when it comes to keeping guns in the home. As the polling outfit reports:
- In 2001, 61% of Democrats and 44% of Republicans wanted gun laws to be stricter. Since then, there has been a 27-percentage-point increase in the percentage of Democrats favoring stricter laws and an 18-point decrease among Republicans. Independents’ views haven’t changed.
- Compared with 2000, the percentage of Republicans in favor of a handgun ban has fallen 19 points. Democrats’ and independents’ views on this issue are generally similar to what they were in 2000.
- The percentage of Republicans who think guns make homes safer has nearly doubled since 2000, from 44% to 86%. Independents also show a large shift in the same direction, from 36% in 2000 to 66%. Democrats are slightly more likely today (37%) than in 2000 (28%) to think guns make homes safer.
The high-water mark for the gun control movement came decades ago, when activists were able to get a handgun ban put in place in Washington, D.C. and Chicago in the late 1970s and early 1980s, respectively. By that point, however, support for a handgun ban had already declined to less than 50% and has steadily dropped ever since. Fifty years ago a handgun ban was the top priority of the gun control movement, and now it’s a measure that virtually no major gun control organization would dare to publicly support, despite the large number of Democrats who think it’s a grand idea.
Twenty years ago, a slight majority of Americans believed that having a gun in the home made it a more dangerous place, but that number has dropped as well, and for the past decade roughly 2/3rds of survey respondents have embraced the idea that a gun in the home makes it a safer place; a notion that’s completely at odds with the fundamental premise of the gun control lobby’s ideology.
Be sure to check out today’s Bearing Arms Cam & Co in the video window below for a more in-depth look at Gallup’s latest findings, as well as today’s recidivist report, a defensive gun use in Missouri, and our good deed of the day.