Photo via West Midlands Police on Wikimedia Commons

The American public is widely against the idea of passing an ‘Assault Weapons’ ban, even in the woke of the Uvalde shooting.


From the Reload: 

That’s one of the surprising takeaways from the first Quinnipiac University poll on gun policy since the horrific shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. The poll, released on Wednesday, found that the fewest registered voters supported an “assault weapons” ban since Quinnipiac first asked the question in 2013. While support still cracked a bare majority, it was down 17 percent since its peak just four years ago.

The drop in support for an assault weapons ban runs contrary to the trajectory of other gun-control policies. Support for stricter gun laws overall increased 12 points over the past year to 57 percent. “Red flag” laws saw an increase of 11 points in support to 83 percent. Universal background checks saw a smaller boost in support but ended up with 91 percent support.

The continued drop in support for assault weapons bans may signal a new reality for the policy. If other polling replicates Quinnipiac’s findings and even mass shootings no longer drive greater support for outright bans on the popular firearms, the proposals could end up in the same places as a ban on handguns. In 1959, Gallup found 60 percent of Americans supported a ban on handguns, but by 2021 that number was down to just 19 percent.

Lack of support in polling has already translated to a lack of action in Congress. Despite President Joe Biden’s (D.) repeated calls to reinstitute and expand the 1994 federal assault weapons ban, his party has not passed a ban through either house of Congress. While Speaker of the House Nancy Pelosi (D., Calif.) has promised a markup on one in the wake of the Uvalde shooting, the policy did not make its way into the collection of gun-control policies passed by the House on Wednesday and Thursday.

The Gallup poll found that things were split along partisan lines. Most Democrats support the proposed ban while Republicans and Independents are against the idea.

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