Despite continued pressure for more restrictive firearms legislation by the Obama Administration and some state legislatures, new polling data from one of the nation’s leading public opinion companies indicates a decreasing number of Americans support new laws limiting gun rights.
In polling conducted by Gallup in December 2012, just days following the tragic events in Newtown, Connecticut, 58 percent of those interviewed said they supported more restrictive firearms laws. In similar polling conducted by Gallup the first week of October 2013, only 49 percent of those interviewed supported more restrictive gun laws.
According to the Gallup report released Oct. 25, 2013, support for more restrictive gun laws is lower than it was from 2000 through 2006, when, according to the pollster, a majority of Americans favored such laws limiting gun ownership. At 49 percent, support for more restrictions remains slightly higher than from 2009 to 2011, when support for stricter laws fell to record lows of 44 and 43 percent.
This month’s Gallup poll showed a slight increase among Americans to keep the laws as they are now (37 percent) and those who desire less stringent gun control (13 percent).
Also contained in this month’s Gallup polling data, a record-high number of Americans continue to broadly support handgun ownership by private citizens. Only 26 percent of Americans think handgun possession should be limited to police and other authorized persons, while 74 percent oppose handgun ownership restrictions.
Gallup points out that current attitudes on handgun ownership are markedly different from the 1980s, when barely half of Americans opposed a ban on civilian handgun ownership. It is also a major reversal from a half-century ago, when only 36 percent opposed such a ban. Opposition to banning citizens’ possession of handguns mounted in the 1990s and 2000s, and first crossed the 70 percent threshold in 2009.
In addition, the poll found firearms ownership is rising on all sides of the demographic and political spectrum, among those who identify themselves as Democrats as well as Republicans. The partisan divide on the issue of firearms ownership is steadily shrinking, as 55 percent of Republicans and 40 percent of Democrats (up eight points from 2010), acknowledge having a firearm in their homes.
View more info right here.