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Support For Gun Ban Hits Record Low


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Support For Handgun Ban Hits Record Low As Gun Violence, Sales Soar During Pandemic, Poll Finds

Robert Hart
Forbes Staff



Americans’ support for a complete ban on handguns is the lowest on record, according to a new Gallup poll, part of a wider dip in support for stricter gun control measures as gun sales, violent crime and gun violence soared during the Covid-19 pandemic. 



  • Less than one in five (19%) Americans supported a complete ban on handguns in the U.S., except for police and authorized persons, according to the poll of 823 adults living in all 50 states, conducted between October 1 and 19.
  • It’s the lowest level of support since Gallup began polling the issue in 1980 and down six points from last year, the poll found.
  • While no political party surveyed indicated majority support for a ban on handguns, Gallup found marked political differences—40% of Democrats were in favor compared to just 14% of Independents and 6% of Republicans—with the overall drop in support “largely attributable to political independents,” which has fallen 16 points since 2019. 
  • A slim majority of Americans support stricter gun control laws—52%—the poll found, the lowest point since 2014 and down from 67% in 2018 after the Parkland, Florida school shooting.    
  • Political differences are more stark regarding support for stricter gun laws, Gallup found, and near unanimous support from Democrats (91%) contrasts with less than half (45%) of Independents and fewer than a quarter (24%) of Republicans. 
  • While more Democrats and Republicans supported stricter gun control laws this year—rising 6 and 2 points, respectively—a 15-point drop in support from Independents, coupled with a 14-point drop among Republicans the year before, drove the overall level of support down.



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