Public support for stricter gun control has fallen to a four-year low, according to a Gallup poll, and overwhelmingly comes from Democrats, non-gun owners, and mostly city residents.
Fifty-seven percent of Americans are supportive or more restrictive firearms measures, Gallup reported Monday in a nationwide poll of 1,035 adults conducted Sept. 30-Oct. 15. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.
The results come in a year in which already a record 16.7 million firearms have been bought in the United States – mostly handguns – as of the beginning of October, according to Small Arms Analytics & Forecasting of Greenville, South Carolina. That eclipses the previous record for the entire calendar year of 2016 when 16.6 million firearms were sold.
FBI background checks also have reached a record high, more than 32 million, which is four million more than the previous record set last year with two months remaining.
Eighty-five percent of Democrats surveyed still want more restrictions on firearms, although that is down from 90% in 2015. Republican support for more gun control has dropped 14% in the past year to 22%, its lowest in 20 years, according to the Gallup poll.
Support for banning the possession of handguns fell to 25%, a four-point drop from 2019, and near its all-time low of 23% in 2016.
Thirty-four percent supported keeping firearms restrictions as is, and 9% urged fewer restrictions.
Among those who do not own a firearm, 72% expressed support for more restrictions, while only 26% of those who do not were willing to back tighter controls.
And 65% of city dweller were supportive of more limitations, while only 58% of suburbanites were, and 46% of rural residents.
Firearms sales began to increase sharply at the outbreak of the novel coronavirus in early spring and accelerated during the summer months amid riots and protests over what demonstrators considered was “systemic racism” in law enforcement and society in general, The Guardian reported.