Support for so-called "assault weapons" bans is declining in America, according to the latest Monmouth University poll released this week.
After a majority (55%) at least somewhat supported "banning the future sale of assault weapons" in June, 2022, that figure is now less than a majority at 46%, and even less than a plurality. There are 49% of Americans opposed to banning "assault weapons."
Staunch Second Amendment defenders note the term "assault weapons" in polls is misleading, because an AR-15 is too commonly considered an "assault weapon," though it is not. It is a semiautomatic weapon, gun rights advocates note.
"Despite continued incidents of mass shootings, public support for banning assault weapons has dipped," according to Monmouth University Polling Institute's Patrick Murray (although this poll was conducted before the Nashville school shooting). "It's not clear why, since support for some other gun measures remains widespread."
Those that at least somewhat oppose so-called "assault weapons" bans is up 7 percentage points from June 2022 (from 42% to now a plurality of 49%), according to the poll.
Notably, the decline in those at least somewhat opposed to "assault weapons" bans is across both parties and among independents:
- Independent support dropped 12 points (49% in 2022 to 37% now).
- Republican support dropped 8 points (32%-24%).
- Even Democrats' support dropped 5 points (82%-77%).
There remains high support for background checks and red-flag laws, however, according to the poll.
A majority of Americans (51%) — including 66% of Democrats — said they believe the right to bear arms "is important." While 81% support comprehensive background checks on all purchases, those who strongly support background checks has declined from 73% in June, 2022, to 64%.
But just 28% said the president should be able to order background checks by executive order, something President Joe Biden ostensibly attempted last month.
"Support for background checks remains high, but not for the way President Biden tried to go about," Murray said.
Federal red-flag laws have 72% of "at least somewhat" support, but that figure is declining. It was 75% a year ago, and strong support for federal red-flag laws has gone from a 58% majority support a year ago to 49% this year.
Monmouth University Poll polled 805 U.S. adults March 16-20, and the results have a margin of error of plus or minus 5.8 percentage points. That sample included 25% Republicans, 30% Democrats, and 45% independents.
Eric Mack has been a writer and editor at Newsmax since 2016. He is a 1998 Syracuse University journalism graduate and a New York Press Association award-winning writer.
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