A new Gallup poll released Monday shows support among U.S. citizens for stricter gun control laws has once again receded, with more than twice the number of Republicans (48%) than Democrats (20%) saying they personally own a firearm.
According to a report from Gallup, “A steady 46% of Americans report there is a gun in their household, including 33% who say they personally own a firearm and 13% who say another household member is the gun owner. Personal gun ownership has averaged 30% since 2005, when it was first measured. Household gun ownership was higher in the early 1990s than it is now, but since 1996, 43% of U.S. adults on average have said there is a gun in their household.”
Forbes added this interesting note: “American gun owners tend to be male, Republican, between the ages of 35 and 54 with an annual household income of $100,000 or more and live in rural areas in the south, the poll found.”
The poll was taken Oct. 3-20, prior to the weekend shooting at an LGBTQ club in Colorado Springs. Support for stricter gun laws frequently rises following such an incident, but gradually declines as time passes, a fact recognized by Gallup.
Forbes noted that respondents’ opinions varied depending upon their political leanings. While 86 percent of Democrats want stricter gun laws, only 27 percent of Republicans agree. Among Independents, 60 percent favor stricter laws, the survey revealed.
Overall, 57 percent of survey respondents think gun laws should be made stricter, but that is down from 66 percent in June.
The most significant takeaway is that Republicans continue to be more favorable toward gun ownership than Democrats and Independents, which explains in part why Democrat-controlled states are increasingly tougher on gun owners in terms of legislation than states with Republican legislatures and governors. Underscoring this is the fact that of the 25 states that have adopted so-called “Constitutional Carry” statutes, all have Republican governors and GOP-controlled legislatures.
There is but a single anomaly: Washington, where the number of active concealed pistol licenses is nearing 700,000 at last report. The state has not had a Republican governor in more than 35 years, and the legislature is more often than not controlled by Democrats.
But Washington has one of the strongest right-to-bear-arms state constitutional provisions in the nation. It was a pioneer in state preemption as well. These facts tend to grate on Democrat officials.