- Jonathan Drake/Reuters
- A new poll says 70% of Americans support stricter laws on assault weapons.
- That’s 87% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans.
- Public opinion is trending toward tougher gun laws following the deadly shooting in Parkland, Florida, although lawmakers have been reluctant to act.
A new poll shows that 70% of Americans – and more than half of Republicans – support stricter laws on assault weapons in the wake of a deadly shooting in Florida.
According to the poll from Business Insider’s partner MSN, 87% of Democrats and 52% of Republicans support stricter laws on assault weapons.
The nationwide average of 70% is even higher than the 67% that want to ban assault weapons and the 66% that wanted tougher gun laws in general in a recent Quinnipiac University poll. Those figures are the highest ever in the 10-year history of the poll.
MSN Poll results are analyzed to represent the US adult population or specific sub-demographics. MSN describes the US adult population by thousands of combinations of age, gender, education, location and several other demographics. MSN takes the raw polling data and models how demographic groups answered each question, and then projects those answers onto the true distribution of the demographic groups. The method was tested in the 2016 election and proven to be as accurate as other polling methods – more details can be found here.
Public opinion has trended toward tougher gun laws following the shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School that left 17 people dead and 14 injured, most of whom were students. Survivors of the shooting and their families have lobbied state legislators and met with President Donald Trump in an effort to spur gun reform.
Republican lawmakers have been resistant to a ban on assault weapons like the AR-15 used by the Parkland shooter, instead focusing on measures such as raising the minimum age to purchase a a semiautomatic weapon and improving mental health treatment.
According to the MSN poll, Republicans and Democrats are split between which measures would most effectively prevent mass shootings. Sixty-six percent of Democratic respondents said more limits on assault weapons would be the most effective measure, compared to just 20% of Republicans. Meanwhile, 50% of Republicans said improving mental health treatment is the most effective strategy, compared to 17% of Democrats.
Twenty-six percent of Republicans and 15% of Democrats think better enforcement of existing gun laws is the most effective step.