Support for gun control laws has dropped to its lowest levels since 2016 as gun sales continue to reach record highs amid the coronavirus pandemic and a spike in violent crime in predominantly urban areas.
Around 57% of Americans now favor strict laws restricting the sale of firearms, which is a seven-point decline since last year, according to a Gallup poll published this week.
At the same time, 34% of Americans prefer the current gun laws, and 9% favor fewer regulations.
Even among Democrats, support for gun control has dropped.
Now, 85% of Democrats support stricter gun laws, which is the lowest for the group in the past two decades, and a 14-point drop from last year.
Only 22% of Republicans support strict gun laws, and 60% of independents agreed.
“In a year that has seen record-high gun sales, Americans’ appetite for gun control is the lowest it has been since 2016, before mass shootings in Las Vegas, Nev. and Parkland, Fla.,” Gallup reported.
As of Nov. 2, an estimated 18.6 million firearms were sold this year.
That number could very well go up once again now that Democratic candidate Joe Biden is the projected winner of the presidential election.
He advocated for a ban on online ammunition and gun sales, and his running mate, Sen. Kamala Harris, D-Calif., publicly supported the confiscation of assault-style rifles during the Democratic primaries.
But now that public opinion is leaning towards fewer gun restrictions.
J. Miles Coleman, an associate editor at the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, said a Biden administration would have a tough time passing gun control legislation.
“I can easily see Senate Republicans using these trends in public opinion—and the fact that many Americans have become gun owners in 2020—to justify prioritizing other legislation,” he told the Washington Free Beacon. “This would definitely make it harder for the Biden administration to claim it has a mandate to push legislation on gun control.”