As President Joe Biden continues his near-daily call for a ban on semi-automatic firearms, new research shows that he is quickly losing public support for his scheme.
In his State of the Union address, Biden again called for a ban on so-called “assault weapons”—the term he and other gun-ban advocates use for common semi-automatic rifles, pistols and shotguns owned by millions of Americans and safely used for self-defense, sport shooting, hunting and competition.
“Ban assault weapons now!” Biden suddenly shouted during a lull in the address. “Ban them now!”
That plea came just a month after the president praised Illinois lawmakers for passing a sweeping semi-automatic ban in that state that includes registration requirements for currently owned guns, along with a ban on standard-capacity magazines that come stock with many models of popular pistols and rifles. The NRA quickly filed suit challenging the constitutionality of that law.
While Biden continues his crusade, public support for banning common semi-automatic firearms has fallen at a rapid pace; in fact, a new ABC News/Washington Post poll conducted by Langer Research shows that the majority of Americans now oppose such a ban.
“Forty-seven percent support such a ban, 51 percent oppose it,” the poll analysis stated. “That reflects a 9-point drop in support for an assault weapons ban, and a 10-point rise in opposition, since last measured in an ABC/Post poll in September 2019.”
Coupled with the rapid nine-point jump in opposition, the 47% figure in opposition to Biden’s planned ban is the second-lowest that number has been since the poll began back in 1995. In the most-recent poll, the number of respondents who “strongly opposed” the ban outpaced the number who “strongly supported” the ban by a slim margin of 41% to 39%.
“In most other polls since 1995, majorities have supported an assault weapons ban, peaking at 79 percent in May 1999,” the poll analysis stated. “It was 62 percent as recently as April 2018.”
Why the rapid drop in support and strong majority in opposition now? The pollster had the same question, and attempted an answer.
“The decline in support for an assault weapons ban since 2019 is broadly based across groups,” the analysis stated. “It would take a study focused in more detail on the issue to assess its reasons, but other studies provide clues.
“In a Pew Research Center poll last year, the public [was] divided on whether or not making it harder to get guns would reduce mass shootings. And in a Pew study only among parents of children under 18, fewer than half, 45 percent, thought an assault weapons ban would be extremely or very effective at preventing shootings in schools specifically.”
Of course, a similar ban of semi-automatic firearms and standard-capacity magazines during the 1990s didn’t accomplish anything. Later, a congressionally mandated study of the federal “assault-weapons ban” found that it had little to no impact on crime, in part because “the banned guns were never used in more than a modest fraction of gun murders.”
There’s little doubt Biden and his gun-ban followers in Congress will continue to push for his beloved ban well into 2023 and beyond. And while the future of the Second Amendment doesn’t rely on majority approval, at least we know that now a majority of Americans aren’t joining the president in his quest.