A Majority of Americans Now Oppose a Ban on Assault Weapons

For the first time in more than 20 years, a majority of Americans oppose banning assault weapons, according to ABC News/Washington Post Polls. The poll shows that 45 percent favor an assault weapons ban, down 11 percent from 2013. The reason for this drop, according to the study, is the public’s doubt that authorities could stop a “lone wolf” attack—like the recent shooting in San Bernardino, California—and that an armed public could help. Curiously though, personal fear of being attacked didn’t rise, with only 42 percent believing themselves to be in danger (versus 49 percent last summer). This shift comes at the heels of President Barack Obama’s calls for stricter gun laws after recents attacks. Not surprisingly at all, the demographics of those opposing assault weapons bans are highest among strongly conservative, high-income earners, Republicans and Independents. And support for an assault weapons ban is highest among women, seniors, post-graduates, Democrats and African Americans.

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