Gallup Poll: Support for Handgun Ban Drops to All-Time Low

(Credit: Gallup)

A new Gallup poll published this week indicates that Americans’ support for gun control is on the decline, including the desire to outlaw handguns which hit an all-time low. 

Gallup surveyed a cross-section of Americans from Oct. 1-19 and found that 52% of respondents support stricter gun laws, “the lowest reading since 2014.”  

(Credit: Gallup)

“The decline in support for stricter gun laws last year was mostly due to a 14-point drop among Republicans, to 22% — the group’s lowest point on record,” noted the pollsters. “This year’s decrease is driven by a 15-point plunge among independents. For their part, Democrats’ desire for more restrictive gun laws ticked up to 91%.”

When asked about handguns, the preferred choice for self-defense amongst many Americans, respondents overwhelmingly opposed a ban.  

Gallup has been measuring public support for a complete ban on handguns for decades.  In 1959, 60% of Americans supported the move, now that number sits at just 19%, a six-point drop from last year and, as mentioned, a record low.

“As is the case with Americans’ preference for gun laws in general, the latest drop in support for a handgun ban is largely attributable to political independents,” said Gallup. 

Handgun Bans: The Greatest Gun Control Failure the Anti-Gun Lobby Wants You to Forget

“Currently, 14% of independents think there should be a ban on handguns, which marks a 16-point decline since 2019, including nine points since 2020. Even fewer Republicans, 6%, favor such a ban, while 40% of Democrats do — figures consistent with recent support among each party group,” they continued.  

(Credit: Gallup)

The drop in support for gun control mirrors an increase in gun ownership across the country.  

“America voted with their wallets over the past two years when it came to firearm ownership,” said Mark Oliva, director of public affairs for the National Shooting Sports Foundation, the firearms industry trade association, in an email to GunsAmerica. 

“There were more than 21 million background checks conducted for the sale of a firearm in 2020. NSSF estimated that over 8.4 million people purchased a firearm for the first time. So far in 2021, there have been 15.2 million background checks for a gun sale and in the first six months of this year, 3.2 million purchased a firearm for the first time,” he added.

Given the fact that more citizens are exercising the 2A rights, we can hopefully expect this trend — a decline in support for restrictions on fundamental constitutional rights — to continue.  

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About the author: S.H. Blannelberry is the News Editor of GunsAmerica.

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  • Jim November 19, 2021, 4:30 pm

    If one looks at the results during various times in our history, it becomes obvious that poll responses are determined almost entirely by short-term instances, not with long-term, insightful thought.

    In the days following Sandy Hook, polls spiked, reflecting a majority preferred tighter firearms control. However, after the much-publicized, heroic prevention of a shooting in a church last year, polls favoring gun control dropped radically. The only constant appears to be the inconsistency of poll respondents.

    Poll respondents are swayed considerably based upon current news cycles, extending out to about 10 days. Whether the poll concerns firearms, COVID, or Presidents, a poll will reflect short-term thinking.

    Also, votes in critical elections usually reflect short-term news, and questionable analysis, on both sides.

  • alex November 19, 2021, 7:37 am


  • Gerald November 19, 2021, 6:58 am

    Not surprising. As Republicans become more aware of government overreach and the initial stages of tyranny, dems are liking what they see from their Nazi-like leadership. I am not a believer in polls, but sometimes these general-type questions where the pollster has less of a stake in skewing the results can yield some interesting insight into “public opinion.”

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