Poll Shows Public Increasingly Divided On Gun Control


Erin Cinney Contributor
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Democrats and Republicans are more divided on gun control than they have been in years, a new poll shows.

The gap in the public’s differed priorities regarding gun policies has grown increasingly wide since 2000. Between Aug. 9 and Aug. 16 Pew Research conducted a survey on gun control versus protecting gun rights including 2,010 adults, 1,567 of which were registered voters.

The poll showed that in 2000, the percentage gap sat at 20 percent with a favor in controlling gun ownership over protecting gun rights. By 2012, this percentage gap grew to a 41 percent difference. Today, it is at a 70 percent difference, with 79 percent of Hillary Clinton supporters and 9 percent of Donald Trump supporters. Democrats are becoming increasingly in favor of gun control while the Republicans are more concerned with protecting gun rights.

However, the percentage gap proves much smaller in regards to barring people on federal watch lists from purchasing guns. This policy has 72 percent Republican support and 80 percent Democratic. A similar trend resides in the 82 percent of Trump supporters and 83 percent of Clinton supporters in favor of preventing those diagnosed with a mental illness from purchasing guns. These percentages proved similar when applied to various demographics as well.

While many Trump supporters state they believe in protecting the right to bear arms in a general sense, 31 percent favor a ban on assault weapons and ammunition clips, and almost 3 in 4 favor background checks. Women take the lead demographically in this, as 60 percent favor the ban on assault weapons and 55 percent favor the ban on ammunition clips, versus the men who sit at 44 percent and 45 percent respectively. Also, women prove more likely to support background checks than men with 84 percent of women and 78 percent of men in support.

When asked if gun ownership works more to protect safety than put it at risk, the survey found, “A majority of the public (58 percent) says that gun ownership in this country does more to protect people from becoming victims of crime, compared with 37 percent who believe it does more to put people’s safety at risk.”