Poll: Gun control has highest support in five years
Nationwide support for increased gun control is at a new five-year high, according to a new poll released Friday.
The poll was taken in the aftermath of a mass shooting at a Florida high school last month that left 17 dead and reignited the national debate on gun violence.
Nearly 7 in 10 adults surveyed in the Associated Press–NORC poll are now in favor of stronger gun control laws, the highest measure of support in the five years the AP has asked the question.
Overall, 69 percent of those polled favored stricter gun control measures, a large jump from the 55 percent who indicated support in an October 2013 poll.
The survey does show that support for gun control measures varies greatly along party lines, though at least half of those polled in both parties supported some sort of tighter gun laws.
A large majority of Democrats, 90 percent, now favor tighter gun laws while only 50 percent of Republicans would favor stricter measures.
Notably, 54 percent of gun owners surveyed also said they favor new restrictions.
Nearly 6 in 10 voters favor outright banning military-style rifles like the weapon used in the Florida shooting.
The poll also showed an increase in those who believe restrictions would help prevent mass shootings, with 60 percent saying measures could help, compared to 49 percent who said the same in 2016.
However, just 51 percent of respondents believe lawmakers will actually enact legislation on the matter.
A number of state legislatures have seized on the momentum for gun control to enact new laws, including Florida.
Florida Gov. Rick Scott (R) recently signed a law to increase the minimum legal age necessary to purchase rifles from 18 to 21.
The AP–NORC poll was conducted from March 14 to 19 and surveyed 1,122 adults with a margin of error of 4.2 percentage points.