As Gun Violence Rages, Gun Control Support Wanes

President Biden has indicated his plans to curb gun violence via executive action are just a “first step” in his administration’s larger gun control efforts. But Republican support for any legislation is highly unlikely–and polling shows public support for gun control legislation has recently decreased.

  • 65% of Americans say gun control laws should be stricter, which is seven points lower than the share who said the same in 2019. Consistent with downward trends, the 54% support among Republicans to make gun policy more comprehensive in 2019 has fallen to just 35% most recently. 
  • 46% of Republicans opposed stricter U.S. gun control laws in August 2019— a share that has grown to 59% in most recent polling. In contrast, Democrats’ support for stricter gun policy has remained consistent at 91% in 2019 and 93% now. 


  • 45% of Americans approve of how President Biden is handling gun policy, while 52% disapprove. The majority of Republicans (82%) and independents (59%) disapprove, while 74% of Democrats approve of Biden’s performance in this area.
  • 76% of Americans think that people with a history of mental illness should be barred from owning guns, and 73% want criminal and mental background checks for all individuals buying firearms to be required.
  • 57% of American voters say there should be more laws regulating guns in the United States, while 13% say there should be fewer laws. Thirty percent prefer laws regulating guns to remain the same as they are now.