Polls after the Florida high school shooting show mixed views on gun reform
iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — Public opinion about possible gun law reform after the Marjory Stoneman Douglas shooting appears to be shifting, according to two recent polls.
On Feb. 25, a new CNN poll showed 70 percent of respondents want stricter gun laws, the organization reported.
That figure was up from a poll CNN conducted in October, which showed the number at 52 percent following the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history, at a country music festival in Las Vegas.
The increase in number of people responding in favor of gun law reforms is notable because it doesn’t just show a shift over the past few months, according to CNN, but well beyond.
The only other time a CNN poll had 70 percent of respondents supporting stricter gun measures, the organization said, came in December 1993.
At that time, the Brady Bill which required background checks and a waiting period on gun purchases had just been passed. The Brady Bill pre-dated the current National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS).
The recent CNN poll showed that overall support for stricter gun laws included 57 percent of individuals who identified as being a part of gun-owning households. Republicans who supported stricter gun laws in the poll, 49 percent, outweighed those who opposed them at 46 percent.
An ABC News/Washington Post poll released on Feb. 20, five days before the CNN poll and six days after the Parkland shooting, showed a divide over how to move forward on a potential ban on assault weapons.
In the poll, 50 percent of respondents supported banning assault weapons and 46 percent opposed any ban. More women, 55 percent, supported a ban than men, 43 percent.
There appeared to be a geographic divide in the poll, with more supporters of gun law reform in the Northeast. The majority — 66 percent — supported an assault weapon ban in the Northeast, versus other parts of the country that showed somewhere in the 40-percent range supported a ban.
The division over an assault weapons ban is not new. The results of this ABC News/Washington Post poll echoes the split of 51 percent supporting and 48 percent opposing an assault weapons ban in the wake of the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando in June 2016.
The highest levels of support for an assault weapons ban were reported in an ABC News/Washington Post poll in June 1994, when 80 percent supported a ban and 18 percent opposed it.
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