⚫ A surprising new finding about assault weapons
⚫ Strong support for Red Flag laws
⚫ Half the all people think mass shootings will get worse

A new poll finds support for a ban on assault weapons in New Jersey and across the country is dropping.

Patrick Murray the director of the Monmouth University Polling Institute, said while support for other gun measures remains unchanged “there’s been a drop in support for an assault weapons ban over the past year or so, it now stands at 46% support that, it was 55 to 56% in the years prior.”

He said even though support for banning assault weapons is down, 81% of those surveyed support comprehensive background checks for gun purchasers, which is similar to last year and “7 in 10 support red flag laws, and more than half say individual states should be able to create licensing procedures that limit who can carry concealed weapons."

A federal red flag law would allow the police to temporarily take guns away from someone if a judge rules the individual poses a threat to themselves or others.

Background checks

U.S. Gun Sales Reach Record Levels In 2012
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He notes while there is broad support for background checks the number who strongly support background checks has declined, from 73% in June of last year to 64% now.

Moreover, just 28% of the public feels the president should be able to order background checks by executive order, something President Joe Biden did in a limited approach last month. A majority of respondents, 64% believe such a measure should only be instituted by an act of Congress.

Why the drop in support for ban assault weapons?

Five Police Officers Killed During Anti-Police Brutality March In Dallas
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Murray said as the number of mass shootings across the country continues to go up it seems there’s a growing sense that preventing gun violence may be nearly impossible.

“There might not be anything that we can do with it. We’re seeing an increase in gun sales themselves, so people are looking to say well, if we’re not going to be able to ban them, and these shootings go up, then I’m going to need to protect myself.”

The poll also finds 39% of Americans, including 59% of Republicans, believe the Second Amendment right to bear arms is absolute and should never be limited. 51% think the right to bear arms is important but there should be some restrictions, while 12% said it would be better if the right to bear arms was eliminated.

More mass shootings?

The survey finds 49% of people expect the frequency of mass shootings in the U. S. to increase over the next five years. Just 8% believe the frequency will decrease and 39% feel it will stay about the same.

The Monmouth University Poll was conducted by telephone from March 16 to 20, 2023 with 805 adults in the United States.

David Matthau is a reporter for New Jersey 101.5. You can reach him at david.matthau@townsquaremedia.com

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