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Gun control is generally popular

But there are some exceptions.

Gallup gun polls Gallup
Dylan Matthews is a senior correspondent and head writer for Vox's Future Perfect section and has worked at Vox since 2014. He is particularly interested in global health and pandemic prevention, anti-poverty efforts, economic policy and theory, and conflicts about the right way to do philanthropy.

In October 2018, Gallup found that 61 percent of Americans thought gun laws should be more strict, 30 percent thought they were fine as is, and 8 percent thought they were too strict. Gun control support is not at a peak, but it’s substantially higher now than under President Obama.

Support for specific measures that restrict access to guns is higher still. A March 2018 poll from Monmouth found that 83 percent of respondents supported background checks for all gun sales, including private exchanges between individuals, and 65 percent wanted a national gun ownership database. A February 2018 CBS News poll found that 75 percent of respondents thought background check laws ought to be made stronger.

Broader proposals tend to be less popular. 57 percent of Americans, per Gallup, oppose banning semi-automatic rifles (or “assault weapons”), with only 40 percent in favor of a ban. That’s big change from 2017, a plurality of Gallup respondents backed an assault weapons ban. It also clashes with some other pollsters’ results; a February 2018 Suffolk/USA Today poll found that 63 percent of respondents thought “semi-automatic weapons like the AR-15 be banned in the United States.”

Gallup also found that banning handguns would be wildly unpopular, with 71 percent of respondents in opposition. Opposition has increased from 62 percent in 2000.

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