Assault weapons ban gaining steam in wake of El Paso, Dayton mass shootings: poll

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Banning assault weapons in America is gaining support in the wake of the double mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton — even among Republicans.

A new Fox News poll found that 67 percent of registered voters surveyed want Congress to outlaw assault rifles and semi-automatic weapons. That’s up from 60 percent in the same poll in March 2018 and 51 percent in March 2013.

Support is strongest among Democrats (86 percent) and independents (58 percent), but 46 percent of Republicans now back an assault weapons ban while 46 percent of GOP voters oppose it. That’s a swing from 2018 when just 41 percent of Republicans backed the ban and the majority – 56 percent – opposed it.

The telephone poll was conducted from Aug. 11 to 13 — a week after the massacres at an El Paso Wal-Mart and outside Dayton’s bar district that killed 31 people.

The last time Congress banned assault weapons was in 1994, but the law wasn’t renewed after its 10-year sunset provision. There’s no expectation the GOP-led Senate would revive an assault weapons ban, but there are some bipartisan discussions underway to consider background check and red flag legislation.

Support for background checks has overwhelming bipartisan support at 90 percent. Red flag laws that would allow courts to ban guns from people who are a danger to themselves or others are favored by 81 percent of registered voters.

Democrats favor the red flag legislation at 88 percent and 75 percent of Republicans do too, according to the survey.

The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

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