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Republican support for gun control dips since Parkland massacre: poll

The Hill logo The Hill 6 days ago Morgan Gstalter

Shown on Jan. 16, 2019, in Parkland, Florida, Leni Steinhardt, 16, reads from a new book called "Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories." © Brynn Anderson Shown on Jan. 16, 2019, in Parkland, Florida, Leni Steinhardt, 16, reads from a new book called "Parkland Speaks: Survivors from Marjory Stoneman Douglas Share Their Stories." Republican support for gun control legislation has dropped since the deadly 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., according to a new Morning Consult/Politico poll released Wednesday.

GOP voters are now split on the issue, with 47 percent supporting stricter gun control laws and 45 percent opposing.

In the wake of the February 2018 shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, which left 17 people dead, 53 percent of Republicans supported legislation while 43 percent opposed it. Another survey at the time found that 57 percent of Republicans supported tougher gun measures — a record-high for the Morning Consult poll.

Across all political parties, the new poll found that 2 in 3 voters support stricter gun control legislation. This includes the vast majority — 89 percent — of Democrats and 60 percent of independents.

Pollsters also found that 28 percent of Republicans say they are "strongly" opposed, up 5 percentage points from the post-Parkland time period. Twenty percent said they "strongly support" such measures, down 5 points.

The new Morning Consult/Politico poll was conducted August 9-11 among 1,993 registered voters and has a margin-of-error of 2 percentage points.

Since President Trump was elected president, Republicans have been more open to stricter gun control laws than when former President Barack Obama was still in office.

A Morning Consult poll conducted in June 2016 after 49 people were killed by a gunman at Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Fla., found that nearly 3 in 5 Republican voters opposed tougher laws and only 37 percent supported it.

Trump last Friday voiced clear support for background checks and legislation that would keep weapons away from dangerous individuals after 31 people were killed in a pair of mass shootings in Texas and Ohio.

Democrats and Republicans in Congress would have to unite around any gun control legislation.

House Democrats in February passed a bill that would expand background checks before gun sales but Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has yet to bring the bill to the upper chamber.

Nearly 200 House Democrats have also signed on to legislation banning semi-automatic firearms and large-capacity magazines. With 198 co-sponsors, the bill is just 20 votes shy of the number needed to push the bill through the lower chamber.

There are currently no GOP co-sponsors.

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