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Poll finds opposition to assault weapons jumps after weekend's mass killings

Microsoft News 8/8/2019

The back-to-back mass killings in El Paso and Dayton have produced profound changes in how Americans view regulation of assault weapons, a Microsoft News Poll has found.

A national poll conducted Aug. 6-7 found that a whopping 73% of Americans supported greater regulation of the military-style weapons. Compared to the same question asked Feb. 16, after the Parkland school massacre, the poll found that pro-regulation views jumped 30 percentage points, from 43%.

Even among gun-friendly Republicans, a majority -- 53% -- now say the laws should be more strict. That change is up 33 percentage points compared to post-Parkland surveys. Other demographic groups with 33-point swings toward more regulation included independents, women, people 18-29, and people 65-plus. The strongest support was among Democrats, with 92% in favor of more restrictive laws, up 26 points.

In some Western states support for regulation actually declined, such as Alaska (down 10 points), Idaho (down 6 points) and Wyoming (down 10 points). In both Texas and Ohio, where a total of 31 people were killed, support for greater regulation grew 4 percentage points.


The Microsoft News Poll uses online, opt-in surveys to produce statistically valid results. In this poll, taken Aug. 6-7, responses from more than 189,000 people were analyzed to model how demographic groups answered each question. Answers were then projected onto the true distribution of those demographic groups. The method is as accurate as traditional polling methods, with a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percentage points. Learn more about our polls.

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