Just over half of D.C. residents would support the return of a gun ban in the nation’s capital, with affluent white residents more likely to support a ban than black residents who live in areas of the city with higher crime rates, according to a new poll.
A survey released Thursday by The Washington Post shows that 51 percent of the 1,005 D.C. residents polled would support making it illegal to own any gun in the city. According to the poll, 47 percent opposed banning gun ownership and 3 percent had no opinion on the matter.
For decades the District did outlaw gun ownership, with the Supreme Court only overturning the ban in 2008. In the years since, restrictive gun laws developed by local lawmakers in response to the ruling have come under fire from activists seeking to broaden their ability to own and carry firearms.
One such challenge is due before a federal appeals court Friday.
The court will consider the legality of the city’s “may-issue” concealed carry permitting scheme, developed after a federal judge struck down the District’s ban on carrying handguns in public. Three gun owners sued the city after they were denied permits under the law, which requires individuals to prove a “good reason” for obtaining a permit. A federal judge found the licensing scheme unconstitutional, but his ruling was put on hold for the D.C. Circuit to consider the case.
According to The Post, whites most favored a total gun ban, with 62 percent supportive of a ban. Blacks, “particularly those living in areas of the city that have experienced a 50 percent increase in robberies made at gunpoint this year” were among the least supportive of the ban, according to The Post analysis, which did not provide poll results for each demographic on the question.
The analysis noted that among residents with a high school education or less and incomes under $50,000, support for a gun ban fell to around 40 percent.
Among those polled, 42 percent said they believed that banning guns would make the District more safe. Forty-three percent said they didn’t think it would make a difference, and 12 percent thought it would make the city less safe.
The poll was conducted by phone and has a margin of error of plus or minus four points.