A new poll finds that more than eight of 10 U.S. voters believe strict gun control laws in major cities either make no difference in the current retail crime surge or make it worse.
The survey by the Trafalgar Group revealed that 47.1% of respondents from all political affiliations said that “the strict gun laws in most major cities” make “no difference” in the current retail crime surge and 37.3% believe they make it “worse.” Just 15.6% of voters said they believed the gun laws make the retail crime surge “better.”
Pollster Robert Cahaly, who founded Trafalgar Group in 2016, said the findings echo a recent polling trend that shows a growing voter backlash against progressive police reform policies.
“There seems to be a growing consensus among urban residents that less police, releasing criminals and failure to prosecute are making them feel less safe,” Mr. Cahaly said. “They are frustrated that unlike most who live in rural and suburban areas, city residents don’t feel they have the right to protect themselves due to gun restrictions that only hurt law-abiding citizens.”
The poll showed that large numbers of likely Democrat, Republican and independent voters find strict gun laws ineffective, although Democrats proved likeliest to find them helpful.
While 30.1% of Democrats said strict gun laws make the retail crime surge “better,” only 9.8% of independents and 7.3% of Republicans said the same.
The survey echoes recent polls that show a sharp slide in support for gun control laws.
A Quinnipiac poll released Nov. 19 found that 47% of registered voters support stricter gun laws and 48% oppose them — the lowest level of support for stricter gun laws since late 2015 in Quinnipiac’s annual polling.
On Nov. 17, a Gallup poll found that 52% of Americans say that the “laws covering the sales of firearms” should be stricter — down from 57% in 2020 and 64% in 2019. This was also the lowest level of support in Gallup’s annual poll since 2014.
“This year’s decrease is driven by a 15-point plunge among independents,” Gallup said in a press release, adding that support for stricter gun control laws often drops while Democrats control the White House.
An ABC News/Ipsos poll conducted Dec. 10-11 found that only 33% of Americans approve of how President Biden is handling the issue of gun violence, with 66% disapproving.
This year’s drop in voter support for stricter gun control laws has not come with a drop in incidents of mass shootings. According to the Gun Violence Archive, there have been 683 mass shootings with at least four victims injured or killed this year as of Dec. 27.
Rick Green, founder of the Patriot Academy program that trains young conservative leaders, attributed the sagging support for stricter gun control laws to conservative messaging on crime.
“Restrictive gun laws have never worked and never will because they empower the criminal who ignores them, while disarming the citizen who becomes a victim,” Mr. Green said. “Government should be encouraging gun ownership and training, rather than making it harder for citizens to defend themselves.”
Mirroring likely voter turnout demographics, 39.3% of respondents in the new Trafalgar poll identified as Democrats, 35.6% as Republicans and 25.1% as independents. The margin of error was plus or minus 2.99% at the 95% confidence level.
The firm distributes its survey questionnaires using a mixed methodology of live callers, integrated voice response, text messages, emails and two other proprietary digital methods that it doesn’t share publicly.
According to Trafalgar, the survey of 1,076 likely general election voters was conducted Dec. 17-21. The poll was conducted on behalf of the nonprofit Convention of States Action, which advocates for returning federal powers to the states.