Rasmussen's telephone survey of 1,000 likely voters conducted on March 26-27, 2014, found only 40 percent of "likely U.S. voters" support more strict gun control laws. The number reflects a nine-point decrease in support for more restrictive gun laws from a year ago (May 2013), and the lowest level of support for stricter laws since February 2012. Since December 2012, support for stricter gun control has dropped by about 22 percent among likely voters. The Rasmussen poll has a margin of error of +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
The press release from Rasmussen notes: "Fifty-three percent do not think the country needs tougher gun control laws, which is the highest level of opposition in more than 2 years."
Not surprisingly, the latest poll results mirror those released by pollster Gallup earlier this year, which indicated Americans' dissatisfaction with U.S. gun laws and policies has increased to 55 percent, nearly matching the high of 57 percent in 2001.
In the Gallup poll, the most dramatic rise in dissatisfaction comes from the contingency of Americans who feel gun laws are too strict, rather than from those who think they aren't strict enough. That percentage has jumped to 16 percent in 2014, a rate that more than triples the 5 percent recorded by Gallup last year. The percentage of Americans favoring stricter gun laws fell 7 points in 2014, from 38 to 31 percent.
In light of the encouraging poll numbers from Rasmussen and Gallup, a press release this week from the NRA Institute for Legislative Action (NRA-ILA), reminded members and Second Amendment supports there's still significant work to do.
"While Rasmussen's poll numbers are definitely moving in the right direction, we have to be concerned that 40 percent of voters still think that stricter gun control is a good idea," the NRA-ILA report states. "If it's because they don't know that none of the things that gun control supporters demand would prevent the kinds of crimes about which they claim to be concerned, we can try to bring those facts to their attention. If it's instead because they derive some sort of satisfaction from blaming innocent gun owners for the acts of criminals, perhaps we can appeal to their sense of fairness and decency.
"Most importantly, however, we can make sure that our votes are counted on Election Day 2014. After all, elections are the only public opinion polls that truly count."