Most Americans think the President is handling gun policy poorly.
That’s according to two surveys from major pollsters released on Wednesday. YouGov and The Economist found 53 percent of adults either strongly or somewhat disapproved of Joe Biden’s handling of guns, while only 32 percent strongly or somewhat approved. Morning Consult and Politico showed an even poorer performance among registered voters, with 57 percent disapproving and 34 percent approving.
The numbers represent a decline for the President compared to polling from last year. In May 2021, a poll from the Associated Press and the University of Chicago found 49 percent approved of Biden’s handling of guns, while 48 percent disapproved. By June of that year, a pair of polls found disapproval at similar levels but a significant drop in approval, landing at 34 percent.
The continued decline of Biden’s approval on guns could hinder his broader gun-control agenda. House Democrats are already struggling to find the votes to pass an “assault weapons” ban, one of the President’s marque policy proposals. With the President’s faltering poll numbers and support for a ban in decline, it will be difficult for Democratic leadership to get it through the House, let alone the Senate.
Biden has already been able to implement a number of gun restrictions. He has redefined what constitutes a “firearm” under federal law in order to outlaw the sale of “ghost gun” kits through executive action and is attempting to effectively ban popular pistol braces through the same process. He also signed the first new federal restrictions on who can own firearms in decades after the Uvalde shooting motivated Congress to pass a bipartisan deal.
Those actions have been enough to please most Democrats in the polling, with 62 percent at least somewhat approving of Biden’s performance in the YouGov poll. But Biden has fared less well with everyone else. 81 percent of Republicans and 58 percent of independents disapprove, and a plurality of both strongly disapproved.
The YouGov poll also found people were more likely to believe that more Americans owning guns would either lead to less violence or make no difference than that it would lead to more violence.
84 percent of respondents rated guns either somewhat or very important. However, only four percent listed it as their most important issue. That puts it in a four-way tie for 9th place and well behind inflation, which 22 percent said was their most important issue.
YouGov polled 1,500 adults between July 23rd and 26th. It has a 2.9 percent margin of error. The Morning Consult poll was conducted among 2,006 registered voters between July 22nd and the 24th. It has a two percent margin of error.