President Joe Biden gets low marks from Americans on how he is handling guns, according to a new poll.
On Monday, The Associated Press (AP) and NORC Center for Public Affairs Research released a poll that found just 31 percent of adults approve of Biden’s gun policy. The number is five points lower than when the same survey was taken last June. Disapproval hit an all-time high at 67 percent, up five points in the same period. The numbers are significantly lower than Biden’s overall performance rating, which sits at 40 percent approval and 59 percent disapproval.
“Views of how Biden is handling the national economy, gun policy, and immigration are more negative,” the pollster said in a release. “Only a third approve of Biden’s handling of these issues.”
The poor marks may hinder President Biden’s ability to use political capital to enact the new gun restrictions he has made the centerpiece of his policy, especially since most in the Republican-controlled House are already deeply opposed to them. Legal fights over his unilateral actions to restrict the sale and possession of millions of pistol-brace-equipped firearms and unfinished firearms parts may drive his approval down even further in the coming months as courts either find those actions unconstitutional or owners are forced to register or destroy the affected guns. If the rate of murders and mass killings remains elevated compared to the years before Biden took office, that could further weaken support for his approach.
Biden has long faced disproportionate skepticism of his gun policy. The same AP/NORC poll found Americans were more dissatisfied with Biden’s performance on guns than his overall performance just a few months into his term. All of the subsequent times the pollster has run the same questions it has found the same results, with Biden’s numbers only dropping over time.
The worst drop in approval of Biden’s gun policy came between May 2021 and December 2021, when it went from 48 percent to 36. His support stabilized at that level until the most recent poll was released on Monday.
The drop in approval for Biden’s handling of guns occurred across all groups. Republicans were far more critical of Biden than Democrats, with 89 percent unhappy with his approach to firearms.
“The president’s approval overall and his approval on specific issues remain highly partisan,” the AP said.
However, the President’s own party was nearly evenly split on his performance. 50 percent of Democrats approved of Biden’s gun policy, but 48 percent disapproved. Those are lower marks than Democrats give Biden on the economy, immigration, and student loans.
Older, college-educated voters were the ones who tended to favor Biden’s gun policy the most of any group.
“Adults age 60 and older and those with a college degree are more likely to approve of Biden’s handling of the economy and gun policy compared to younger or less educated individuals,” the AP said.
AP/NORC conducted the nationwide poll between May 11th and 15th. It received responses from 1,680 adults and has a margin of error of 3.4 percentage points.