Americans are more dissatisfied than ever with President Joe Biden’s handling of guns.
That’s according to a new poll from The Economist and YouGov published on Wednesday. A majority of Americans disapprove of the president’s performance on gun policy. A plurality strongly disapproves of it, while only 8 percent strongly approve. Only 24 percent approve of Biden’s performance.
That represents a drop of 10 percent in approval and an increase of 5 percent in disapproval from the same poll in June. The approval rating has dropped by half since an Associated Press poll taken in May.
The continued drop in approval could further erode Biden’s ability to institute the gun restrictions he campaigned on. He has advocated for Congress to pass a universal background check bill as well as a ban on the sale of “assault weapons,” including the popular AR-15, but has failed to gain any momentum in the evenly divided Senate. He was also forced to pull his ATF director nomination after failing to secure the 50 votes necessary to get him confirmed.
The numbers come after Biden’s failure to appoint his preferred director and legislative agenda on guns, but they also come as he has pushed forward with unilateral attempts to implement gun restrictions. His administration’s proposal to increase the ATF’s power by broadening the legal definition of a firearm, and a proposal to ban millions of AR-15s equipped with pistol braces, are continuing through the rulemaking process despite hundreds of thousands of negative comments from the public.
The disapproval is primarily driven by Republicans, 79 percent of whom are unhappy with the president’s performance on guns, and independents, 58 percent of whom feel the same. However, even 30 percent of Democrats disapprove of Biden’s gun decisions, and only 46 percent approve.
The poll reveals another significant hurdle for Biden in the form of apathy. While 81 percent of respondents say guns are an important issue, only 3 percent list it as their most important issue. That makes it the second-least important issue polled.
The poll of 1,500 American adults was conducted between September 26 and 28.