Americans gave President Joe Biden among his lowest marks on gun policy in a poll published Monday.
49 percent disapproved of how Biden has handled gun policy, while 48 percent approved in the poll conducted by the Associated Press and the University of Chicago. Americans judged Biden’s handling of guns worse than his handling of the coronavirus pandemic, healthcare, foreign policy, and the economy. Only Biden’s approach to immigration policy scored worse than his gun policy.
Biden’s performance on guns was 15 points less popular than his overall job performance.
While Biden’s handling of guns actually ticked up several points from the previous poll conducted in March, Americans remained deeply divided on the issue. The lack of clear support for Biden’s gun agenda could further hamper efforts to pass the gun-control measures he supports through the evenly-divided Senate. That could drive Biden to rely more heavily on executive actions to implement at least some of his gun plans.
Polling has shown a significant decline in support for new gun-control policies in recent weeks. A mid-April Pew Research poll found support for new restrictions dropped 7 points. A late-April ABC poll found the same overall drop but a 20 point decline in support for gun control among younger Americans.
The polling downturn came after Americans bought more guns in 2020 than any other year in history. The same trend has continued into 2021, with the first quarter of the year beating even 2020.
Biden has pushed for strict new gun laws since launching his presidential campaign. Since his election, President Biden has called on Congress to pass universal background checks, repeal protections for gun makers, and ban the sale of popular guns, including the AR-15. He has also taken unilateral action to restrict gun ownership by directing the Department of Justice to propose new rules and regulations banning specialized arm braces for pistols and requiring a federal license to sell certain unfinished gun parts.
Details on Biden’s proposed unfinished parts, or “ghost gun,” ban were published last week. Details on how the Biden admin plans to handle the pistol arm braces are expected by the end of July.
The Associated Press poll of 1,842 adults was conducted between April 29th and May 3rd. It has a margin of error of 3.2 points.