Results of a new 2014 Gallup poll show that Americans are increasingly disappointed in the nation’s gun laws. Gallup reports that 55 percent of participants stated they were not satisfied with current firearms laws, almost matching 2001’s figure of 57 percent.
According to the National Journal, the number of Americans who are not happy with gun laws increased four percent from 2013, and a striking 13 percent from 2012. The majority of the change came from participants that believe gun laws are too strict, a group that has more than tripled in size since last year.
“Those who are dissatisfied have historically leaned heavily in the direction of wanting stricter rather than less strict laws,” Gallup’s Rebecca Riffkin wrote. “But this year, the gap between those wanting stricter gun laws and those wanting less strict laws narrowed as a result of a sharp increase in the percentage of Americans who want less strict laws, now at 16% up from 5% a year ago.”
For comparison, the number of people polled who wanted stricter gun control laws fell from 38 percent in 2013 to 31 percent this year. Additionally, Gallup notes that more people have reported being “very” dissatisfied as opposed to “somewhat” dissatisfied with firearm regulations. It is speculated that these changes may be due to the timing of the polls. Last year Gallup conducted the telephone survey shortly after the tragic shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. It may be that the politically and socially charged environment at the time affected results.
These numbers are the the result of Gallup’s telephone survey of 1,019 adults across all 50 states. The poll has also been adjusted to match national demographics for gender, race, age, education, and other factors. Americans’ satisfaction with gun laws is only one of 19 issues measured by Gallup in its Mood of the Nation survey. Of those topics, satisfaction with gun laws placed near the middle while public opinion of the military and America’s efforts to combat terrorism ranked highly.