Biden’s desired stricter gun measures are very similar to those that Congress failed to pass after the Newtown mass shooting, when Biden was serving as Barack Obama’s vice president. That vote in Congress laid bare Republican lawmakers’ unwillingness to support new gun restrictions. Since then, Republicans and Republican-leaning independents have generally become increasingly likely to express satisfaction with U.S. gun laws, while Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents have become less likely to be satisfied. Two exceptions to this occurred in 2014 and 2016, when Republicans’ satisfaction fell amid calls for stricter gun laws.
Republicans and Republican-leaning independents are now more than three times as likely as Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents to say they are satisfied with the nation’s gun laws and policy, 69% vs. 22%. This 47-percentage-point gap in satisfaction is in line with those since 2018. Before that, the average party gap was 22 points.