Resistance to a ban on military-style assault weapons is strongest among millennials, according to a new Quinnipiac poll released this week. It’s a finding that experts said might be driven by the popularity of first-person shooter video games such as Call of Duty and the increasing prominence of military-style guns in the consumer market.
A large majority of Americans say they support a ban on the sale of assault weapons, a category of politically controversial guns that includes the AR-15-style rifles that have become the weapon of choice for mass shooters.
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The previous national federal ban on assault weapons lapsed more than a decade ago, and Congress has not renewed it. Military-style rifles, which play a prominent role in America’s most horrific mass shootings, are used in only a tiny fraction of America’s overall gun murders. Consumers legally own millions of AR-15 style rifles, which gun enthusiasts modify and adapt with different accessories.
Opposition to an assault weapon ban was strongest among Republicans and among self-identified registered voters 18-34, the poll found. Unlike older Americans, millennials were closely divided on their support for an assault weapon ban, with 49% supporting and 44% opposing a ban.
Support - Return - Sale - Assault - Weapons
There was huge support for a return to banning the sale of assault weapons from voters over 50, with 70% support from over-50s and 77% support from over-65s.
None of the other gun control questions in the Quinnipiac Poll had such a striking age divide, said David Yamane, a sociologist at Wake Forest University in North Carolina, who studies the culture of legal gun ownership in America.
Something - Assault - Weapons - Normality - Assault
“There does seem to be something in particular about assault weapons, and it could be due to the normality of assault weapons for people who have come of age playing first-person shooter games like Call of Duty,” he said.
He has seen this trend...
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