Rasmussen Poll Punches Holes in Biden Push for New Gun Controls

Joe Biden wants more gun laws, but a new Rasmussen survey shows most Americans want existing gun laws enforced. (Screen snip, YouTube, PBS)

U.S.A.-(AmmoLand.com)- Anti-gun President Joe Biden may want more gun control laws, but a new Rasmussen poll says a majority of American adults “believe stricter enforcement of existing laws would do more to reduce violent crime.”

Sixty-three percent of American adults think the country should enforce existing gun control laws, while 28 percent want more gun laws. But what good will more laws accomplish if they are not enforced, same as laws already on the books, many people wonder.

The disparity between Biden’s call for more gun laws, and the public’s preference to simply enforce laws we already have was not lost on Alan Gottlieb, founder and executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation.

“Clearly,” Gottlieb observed, “the American majority and Joe Biden are on different tracks. It is disappointing, but not surprising that 63 percent of Democrats want stricter gun control laws, suggesting the party may be out of touch with the majority of Americans as well.”

Rasmussen’s data tells the tale. According to Rasmussen, while the majority of Democrats want more laws, 69 percent of Republicans and 53 percent of Independents “say the country doesn’t need stricter gun laws.” The survey also revealed that “men (54%) are more likely than women (44%) to say the country does not need stricter gun control laws.”

“Joe Biden’s push for gun control is a dud,” Gottlieb said in a prepared statement. “To quote the popular song ‘Where Have All the Flowers Gone’ by Peter, Paul and Mary, ‘When will they ever learn?’ Biden is old enough to remember the folk trio, but we’re not sure if he actually does.”

SAF has been running an information campaign on several cable networks to caution the public about Biden’s gun control agenda.

“In his own words,” Gottlieb noted, “Biden made it clear during a CNN Townhall broadcast, ‘Whether it is a 9mm pistol or a rifle, it is ridiculous. I am continuing to push to eliminate the sale of those things.’”

That statement can be clearly heard on the SAF 60-second message.

While Biden is calling for new gun control laws, Seattle Mayor Bruce Harrell—a perennial anti-gunner who just took office a couple of weeks ago—wants to abolish what has evidently become a sensible gun law: State Preemption in Washington State. But when Harrell announced last week he would be energetically pushing to repeal the nearly 40-year-old statute—which has become a model for similar laws in other states—he erroneously claimed preemption is not very common. This is the language in Washington’s statute, which is typical of a preemption law:

“The state of Washington hereby fully occupies and preempts the entire field of firearms regulation within the boundaries of the state, including the registration, licensing, possession, purchase, sale, acquisition, transfer, discharge, and transportation of firearms, or any other element relating to firearms or parts thereof, including ammunition and reloader components. Cities, towns, and counties or other municipalities may enact only those laws and ordinances relating to firearms that are specifically authorized by state law, as in RCW 9.41.300, and are consistent with this chapter. Such local ordinances shall have the same penalty as provided for by state law. Local laws and ordinances that are inconsistent with, more restrictive than, or exceed the requirements of state law shall not be enacted and are preempted and repealed, regardless of the nature of the code, charter, or home rule status of such city, town, county, or municipality.”

Thirty-one minutes into a recent press event detailing how he wants to deal with violent crime in the Jet City, Harrell declared, “I don’t know how many lives have to be lost before we realize we’re one of the few states that has that kind of restriction allowing the state to govern the laws we need for our city of Seattle.”

Contrary to Harrell’s claim, at least 42 states now have preemption statutes. The Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms took Harrell to task over his claim.

“Mayor Harrell tried to invent a myth, and we’re shocked that nobody in the local media challenged him on this,” said Gottlieb, who also chairs the Citizens Committee. “It is not difficult to find the truth about preemption and how widespread this reasonable, rational approach has become. The question reporters should now be asking is if the mayor was so wrong about preemption, what else is he wrong about?”

Gottlieb said preemption laws spread because lawmakers in other states “all saw the common sense of gun law uniformity.”

Last year, majority Democrat lawmakers in Colorado repealed that state’s preemption law in reaction to the mass shooting at a Boulder grocery two weeks after a state court nullified Boulder’s attempt to ban so-called “assault weapons.”

When Virginia fell to Democrat control in 2020, the legislature repealed that state’s preemption law as well, but now with Republicans back in control, and Republican Gov. Glenn Youngkin in office, there is legislation to restore preemption.

The strategy seems clear enough. Anti-gunners want a return of checkerboard gun control at the local level; gun laws that not only confuse but often conflict with one another from one jurisdiction to the next. Preemption became popular over the past 40 years in the cause of uniformity, but the gun prohibition lobby isn’t happy because preemption laws prevent local municipalities, typically controlled by liberal Democrats, from adopting their own restrictions.

There is no small irony in this because the prohibition lobby also supports national legislation to ban so-called “assault weapons” and they are behind state-level bans as well. So, anti-gunners are okay with national and state gun laws, so long as those statutes erode the Second Amendment.

Washington state has become a genuine battleground this year. As reported elsewhere at AmmoLand, there is also an effort to ban ammunition magazines holding more than 10 cartridges.

With Biden at the helm, Democrats appear determined to push as many gun restrictions as possible, with Washington, neighboring Oregon, and Colorado amounting to the front lines in this battle.


About Dave Workman

Dave Workman is a senior editor at TheGunMag.com and Liberty Park Press, author of multiple books on the Right to Keep & Bear Arms, and formerly an NRA-certified firearms instructor.

Dave Workman