Millennials Are Divided on Assault-Style Weapons

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Resistance to a ban on military-style assault weapons is strongest among millennials, finds a new Quinnipiac poll, The Guardian reports. 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. The previous national federal ban on assault weapons lapsed more than a decade ago, and Congress has not renewed it. 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 percent supporting and 44 percent opposing a ban. There was huge support for a return to banning the sale of assault weapons from voters over 50, with 70 percent support from over-50s and 77 percent support from over-65s. None of the other gun control questions in the poll had such a striking age divide, said David Yamane, a sociologist at Wake Forest University who studies the culture of legal gun ownership.

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