Obama Unveils Executive Actions On Gun Control, But Will The Public Support It?

| by Sean Kelly

President Barack Obama unveiled his executive actions on gun control to the public on Jan. 5. And while the public has voiced support for his measures, polls show support for gun control in general has been on the decline.

Obama's executive orders on gun control mostly apply to policy elements, such as background checks and mental health resources, ABC News reports.

A Pew Research poll in July showed that 85 percent of Americans believed background checks were necessary on private gun sales and gun show sales, reported ABC. A similar poll in 2013 from ABC News/Washington Post showed 86 percent support for the same.

While it appears support for background checks is strong, the same cannot be said of assault weapon bans.

An ABC News poll from December 2015 showed that a majority of those polled were opposed to a ban on assault weapons, 53 to 45 percent. This majority opposition is a first, ABC News noted.

Another issue being pushed by the president in relation to gun control is better mental health access, which 77 percent of Americans said they believe would significantly reduce gun violence, according to a December poll from CBS/Times.

“It doesn't matter where you conduct your business -- from a store, at gun shows or over the Internet," White House adviser Valerie Jarrett said of Obama's executive actions on Jan. 4, according to NBC News. "If you're in the business of selling firearms, you must get a license and conduct background checks."

The president's executive actions signal an attempt in his final year in office to make an impact on the issue of gun control -- and although he has insisted that the orders fall within his powers, he is expected to meet resistance from the Republican-controlled Congress.

Sources: ABC News, NBC News / Photo credit: Wikimedia Commons, Mika Jarvinen/Flickr