Only 45 percent of Americans support a ban on assault weapons, per ABC News/Washington Post poll results released Wednesday. This is a record low for recent years, marking the first time in two decades that backing of the proposal has dipped below 50 percent.
These results come after the revelation that the San Bernardino shooters' guns were legally purchased in California, which already has a background check requirement and an assault weapons ban in place. Furthering the difficulty of enacting a nationwide ban is disagreement among gun control advocates and gun rights supporters alike over what exactly constitutes an "assault weapon."
Such facts may contribute to the same survey's findings that Americans are increasingly fearful of a San Bernardino-style "lone wolf" attack, but also doubt the government's ability to stop this type of violence. Just 22 percent said government could protect against similar shootings in the future, while 47 percent agreed that more Americans carrying guns would be an effective response to terrorism.