By Paul Bedard

Amid a growing national drive in some 20 states to provide “gun sanctuaries” in areas where calls are increasing for new controls, gun policy has become the second most “extremely important” issue in the 2020 elections.

In the latest Gallup survey, gun policy is tied at 34% with terrorism and national security as the second issue voters call “extremely important.” Healthcare barely edges gun control out as No. 1, with 35% calling it “extremely important.”

Driven by Democrats and their apparent opposition to further gun control rules, the issue also ranks fifth as the one voters consider “extremely important, very important.” Gallup found a 20-point gap between Democrats and Republicans who consider guns a top issue.

Gun policy was similarly important in the 2018 elections, but has ranked extremely low in Gallup surveys when Americans are asked to name the “most important problem.”

While guns and gun policy can fall away as key talking points in presidential elections, this year may prove different because pro- and anti-gun forces are fighting in several states and because all the Democratic presidential candidates are favoring different gun bans and controls. That is similar to 2016 when Hillary Clinton endorsed a gun ban, and President Trump was endorsed by the National Rifle Association.

Virginia, home to the NRA, has become the focus in the fight now that the state government is in Democratic hands. Several new members to the state legislature were voted on a position of imposing gun control, and the state Senate took steps Monday to curb Second Amendment freedoms.

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