US Support for Gun Control Tops 2-1

US Support for Gun Control Tops 2-1

United States voters say they want stricter gun laws, according to a nationwide survey conducted by Quinnipiac University two days after a school shooting in Florida left 17 people dead on February 14. That number rose slightly from November 2017, when 95% of American voters overall and 94% of voters in gun-owning households supported background checks.

About two-thirds, or 67 percent, support a nationwide ban on assault weapons, and 83 percent believe a mandatory waiting period is necessary for anyone seeking to buy a gun.

Fifty-eight percent of white men who participated in the poll also support stricter gun laws.

"If you think Americans are largely unmoved by the mass shootings, you should think again", said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the poll, in a statement. "Support for stricter gun laws is up almost 19 points in little more than 2 years", said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

Public polling frequently shows an uptick in support for gun controls immediately after a mass shooting, though perhaps not to this extent.

Seventy-seven percent of those surveyed faulted Congress for its inaction, while 62 percent blamed Trump, according to an ABC News/Washington Post poll. Thirty-one percent said stricter laws weren't needed.

But 77 percent said the killings could have been averted if "more effective" mental health screening and treatment were in place.

President Donald Trump on Tuesday directed attorney general Jeff Sessions to draft regulations banning bump stocks - devices that rapidly increase gun firing rates, which have been used in mass shootings including the Las Vegas massacre a year ago when 58 people were killed and 851 wounded by a lone gunman.

The poll reflects how divisive the issue of banning the purchase of assault weapons is. It's a 19-point swing from December 2015, when 47 percent were in favor and 50 percent opposed.

Asked if arming teachers would have stopped the attack, 42 percent said yes and 51 percent said no. They are also organizing a nation wide march to take place on March 24. White voters with no college degree support stricter laws 58 to 38 percent.

That poll also found that 77% of Americans thought better mental health resources could have prevented the suspect, 19-year-old Nikolas Cruz, from going on his rampage.

It has a plus/minus 4 percentage-point margin of error.

The poll surveyed 1,249 voters nationwide from February 16-19.

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