Poll: Americans favor stricter gun laws

Dec. 27, 2012 at 8:05 AM
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PRINCETON, N.J., Dec. 27 (UPI) -- About 15 percent more Americans in 2012 compared to 2011 are in favor of strengthening laws covering the sale of firearms, a Gallup poll indicates.

The poll was conducted Dec. 19-22 in the days following the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Conn., in which 26 people, including 20 students, were shot to death.

Poll results indicated 58 percent of Americans asked said they favored strengthening existing gun laws, compared to 43 percent in 2011. A record-high 47 percent of respondents favor passing new gun laws, up from 35 percent in 2011, the USA Today/Gallup poll said.

Support for stricter gun laws is the highest Gallup has measured since January 2004, though it hasn't reached the height of support in the 1990s, the Princeton, N.J., company said.

Americans' views on the sale of assault rifles have remained unchanged, the poll indicated. Fifty-one percent of those asked said they oppose making it illegal to manufacture, sell or possess assault rifles, pollsters said.

Sixty-two percent of those asked said they favor banning the sale of ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds and 92 percent stated approval of laws requiring background checks on people attempting to purchase guns at gun shows.

Gallup surveyed a random sampling of 1,038 adults by landline and mobile phone. The respondents live in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia. The margin of error is 4 percentage points.

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