HAMDEN, Conn., July 3 (UPI) -- More than nine out of 10 U.S. voters support background checks for gun buyers and almost as many say the mentally ill should be barred from buying guns.
A Quinnipiac poll released Thursday found that gun owners are almost as likely as the general public to support background checks. And 89 percent of Republicans agree on the issue, only 3 percentage points lower than Democrats.
But only 50 percent said the country needs stricter laws to regulate guns, while 47 percent said they oppose such laws.
"Americans are all in on stricter background checks on gun buyers and on keeping weapons out of the hands of the mentally ill," said Tim Malloy, the Quinnipiac University Poll's assistant director. "But when it comes to 'stricter gun control,' three words which prompt a negative reflex, almost half of those surveyed say 'hands off.'"
After Adam Lanza killed his mother and 20 students and six teachers at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., and then took his own life, there were calls for stricter gun regulations. But the National Rifle Association and other gun-rights groups have lobbied successfully against new laws.
Quinnipiac surveyed 1,446 registered voters across the United States between June 24 and June 30. The margin of error is 2.6 points.