Still, support for new gun controls remains higher than it was following mass shootings in Aurora, Colo. and Tucson, Ariz. — evidence that the Newtown killing spree, which left 20 schoolchildren and six educators dead, has had particular resonance.
And other polls show broad support for individual gun control measures. A Quinnipiac University poll released last week showed that 88 percent of Americans back universal gun background checks.
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) indicated last week that he would bring a bill including an expansion of background checks and new penalties for straw purchasers to the floor after Congress returned from a two-week Easter recess. More controversial provisions, including an updated assault weapons ban and limits on magazine clip capacities, will be offered as an amendment.
On Monday, the White House said President Obama would also stump in the coming weeks to rally support for new gun laws. And spokesman Josh Earnest said that while the president's decision to pursue gun reform wasn't driven by the polls, the administration nevertheless believed the American public agreed with their proposals.
"There actually is a lot of strong support for the proposals that the president has put forward, whether it's universal background checks, whether it is, you know, outlawing gun trafficking or straw purchasers," Earnest said. "There's even some support out there in the public for the assault weapons ban."