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Majority support increased gun restrictions: poll

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Most Americans support stricter gun laws following a mass shooting at a Florida high school this month, but few expect Congress to take action on the issue, a poll released Sunday found.

A USA Today poll showed 19 percent of Americans believe there’s a good or excellent chance Congress will enact tougher gun control laws, while 76 percent believe there’s a fair or poor chance lawmakers will act.

The same poll found broad support for changes to curb gun violence.

{mosads}Sixty-one percent of respondents said they believe strengthening gun control laws and background checks would prevent future mass shootings. In addition, 76 percent of those surveyed said those who have been treated for mental illness should not be able to own a weapon.

The poll found 63 percent of respondents believe weapons like the AR-15 should be banned. It is not clear from the polling if those surveyed support a full ban of semi-automatic weapons, or a ban of the AR-15 in particular, which was used in the Florida high school shooting and other recent mass shootings.

The poll surveyed 1,000 people, and has a margin of error of 3 percentage points.

After a gunman killed 17 people and injured several others on Feb. 14 at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Fla., students, gun control advocates and Democrats called for legislation to prevent future school shootings.

Republicans have opposed banning all semi-automatic weapons, a broad category of guns that facilitate quick reloading. Sen. Marco Rubio (R-Fla.) said the idea is “well outside the mainstream,” since the category of semi-automatic guns is so broad, arguing that banning the entire class of firearms would mean banning “virtually every rifle sold in America today.”

Rep. Ted Deutch (D-Fla.) said Democrats will introduce a bill this week to ban all assault weapons, a more specific category.

President Trump has signaled an openness to gun law reforms in the wake of the shooting. He has suggested raising the age to purchase a weapon, expanding background checks and banning bump stocks. 

The president has also suggested arming teachers to prevent future school shootings, though that proposal was met with opposition from lawmakers on both sides of the aisle.

Tags Donald Trump Marco Rubio Ted Deutch

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