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60 percent in new poll say controlling gun violence more important than protecting gun rights

A sign outside Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, is seen adorned with flowers on May 25, 2022, after an 18-year-old gunman killed 19 students and two teachers. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong, File)

Six in 10 Americans in a new survey say controlling gun violence is more important than protecting gun rights. 

The NPR-PBS NewsHour-Marist poll found that 60 percent overall think it’s more important to control gun violence, which NPR notes is the highest in 10 years. Forty percent of people who own guns report feeling the same. 

Broken down by party, 88 percent of Democrats think reining in gun violence is more important, while 67 percent of Republicans say protecting gun rights is more important. 

The poll’s release on Wednesday comes exactly one year after 19 children and two teachers were killed by a gunman at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas. 

Just over half, or 57 percent, of Americans report feeling the schools in their local communities are safe from gun violence — down from 65 percent in February 2019.

“Inaction by lawmakers in Washington on the issue of guns is clearly out of step with public opinion. In fact, Americans see a host of options to address growing concern over gun violence,” said Lee Miringoff, director of the Marist Institute for Public Opinion, in a release about the poll. 

Slightly more than a quarter of Americans say banning semi-automatic assault weapons sales would “have the most impact on reducing gun violence in the U.S,” and 17 percent picked mental health screenings for gun buyers. 

Thirteen percent said background checks for gun purchases at private sales would be the best option, while 12 percent said red flag laws and 10 percent said teachers carrying guns in the classroom. Twenty percent said they didn’t think any of the options listed in the poll would have an impact on gun violence. 

President Biden is set to mark the anniversary of the Uvalde massacre with remarks at the White House and a call for Congress to take action on gun violence.

Conducted May 15-18, the poll surveyed 1,286 adults and had an overall margin of error of plus or minus 3.4 percentage points.

Tags Assault weapons Gun control gun violence Joe Biden Lee Miringoff Poll uvalde

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