National Security

Majority in new poll favors stricter gun control measures

A majority of Americans say Congress should pass gun control legislation, according to a new poll taken before Tuesday’s deadly shooting in Texas that left 19 children at an elementary school dead along with two teachers.

Overall, 59 percent of respondents said it was “very” or “somewhat” important that elected leaders in the U.S. pass stricter gun control laws.

In comparison, 13 percent said it was “not too important” to pass gun restrictions and 19 percent said it was “not important at all.”

Nine percent had no opinion or did not know, according to the poll from Morning Consult and Politico.

The poll found that 34 percent said restrictions on gun ownership should be a top priority for Congress, while 22 percent said it should be an important but lower priority.

Twenty-three percent said Congress should not put new restrictions on gun ownership while 14 percent said it was not too important but still a priority. Seven percent had no opinion.

Thirty-five percent said it was most important for the federal government to focus on passing stricter gun control laws “to prevent more mass shootings.”

The survey included 2,005 registered voters and had a margin of error of 2 percentage points. It was conducted May 20-22.

While the poll took place before the Texas killings, there were several other high-profile shootings that took place before the survey was conducted — a sign of how common such violence has become in American life.

Ten people were killed in a shooting at a Buffalo grocery store on May 14 and one person was killed and several others injured at a church shooting in Southern California just last week.

Despite the shootings and public support for stricter gun laws, the Senate has failed to vote on measures such as H.R. 8 — the Bipartisan Background Checks Act, which would require a background check for all gun sales. The House has passed the legislation.

Federal law does not require that unlicensed gun sellers operating online or at gun shows conduct background checks prior to the purchase of arms. 

Background checks have effectively blocked 4 million gun sales “to people prohibited by law from having guns,” according to Everytown for Gun Safety.

Twenty-two percent of Americans reported that they purchased their most recent gun without any background check, the group added.

Tags gun laws gun safety

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