Support for stricter gun laws at all-time high, poll shows

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AR-15s for sale on Feb. 15 2018 in Orem Utah

George Frey Getty Images AR-15s for sale on Feb. 15 2018 in Orem Utah

"Support for stricter gun laws is up 19 points in little more than two years", said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. Even among gun owners polled, support is at 97 percent.

The poll was conducted after 17 people were killed last week at a high school shooting in Parkland, Florida.

Tuesday's survey also finds that 97 percent of respondents support requiring background checks for all gun buyers.

The country is split - 50 percent support a nationwide ban and 46 percent oppose one - but broken down by political party, only 29 percent of Republicans would support it, while 71 percent of Democrats and 45 percent of independents would.

About two-thirds, or 67 percent, support a nationwide ban on assault weapons, and 83 percent believe a mandatory waiting period is necessary for anyone seeking to buy a gun. Backing for tighter gun rules is higher than the polling institute has ever measured, and up from 47 percent as recently as December 2015. "In the last two months, some of the biggest surges in support for tightening gun laws come from the demographic groups you may not expect, independent voters, men, and whites with no college degree". Sixty-seven percent of respondents also said it is now too easy to buy a gun in the US, and three-quarters said Congress needs to do more to reduce gun violence.

Believe if more people carried guns, the US would be less safe, 59 to 33 percent.

The tragedy at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida has shocked many Americans, inspired students to launch campaigns to reduce gun violence, and put Congress and President Donald Trump's administration in the spotlight as they consider what changes, if any, should be made to the country's gun laws. The poll was conducted over four days with 150 staff members calling randomly-generated numbers from all 50 states.

The poll surveyed 1,249 voters nationwide from February 16-19.

A narrow majority of Americans, 51%, also believed that arming teachers with guns couldn't have prevented the shooting.

The Quinnipiac poll was taken between February 16 and February 19 and surveyed 1,249 voters nationwide.

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