Support builds nationwide for gun control legislation

February 22, 2018

Despite a report yesterday by ABC News/Washington Post that 77% of Americans  are looking at better mental health monitoring to prevent mass shootings—and that only 58%  are advocating for stricter gun laws—new findings have been released indicating that support for gun control is growing.

The independent Quinnipiac University National Poll—also conducted following  the massacre of 17 students and staff members on Valentine’s Day at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida—found that American voters now are supporting stricter gun laws, 66% to 31%.

What’s more, respondents advocated, 67% versus 29% for a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons; and 83% versus 14% for a mandatory waiting period for all gun purchases.

Also released on February 20, according to Quinnipiac, this is “the highest level of support ever measured by the … poll”—with 50% versus 44% support among gun owners; 62% versus 35% advocacy from white voters with no college degree; and 58% versus 38% backing among white men.

Support for universal background checks is, itself, almost universal, with 97% of respondents for it versus 2% against (97% versus 3% among gun owners). Support for gun control on other questions is at its highest level since the Quinnipiac University Poll began focusing on this issue in the wake of the Sandy Hook massacre:

It is too easy to buy a gun in the United States  today, respondents told Quinnipiac, 67% versus 3%. If more people carried guns Americans would be less safe, they stressed, 59% versus  33% percent.

Finally, the poll found, Americans think that Congress needs to do more to reduce gun violence, 75% versus 17%t.

“If you think Americans are largely unmoved by the mass shootings, you should think again. 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.

Research contact: timothy.malloy@quinnipiac.edu

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