Poll: 6 in 10 favor tougher gun laws
gun violence, handgun, bullets, gun law, gun control, gun regulation, American flag / CBS
Amid ongoing debate about U.S. gun violence in America, a new poll from the Associated Press-GfK shows that nearly six in 10 Americans favor more stringent gun laws, while majorities also support strengthening background checks and limiting the violence depicted in video games.
According to the survey, which polled 1,004 people between Jan. 10-14, 58 percent of Americans support strengthening gun laws, while only 5 percent say they should be made more lax. Thirty-five percent said current gun laws should stay the same.
An overwhelming majority of adults -- 84 percent -- also favored the broadening of background checks, and specifically of closing so-called gun show loopholes that make it relatively easy to buy a gun without undergoing a criminal background check.
In the aftermath of last month's massacre in Newtown, Conn., the gun control movement has enjoyed a groundswell of support, and polls across the board have shown increases in support for stricter gun laws. In the AP-GfK poll, most people said the Newtown shootings inspired feelings of both anger and shame.
Today, President Obama will lay out a sweeping plan for reducing gun violence, and despite the looming political battle over policies like the assault weapons ban, universal background checks, and a ban on high-capacity magazines, majorities of Americans support similar provisions.
According to the AP-GfK poll, 55 percent of adults support a ban on military-style, rapid-fire guns -- which would fall under the assault weapons ban -- and 51 percent backed a ban on the sale of magazines containing 10 bullets or more. Fifty-four percent of adults also favored limitations on the portrayal of gun violence in television shows, movies, or video games.
At 75 percent, Republicans were more likely to believe stronger gun laws infringed on Americans' Second Amendment rights, and 53 percent of Republicans believe gun laws should stay the same. But Democrats, at 76 percent, and independents, at 60 percent, strongly favor stronger laws.
Gun owners were generally less likely to support these measures, according to the poll, although 80 percent said they'd support closing the gun show background check loophole. Among non-gun owners, that provision earned 87 percent support.
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