Poll: Americans fault Trump, Congress for not doing enough to prevent mass shootings

Last Updated Feb 20, 2018 10:33 AM EST

In the wake of the deadly school rampage in Florida, more than 6 in 10 Americans say Congress and President Trump are not doing enough when it comes to preventing mass shootings, according to a new Washington Post- ABC News poll.

Seventy-seven percent of respondents said Congress was not doing enough while 62 percent said the president was falling short. Majorities across party lines pointed directly to Congress while responses on the president's actions appeared more divided. More than eight in 10 Democrats and two-thirds of independents say the president is not doing enough while over 6 in 10 Republicans say Mr. Trump is taking enough action to prevent a mass shooting.

Similarly, a CBS News/YouGov Poll conducted in December on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting found most Americans (63 percent) believe that mass shootings like those in Las Vegas, Newtown or Orlando could have been prevented, but with a split between gun owners (51 percent said they're a part of society) and non-gun owners (67 percent said they can be stopped).

When it comes to legislation, the Post-ABC poll, conducted just after the shooting which left 17 dead, found that 58 percent of adults say stricter gun laws could have helped to prevent the shooting rampage. Support also fell largely on party lines (86 percent of Democrats compared to 26 percent of Republicans).

The findings appeared to mirror responses to a CBS News poll conducted shortly after the Pulse nightclub shooting in Florida in 2016. That survey found 57 percent of Americans think gun laws should be more strict, with similar breakdowns of support across party lines.

But when asked about legislation to impose a nationwide ban on assault weapons altogether, respondents were split -- with 50 percent of respondents in support and 46 opposed. Somewhat similar numbers again were found in the CBS News Pulse nightclub poll -- with 57 percent in favor such a ban back in 2016.

A large majority of respondents (77 percent) also said more mental health screenings and treatments could have helped to prevent accused gunman Nikolas Cruz from allegedly opening fire at his high school.

The Post-ABC poll was conducted Feb. 15-18 among a random sample of 808 adults reached on cell and landline phones with a margin of sampling error of +/- four percentage points.

  • Emily Tillett

    Emily Tillett is a politics reporter and video editor for CBS News Digital