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Poll: Support for stricter gun laws hits all-time high

The Hill logo The Hill 10/12/2017 Max Greenwood
Poll: Support for stricter gun laws hits all-time high © Provided by The Hill Poll: Support for stricter gun laws hits all-time high

Support among American voters for stricter gun control laws has reached an all-time high, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.

Sixty percent of respondents say that support tightening gun laws, while 36 percent said they are opposed to doing so. Still, support for stricter gun control tops the previous high - 54 percent - recorded in a June Quinnipiac poll.

Support for banning devices that allow gun owners to modify semi-automatic rifles to mimic fully automatic weapons is even higher, at 73 percent, according to the new poll. Twenty-five percent of voters oppose prohibiting such devices, commonly called bump stocks.

A majority of voters who identify Republicans - 62 percent - believe that such modifications should be banned. An even greater percentage of voters who live in households where there is a gun favor outlawing the devices.

The poll, conducted Oct. 5-10, came amid a reignited national debate over gun control that emerged after a gunman opened fire on a Las Vegas music festival earlier this month.

The gunman, identified as 64-year-old Stephen Paddock, fired on the Route 91 Harvest Festival from his Las Vegas hotel room, killing 59 people and injuring more than 500. Paddock had used bump stock-modified semi-automatic rifles to carry out the attack.

The mass shooting has prompted calls both Republican and Democratic lawmakers to ban bump stocks. The National Rifle Association, the nation's largest gun advocacy group, has said that the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms should use existing laws to regulate the devices.

Some lawmakers have also called to strengthen background checks for people seeking to purchase firearms.

Background checks have wide support among Americans at 94 percent, the Quinnipiac poll found. Even among those in gun-owning households, 93 percent are in favor of background checks.

Nearly two-thirds of respondents say they support a ban on the sale of assault weapons, as well as a prohibition on the sale of high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds.

Some other polls have pegged support for stricter gun control measures higher than the Quinnipiac survey. A Politico/Morning Consult poll released Wednesday, for example, put support at 64 percent.


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