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Wednesday, 14 August 2019

Just a third of Americans think stricter gun laws would have prevented recent shootings, but a vast majority still want Congress to 'do something' anyway: Survey

A 41 percent plurality of American adults don't think that recent mass murders would have been prevented by stricter gun laws, while only 34 percent think they would have.

The numbers are from a recent Economist/YouGov poll finding that a full quarter for adult respondents — 25 percent — don't know or are unsure if more gun laws would have stopped recent shootings before they happened.

There is still no evidence to suggest that current gun control proposals would have prevented either shooting in El Paso, Texas, or Dayton, Ohio, though a friend of the Dayton shooter who helped the suspect acquire gear has been charged with violating existing gun laws.

But those numbers don't mean the respondents of the survey were skeptical of all gun control, as questions about specific policy proposals bear out.

The survey found that 84 percent said they want Congress to "do something about gun violence," and 57 percent said they want the Senate to come back early from recess to Washington in order to work on gun legislation.

The survey also found that a 61 percent majority of respondents want to make handgun laws more strict, and 59 percent of respondents were either "somewhat" or "strongly" in favor of "banning semi-automatic weapons."

On handguns, 73 percent said they were in favor of a five-day waiting period for handguns, while 63 percent were either "somewhat" or "strongly" opposed to banning handguns. Opinions on prohibiting concealed carry are almost even, with 45 percent against and 43 percent in favor. And 55 percent think that people should obtain permits from police before buying a handgun.

Finally, nearly two-thirds of respondents (66 percent) were either "somewhat" or "strongly" in favor of requiring gun owners to register their firearms with a national gun registry, which gun rights advocates warn is a natural step toward gun confiscation.

The web-based survey was conducted among 1,500 American adults and has a margin of error of +/- 2.6 percent.

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