Less than half of Americans support stricter gun laws: Poll

Washington, Oct 31 (IANS) Less than half of Americans said they back tougher gun laws, which is significantly lower than the 58 percent recorded just after the 2012 school shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, that left 20 children dead, a Gallup poll said Friday.

The percentage favouring stricter gun laws since the school shootings has declined to 47 despite a series of tragic shootings in the US at schools, malls and businesses, Xinhua reported citing the poll.

A decade ago, 60 percent of Americans said they favoured stricter gun laws but support dropped to 44 percent in 2009 and remained at that level in polls conducted in the next two years.

The percentage of Americans who say handguns should be banned has remained low. About one in four Americans say handgun possession should be banned for everyone except the police and “other authorised persons” such as security or the military.

A near-record high of 73 percent of Americans now say handguns should not be banned, Gallup found.

Americans vary by demographic group as to whether they favour more stringent laws covering the sale of firearms. Among these groups, support is generally down across the board compared with the poll taken after the Newtown tragedy, Gallup said.

Democrats still express the most support for stricter gun sale laws, at 71 percent, down from 79 percent two years ago. Republicans, liberals, non-whites, women and whites all show substantially less support on this measure compared with 2012, Gallup found.

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