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Americans’ Support for Stricter Gun Laws Holds Strong After Protests

© AP Photo / Evan VucciSydney Acuff, 16, of Silver Spring, Md., center, screams during a student protest for gun control legislation in front of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, in Washington.
Sydney Acuff, 16, of Silver Spring, Md., center, screams during a student protest for gun control legislation in front of the White House, Wednesday, Feb. 21, 2018, in Washington. - Sputnik International
A new poll released Wednesday reveals that support for stricter gun control legislation is still strong among Americans after the nationwide “March for Our Lives” protest against gun violence on March 24.

In the new Politico/Morning Consult poll that surveyed 1,997 voters, 66 percent said they would prefer gun laws to be stricter, while 28 percent said they disapprove of tighter gun control; the remaining 6 percent expressed no opinion. The poll was conducted March 29 through April 1, after the "March for our Lives" rallies but before the April 3 shooting at YouTube headquarters in San Bruno, California, that injured three before the shooter, 38-year-old Nasim Aghdam, shot and killed herself. 

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The amount of support for tightening US gun laws is higher than at any point in the last two years. However, it is slightly lower than the level of support [70 percent] revealed by the same poll just a few days after the February 14 high school shooting in Parkland, Florida, that left 17 dead.

The most recent poll also revealed that support for stricter gun legislation is higher today than in the days after the Las Vegas massacre last October, in which nearly 60 people were killed and more than 500 injured at a concert in Las Vegas.

"The fact that these teenagers have mobilized and have started marching and have started being on TV and framing the narrative is something that has really helped to swing public opinion to the extent it's swung," Clyde Wilcox, a Georgetown University professor, said in a Tuesday interview with Morning Consult. 

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There is also a divide among Republicans regarding gun control, with 51 percent of GOP supporters endorsing stricter gun legislation and 46 percent opposing it. According to Politico, 37 percent of Republicans were against stricter restrictions on gun ownership in a similar poll conducted two weeks ago.

"As the ‘March for Our Lives' rally garnered widespread media attention, our polling suggests Republican opposition against tougher gun laws have increased in the last few weeks," said Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult's co-founder and chief research officer.

In addition, the poll revealed that 90 percent of Americans are in favor of mandatory background checks on all gun sales, while 84 percent believe that people on the federal no-fly list should be barred from buying guns and 68 percent of Americans support banning assault-style guns.

However, most voters have little faith that additional action will be taken by legislators beyond the bill passed last month that raised the minimum age for buying firearms from 18 to 21, established a three-day waiting period for the purchase of long guns and banned bump stock modifications that enable guns to hold larger magazines than they are designed for.

In fact, only 8 percent of voters said they believe Congress will pass stricter gun laws in the near future and 21 percent said they believe there is a good chance that it will happen. On the other hand, 61 percent stated that the probability of stricter gun laws passing Congress are either fair or poor.

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