Poll: Majority backs stricter gun control laws after Vegas shooting

 In Politics

A memorial for the victims of the Las Vegas shooting is pictured here. | Getty Images

Mourners hold their candles during a vigil to mark one week since the mass shooting at the Route 91 Harvest country music festival in Las Vegas. The massacre is described as the deadliest mass shootings in modern U.S. history. | Drew Angerer/Getty Images

A new POLITICO/Morning Consult poll shows that a majority of voters support stricter gun control laws in the wake of last week’s mass murder of 58 concertgoers in Las Vegas by a single man with nearly two dozen firearms shooting from the window of his 32nd-floor hotel room.

On most of the proposals to regulate gun ownership — including background checks, restrictions on where Americans can carry firearms and prohibitions against accessories like the “bump fire” stocks used by the Las Vegas gunman — large majorities express support in the poll, conducted last Thursday through Monday.

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But despite those findings, voters still don’t think the chances are high that Congress will act to strengthen federal firearm laws, even after the deadliest mass shooting in modern American history. And slightly more voters still say it’s more important to protect Americans’ right to own guns than it is, in general, to limit gun ownership.

Sixty-four percent of voters support stricter gun laws, the poll shows, including 41 percent who strongly support them. Less than 3-in-10 voters, 29 percent, oppose stricter gun laws, including 16 percent in strong opposition.

That’s a slight increase in support from June of this year, when 61 percent of voters backed stricter gun laws and 33 percent opposed them.

Democratic voters are overwhelmingly supportive of new gun laws: Eighty-three percent back stricter laws, compared with only 12 percent who oppose them. Among independents, 58 percent support stricter gun control, and a third oppose them.

But the poll also finds some less-likely groups are closely split. Forty-nine percent of Republican voters support stricter gun control laws, and 45 percent oppose them. Among voters who said they supported Donald Trump in last year’s election, 46 percent are in favor of stricter gun laws and 48 percent are opposed.

A 55 percent majority of gun owners back new restrictions, while 41 percent oppose them.

Seventy-nine percent of voters support banning the use of bump fire stocks — the device the Las Vegas shooter used to modify a dozen of his semi-automatic weapons to fire hundreds of rounds per minute. Only 13 percent of voters oppose banning bump fire stocks.

A number of specific proposals garner significant public support, with more than eight in 10 voters backing required background checks on all gun sales (88 percent), preventing sales of all firearms to people who have been reported as dangerous to law enforcement by a mental-health provider (87 percent), making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks (84 percent), preventing those convicted of violent misdemeanors from buying guns (83 percent) and barring gun purchases by those on the federal “no fly” or terrorist watch lists (82 percent).

“The results of this survey demonstrate there is support for at least some new gun control measures, even if support for whole-scale reform is murkier,” said Kyle Dropp, Morning Consult’s co-founder and chief research officer. “Sixty-four percent of voters, including 49 percent of Republicans, support stricter gun laws. There are also individual proposals that receive even broader backing, such as 84 percent support for closing the gun show loophole.”

Other proposals earning majority support: requiring all owners to store their guns in a safe storage unit (77 percent), creating a national database for each gun sale (76 percent), requiring a three-day waiting period for gun purchases (76 percent), banning assault-style weapons (72 percent), banning high-capacity magazines (72 percent), prohibiting Americans from carrying guns at schools and on college campuses (69 percent), limiting Americans to one firearms purchase per month (69 percent), limiting ammunition purchases (69 percent) and banning firearms from all workplace settings (59 percent).

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