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Most Say Stricter Gun Laws Would Not Help Prevent Shootings

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Most Americans say stronger gun control laws are not the answer to the shootings last weekend of a U.S. congresswoman and the killing of six others.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, taken Monday and Tuesday nights, finds that only 29% of Adults think stricter gun control laws would help prevent shootings like the one in Arizona last Saturday. Sixty-two percent (62%) disagree and say stronger gun control would not make a difference. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Among those who have a gun in their household, 76% say stricter gun control laws would not help, a view shared by a plurality (48%) of those without a gun in the house.

Despite Saturday’s tragedy, opposition to gun control is at a new high. Thirty-six percent (36%) say the United States needs stricter gun control laws, but 56% don’t share that belief and oppose stronger anti-gun laws. Previously, opposition to more gun control has ranged from a high of 51% in July of last year to a low of 37% in April 2007 following the killings at Virginia Tech.

Seventy-three percent (73%) of those who say someone in their household owns a gun oppose stricter gun control laws. Fifty-three percent (53%) of those without a gun in the house favor stricter laws.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on January 10-11, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.

How wide is the gap between men and women over the need for stricter gun control laws? Do most Democrats agree with Republicans and unaffiliated adults that the Constitution guarantees a citizen’s right to own a gun? Become a Platinum member and find out.


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