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Six in 10 U.S. adults for stricter firearms sale laws. But they like assault weapons

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Staff Writer | October 17, 2017
In the wake of the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history, more Americans support tighter controls on guns.
firearms sale
America   Support for stricter gun laws
Six in 10 U.S. adults now support stricter laws covering the sale of firearms, up from 55% last year and the highest percentage since 2004.

However, the public is sharply divided over an assault weapons ban, though the 48% in favor exceeds last year's record-low 36%.

Americans still widely oppose an outright ban on handguns, but more favor such a ban than in 2016.

The latest uptick in support for gun control, from Gallup's Crime poll conducted October 5-11, comes just days after the October 1 mass shooting in Las Vegas, where 58 people were killed and more than 500 were injured.

The public's overall desire for stricter gun laws has fluctuated substantially since Gallup's first measure in 1990.

That year, a record-high 78% favored stricter laws covering the sale of firearms. A majority of Americans held that position until 2008.

Support then fell to a low of 43% in 2011, when an equal number said gun laws should be kept as is.

Public opinion typically shifts in the aftermath of a traumatic national event such as a mass shooting.

Shortly after the mass shooting at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, in December 2012, support for stricter gun laws jumped to 58%.

Sentiments in favor of stricter laws fell thereafter, only to rise to 55% in October 2015 after nine people were killed and nine were injured at a community college in Roseburg, Oregon.