Gallup Poll: Majority Of Americans Want Stricter Gun Laws

| by Robert Fowler

In the wake of the tragic massacre at an Oregon community college, more than half of Americans reportedly favor stricter guns laws. In a October poll conducted by Gallup, respondents show dissatisfaction with how the U.S. is preventing gun violence.

The past 12 months has seen a string of highly-publicized mass shootings, the most recent occurring at Umpqua Community College in Roseburg, Oregon. A new Gallup poll conducted between Oct. 7-11 shows a general decline in enthusiasm for expanding gun ownership, with 55 percent of respondents saying that they want to see the government enforce stricter guidelines for gun sales. This is an 8 point increase from 2014.

The poll has also found the number of respondents who favor loosening gun regulation and who want the status quo maintained to be lessening. Those who want gun sales to be made even easier clock in at 11 percent, a decline in 2 points since 2014. Thirty-three percent of Americans want gun laws to remain the same -- a 4 point drop since last year.

Democrats and Republicans are sharply divided on this issue, according to the poll. The data finds that while Democrats and Independents support gun control by 77 and 56 percent respectively, only 27 percent of Republicans would support stricter regulations.

While the majority of respondents want tighter regulations, only 27 support banning the general public from owning handguns.

Forty-three percent of respondents claim to have a gun in their household while 28 percent say they personally own a firearm.

The poll was conducted via telephone using a random sample of 1,015 respondents. The poll's margin of error is plus or minus 4 percentage points.

This increased support for tighter gun regulations is in contrast to previous data. A Pew research survey in 2014 showed that 52 percent of Americans favored protecting gun rights over the 46 percent who wanted tighter gun laws, The Guardian reports.

A Huffington Post poll conducted between Oct. 2-5 indicated that only 49 percent of Americans favored strengthening gun laws, with only 39 percent believing that such change could be implemented, given the political obstacles.

Sources: Gallup, The Guardian, Huffington Post / Photo Credit: Sveenys Armory/Flickr, Robert Nelson/Flickr