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Poll: Support For Tougher Gun Laws Hits New High

An overwhelming majority of American voters think people on the government's terrorist watch list should not be allowed to purchase guns, a new nationwide poll found.

Eighty-six percent of American voters support banning people on the government’s terrorist watch list from purchasing guns, according to the June 21-27 Quinnipiac University Poll. When the results are broken down by political affiliation, 85 percent of Republicans support the ban, 91 percent of Democrats, and 83 percent of Independents.

"American voters clearly are worried about guns. They want to make it harder for bad people to get them and believe it can be done without penalizing legitimate gun owners,” said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.

As for enacting stricter gun laws in the country, 52 percent of respondents are in favor of the measure, with 42 percent opposed. This is the highest level of support ever recorded for this question.

When asked whether expanding background checks would reduce gun violence in the country, 62 percent of respondents answered “yes,” with 35 percent stating it would not make a difference.

But 93 percent of American voters do support requiring a background check for all gun buyers, with at least 90 percent of support from each political affiliation.

In the eight Quinnipiac national polls conducted since the December 2012 Sandy Hook mass shooting, support for universal background checks has ranged from 88 to 93 percent.

"The people have spoken time and again, but nothing changes," Malloy said.

A June 16-19 CNN/ORC poll found similar results on whether universal background checks should be enforced.

Of those polled, 92 percent were in favor of universal background checks, with 8 percent opposed.

In regards to people on the government’s terrorist watch list, 85 percent of Americans who participated in the CNN/ORC poll were in favor of banning them from owning guns.

Both polls asked their participants whether assault weapons should be banned in the United States.

Fifty-nine percent of the Quinnipiac respondents support banning the sale of assault weapons.

Fifty-four percent of the CNN/ORC participants were in favor of a ban on the manufacture, sale, and possession of semi-automatic assault guns.

Women favor banning assault rifles far more than men, 71 percent to 46 percent, according to the Quinnipiac poll.

As for the National Rifle Association, 38 percent of American voters have a favorable opinion of the organization, with 36 percent viewing it unfavorably.

Sources: Quinnipiac University, CNN/ORC / Photo credit: Michael Dorausch/Flickr

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