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Gallup: Record number of Americans think gun laws too strict

Gun Laws

In a nearly two-decade high, 55 percent of Americans now say they are dissatisfied with the nation's gun laws, according to a new Gallup poll. But in a surprising reversal of previous trends, the polling group found much of the increased dislike of current gun control laws comes from Americans who believe they are too strict.

In its 2014 update on the "Mood of the Nation," Gallup found that 16 percent of respondents said they were dissatisfied with gun laws because they were too strict, a more than 300 percent increase over those who said gun laws were too strict last year. The poll found that 31 percent of respondents think gun laws weren't strict enough, down from 38 percent last year.

"Americans have become more dissatisfied with gun laws over the past year, but this is attributable to a greater percentage who say gun laws are too strict, rather than not being strict enough," Gallup said. "Americans' changing views could set the course for future gun law debates and legislation."

The increased skepticism over current gun laws comes as more Americans than ever are applying for concealed carry permits and states that once banned the practice are being ordered by courts to overturn carry bans. Illinois became the last state to allow concealed carry and the city of Chicago was recently ordered by a federal judge to allow gun stores to open in the city.

According to the FBI, the justice department conducted a record 21 million background checks last year for gun purchases and concealed carry permits, up more than 15 percent over the previous year.

"Billionaire gun control zealots such as Michael Bloomberg outspent us exponentially last year," NRA spokeswoman Catherine Mortensen told National Journal. "However, their efforts failed to resonate with a majority of Americans that gun control laws are necessary. In fact, as Gallup shows, it has been counterproductive." The poll was conducted in early January using a phone survey of over 1,000 randomly-selected adults. It has an error margin of 4 percent.

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