Poll shows 43 percent have gun in household, 6 percent increase in demand for more gun control from gun owners.
In the wake of a school shooting in Oregon that killed nine, a nationwide poll has found a sharp increase in the number of Americans who want stricter gun laws.
The poll conducted by Gallup this month shows 55 percent of those surveyed want stricter gun laws, a 6 percent increase over a similar poll last year. The new Gallup poll found that 33 percent want gun laws kept as they are, a 4 percent decline over last year.
“In a maelstrom of debate about guns, Americans have clear-cut views of at least some aspects of the debate,” Gallup said. “With mass shootings and individual homicides occurring with regularity, the debate will continue over whether there should be restrictions or amendments to firearms purchases or possession.”
The poll was conducted Oct. 7-11, just days after a lone gunman killed nine students and faculty at a small college in Oregon. The murders prompted nationwide calls from gun control advocates to increase laws on purchasing firearms and proved a major focus in the Democrat presidential debate on Oct. 13.
In fact, the October poll found a 6 percent increase in favor of more gun control among those who said they own a gun, with most calling for tightening laws on firearm purchases.
Previous Gallup polls had demonstrated a sharp decrease in calls for more gun control, with a February 2014 poll showing 55 percent of Americans are “dissatisfied” with U.S. gun laws, with 16 percent of those saying gun laws were too strict and a 6 percent drop among those who said they weren’t strict enough.
The newest Gallup poll shows an uptick in Democrats and Independents who feel gun laws need to be stricter, a sign that those on the political left may be galvanizing behind the gun control issue. The poll did show, however, a record low in the percentage of Americans who want a ban on handguns, with 72 percent saying there shouldn’t be a ban, and 27 percent in favor of one.
“This trend has been generally declining since Gallup began asking this question in 1959, when 60% said such a law should exist,” Gallup said.
And in a demonstration of how more Americans are buying guns, Gallup found 43 percent said they have a gun in the household, while 28 percent say they own one personally.
“In 2015, guns are a part of the fabric of American life and much of its discourse,” Gallup explained. The American public “is disturbed about mass shootings, but evidently divided about how to solve this persistent problem in the 2010s.”