• U.S.

More Americans Want Stricter Gun Laws, Poll Finds

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More than half of all Americans say they believe gun laws should be stricter than they are now, a significant rise over previous years as gun safety becomes a central issue in the 2016 presidential race in the wake of a string of mass shootings.

According to a Gallup poll, 55% of Americans say gun laws should be stricter, a rise of eight percentage points over last year and the highest since immediately after the Sandy Hook shooting when 58% wanted stricter gun laws. One-third, or 33% say that gun laws should be kept as they are.

Over a third (36%) of gun owners want stricter gun control. Three in four Democrats (77%) agree, while just 27% of Republicans favor stricter gun laws.

Gun control advocates have become increasingly outspoken in recent years, particularly since the 2012 Sandy Hook shooting when 20 children were murdered at an elementary school. A bill that would have strengthened background checks stalled in Congress in the aftermath of the shooting, angering advocates.

Hillary Clinton has made gun control a central issue of her campaign, calling for a “national movement” to take on the National Rifle Association. Most Republicans in the 2016 race, meanwhile have called for strengthening mental health checks.

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