A majority of Americans now support the passage of new laws on guns over stricter enforcement of existing laws, a new poll shows.
The Gallup poll found that 51 percent of Americans favor the government passing additional laws firearms, the first time a majority have said so in the annual Crime poll. Another 60 percent indicated support for laws further regulating the sale of firearms.
For the first time since the poll was first conducted in 2000, a majority of Americans favor more laws than do not, after 47 percent said they did after the deadly 2012 shooting of an elementary school in Newtown Connecticut.
The latest poll was conducted Oct. 5-11, between two of the deadliest shootings in U.S. history, both of which sparked heated partisan debates over gun regulations and calls for new bans on certain weapons and gun accessories.
The Sunday shooting and killing of 26 people at the First Baptist Church in Sutherland Springs, Texas by an ex-convict Air Force veteran was carried out with a gun that the Air Force admitted he shouldn’t have been able to obtain, citing its failure to report his previous court-martial and sentencing over domestic assault.
On Oct. 1, a lone gunman killed 58 people at a Las Vegas music festival using a “bump stock” accessory that allowed him to mimic the rate of fire of an automatic weapon. Nearly two dozen Senate Democrats introduced new legislation banning the device on Wednesday, after several bipartisan attempts in Congress have stalled.
The poll found differences on the issue along party lines, with 81 percent of Democrats in favor of new gun laws, while 73 percent of Republicans prefer the stricter enforcement of current laws.