WASHINGTON — A majority of Americans favor stricter gun laws, and most believe places of worship and schools have become less safe over the last two decades, according to a new poll conducted by The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
The survey was conducted both before and after this month’s mass shooting at two mosques in New Zealand. It found that 67 percent of Americans support making US gun laws stricter, while 22 percent say they should be left as they are and 10 percent think they should be made less strict.
The New Zealand shooting on March 15 did not appear to have an impact on Americans’ support for new gun laws; support for tighter gun laws was the same in interview conduct before and after the shooting.
While a majority of Americans have consistently said they support stronger gun laws, proposals have stalled repeatedly in Congress in recent years, a marked contrast to New Zealand and some other countries, such as Australia, that have acted swiftly after a mass shooting. Less than a week after the mosque shootings, New Zealand moved to ban “military-style” semi-automatic weapons and high-capacity magazines; similarly, after a mass shooting in 1996, Australia enacted sweeping gun bans within two weeks.