(C) Reuters. Law enforcement personnel work at the scene of a mass shooting in Robb Elementary School, in Uvalde, Texas, U.S., May 25, 2022. REUTERS/Nuri Vallbona
WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Most Americans support stronger gun laws but are less confident that lawmakers will take action in the wake of a spate of mass shootings, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.
The poll of 940 Americans was conducted one day after a Texas gunman killed 19 students and two teachers, and less than two weeks after an avowed white supremacist killed 10 people at a supermarket in a mostly Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York.
Some 84% of respondents said they supported background checks for all firearms sales, while 70% said they backed “red flag” laws that would allow authorities to confiscate guns from people found to be a threat to public safety.
Also, 72% said they would support raising the age to buy a gun from 18 to 21.
Those policies were backed by broad majorities of Republicans and Democrats alike and echo the findings of previous surveys.
But most people do not think Congress will act. Only 35% said they were confident that U.S. lawmakers would strengthen gun laws this year, while 49% said they were not confident.
U.S. lawmakers have repeatedly failed to tighten gun laws after similar massacres over the past decade.
Some 65% of respondents said America has so many mass shootings because of the easy availability of firearms.
However, the survey found Americans were more divided over policies already in place in many states that make guns a part of everyday life.
A majority, 54%, said that carrying a gun was the best way to protect against a mass shooting, while 45% said they supported arming elementary school teachers or staff.
Some 43% said law-abiding citizens should be able to carry guns in church, at work, or at a store, while 69% supported laws that allow people to get a permit to carry a concealed weapon.
The poll has a credibility interval of four percentage points.
Broad support, but less hope for tighter U.S. gun laws – Reuters/Ipsos poll