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More Americans Favor Stricter Gun Laws: Gallup

How Guns Stack Up to Other Causes of Death in America 1:10

The percentage of Americans in favor of tighter laws around guns sales has risen sharply, according to new polling by Gallup.

The new polling shows 55 percent of respondents agree that laws regarding the sale of guns should be stricter — a spike of eight points from last year.

The polling data was collected between Oct. 7 and 11, just days after the shooting at Umpqua Community College in Oregon that killed nine people and wounded nine others.

Gallup found that support for stricter gun laws was at one of its highest points in 2013, the year after the Sandy Hook shooting in Connecticut. Americans at that time favored stricter gun laws by 58 percent, but this quickly dropped to 49 percent the following year.

The poll found that support for stricter gun laws rose among almost every group. Both gun owners and non-owners increased their support for stricter laws by 6 and 7 percent, respectively. Independents had the highest increase of 11 percent, jumping from only 45 percent in support of stricter laws to 56 percent.

Republicans were the only group to decrease their support for laws that are “more strict than now,” dropping from 29 to 27 percent.

While a majority of Americans now favor stricter laws on the sale of firearms, most do not support actually banning guns- specifically handguns- across the board. Only 27 percent of Americans support this type of law, close to the record low of 24 percent in 2013.

When Gallup first began collecting data on this subject, 60 percent of Americans favored a ban on handguns for everyone but authorized persons (this includes the police). This view has continued to decline since 1959.

Overall in the United States, 43 percent of people say that they have a gun somewhere in their household, and 28 percent of respondents said that they personally own a gun.