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Poll: Support for gun control hits record high

Following the Florida shooting, where a gunman allegedly fatally shot 17 people at a high school, roughly 2 out of 3 Americans, or 66 percent, want stricter gun control laws, according to a new Quinnipiac University National Poll released Tuesday — the highest level of support ever recorded by the university.

Sixty-six percent of Americans want stricter gun control laws — the highest level recorded by Quinnipiac University since it started polling the issue after Sandy Hook.

Support for tougher gun laws in the poll released Tuesday has jumped almost 20 points since December 2015. It also found a ban on assault weapons was backed by 67 percent of those surveyed.

"If you think Americans are largely unmoved by the mass shootings, you should think again," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, which began polling on gun control after the Sandy Hook massacre in 2012.

Malloy said pollsters began to see a shift in attitudes before Nikolas Cruz, 19, shot and killed 17 people and injured many more in an attack last week on his former school, Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School, in Parkland, Florida.

"In the last two months, some of the biggest surges in support for tightening gun laws comes from demographic groups you may not expect — independent voters, men, and whites with no college degree," Malloy said.

The university conducted the poll from Feb. 16 to 19, just days after the Parkland shootings.

The new poll also found that 50 percent of gun owners support tougher legislation, and backing for universal background checks was at 97 percent of all those surveyed, with the same amount of support among gun owners.

Eighty-three percent of those surveyed favored a mandatory waiting period for all gun purchases.

Quinnipiac surveyed 1,249 voters nationwide with a margin of error of +/- 3.4 percentage points.