After Newtown, Americans want their guns, with some restrictions

Fri Dec 28, 2012 5:07am IST

Guns that were turned in by their owners are seen in a trash bin at a gun buyback held by the Los Angeles Police Department following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, in Los Angeles, California, December 26, 2012. REUTERS/David McNew

Guns that were turned in by their owners are seen in a trash bin at a gun buyback held by the Los Angeles Police Department following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, in Los Angeles, California, December 26, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/David McNew

Related Topics

REUTERS - Nearly seven in 10 Americans support the idea of placing strong or moderate limits gun ownership following the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School, a Reuters/Ipsos poll said on Thursday.

But laws that permit citizens to carry concealed weapons or use lethal force for protection while in public were just as popular, the poll said.

The Reuters/Ipsos poll, which surveyed 1,477 Americans online between December 23 and 27, highlighted the difficulty U.S. policymakers face in devising ways to curb gun violence: gun control laws enjoy fervent support in the abstract, but laws preserving specific gun ownership privileges are also well liked.

The poll results come roughly two weeks after police say 20-year-old Adam Lanza shot his way into Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Connecticut, using a semi-automatic weapon to kill 20 first graders and six school staff members. Ahead of the rampage, he had killed his mother, Nancy Lanza, in their home five miles (8 k m) away . Lanza killed himself as police arrived at the school.

It was the second deadliest school shooting in U.S. history after the 2007 massacre at Virginia Tech University in Blacksburg, Virginia, which left 32 dead.

The Reuters/Ipsos survey found that 48 percent of respondents agreed that "gun ownership should have strong regulations or restrictions." Meanwhile, 69 percent and 68 percent either strongly supported or somewhat supported laws allowing law-abiding citizens to get a concealed-weapon permit and "laws allowing citizens to use deadly force to protect themselves from danger in public places," respectively.

Some restrictions on gun ownership enjoyed even more support than concealed carry rights. Nearly nine in 10 Americans favored laws requiring background checks before someone purchases a gun, and just over seven in 10 favored limits on the number of guns someone could purchase in a particular time frame.

But nearly four in 10 Americans said they supported allowing law-abiding citizens to bring a firearm into a "church, workplace, or retail establishment," according to the poll. Several states currently ban guns in such places.

An equal number said they were "very concerned" about increased purchases of semi-automatic weapons following the shooting in Connecticut, further illustrating the dissonance.

The latest poll results echoed attitudes expressed by Americans surveyed immediately after the Newtown massacre and differed sharply from Reuters/Ipsos polls conducted prior to it. The share of Americans supporting strong limits on gun ownership rose by 8 percentage points to 50 percent in the days after the shooting.

The poll's findings had a credibility interval, which is similar to a margin of error, of plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

(Editing by Dan Burns and David Gregorio)

FILED UNDER:
Comments (0)
This discussion is now closed. We welcome comments on our articles for a limited period after their publication.

  • Most Popular
  • Most Shared

REUTERS SHOWCASE

Baghdad Bombing

Baghdad Bombing

Baghdad restaurant bombs kill 21  Full Article 

Ebola Outbreak

Ebola Outbreak

India to step up travel surveillance to stop any Ebola outbreak  Full Article 

Hong Kong Unrest

Hong Kong Unrest

Hong Kong students put their case to govt, but no breakthrough  Full Article 

Iran Nuclear Talks

Iran Nuclear Talks

Exclusive: Iran offers "compromises" in nuclear talks, West unmoved  Full Article 

American Freed

American Freed

White House confirms U.S. citizen released from North Korea  Full Article 

Npeal Disaster

Npeal Disaster

Death toll in Nepal's worst trekking disaster reaches 43  Full Article 

Canadian Soldier Dies

Canadian Soldier Dies

Canadian soldier dies after being run down by suspected militant  Full Article 

Rebuilding Gaza Strip

Rebuilding Gaza Strip

Palestinians downbeat on promised rebuilding of ruined Gaza Strip  Full Article 

Reuters India Mobile

Reuters India Mobile

Get the latest news on the go. Visit Reuters India on your mobile device.  Full Coverage