Most Americans Favor
Stricter Gun Laws - Poll

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A majority of Americans, including more than half of the country's gun owners, want stricter gun control laws, a poll said Wednesday.
The poll, conducted by Louis Harris and Associates, found that 69 percent of all adults favor ``stricter gun control'' compared to 23 percent that want ``less strict gun control.'' Among gun owners, 57 percent want tighter gun laws while 32 percent want an easing of gun restrictions, the poll said.
An even larger number of Americans, 76 percent, were in favor of creating more restrictions on hand gun ownership, the poll said. Two-thirds of gun owners want stricter hand gun laws. The poll also said the percentage of gun owners has dropped in the last 25 years. In 1973, 48 percent of of adults had guns in their homes compared to 32 percent today, down from 40 percent two years ago.
The data was compiled from telephone interviews of 1,011 adults between April 22 and April 27, about one month after a shooting at a Jonesboro, Arkansas, middle school that killed four students and one teacher and wounded 10 others. Two boys, ages 11 and 13, were charged in the attack. The poll numbers reflect an attitude about gun control that has been prevalent in America for years, said Robin Terry, spokeswoman for Handgun Control Inc.
``There has been a somewhat silent majority for some time on this issue and there has been a very vocal minority,'' she said ''Because of recent events people have reached the point of outrage that they are no longer willing to be silenced.'' Most people are unable to judge if gun laws should be more or less strict because they are not knowledgeable about the laws that are already on the books, said Tanya Metaksa, chief lobbyist for the National Rifle Association.
``This poll measures the sorrow we all feel in the wake of a tragedy,'' Metaksa said. ``There is nothing more strict than a total ban and that is the current law in every school and every schoolyard in the United States.''

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