One In Four Americans Say Stricter Gun Laws Can Prevent Mass Shootings

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One in four Americans say stricter gun laws can prevent mass shootingsA new Gallup poll reveals that nearly one quarter of Americans believe that stricter gun laws could prevent mass shootings in the United States.

The survey, which was conducted after the Jan. 8 shooting in Tucson, Ariz., asked people to name the most important steps that could be taken in order to thwart similar tragedies in the future. Tougher gun control laws received 24 percent of the vote, while better mental health screening and support followed with 15 percent. A total of 8 percent said that there should be more extensive background checks for individuals who purchase firearms.

These results somewhat contradict a Jan. 11 USA Today/Gallup poll in which about 70 percent of respondents said that stricter gun laws would not have prevented the tragedy. Furthermore, a 2007 poll following the Virginia Tech shooting also revealed that a majority of Americans said that tougher firearm regulations would not have prevented the massacre.

A recent bipartisan poll shows that about 81 percent of gun owners support a requirement that all gun buyers pass a background check. The survey, which was conducted jointly by Democratic firm Momentum Analysis and Republican-backed American Viewpoint, also reveals that 90 percent of gun owners said that there should be an improvement in government databases that are designed to prevent potentially dangerous persons from buying weapons. 

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