Most Say Stricter Gun Laws Would Not Help Prevent Shootings

Most Americans say stronger gun control laws are not the answer to the shootings last weekend of a U.S. congresswoman and the killing of six others.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey, taken Monday and Tuesday nights, finds that only 29% of Adults think stricter gun control laws would help prevent shootings like the one in Arizona last Saturday. Sixty-two percent (62%) disagree and say stronger gun control would not make a difference. (To see survey question wording, click here.)

Among those who have a gun in their household, 76% say stricter gun control laws would not help, a view shared by a plurality (48%) of those without a gun in the house.

Despite Saturday’s tragedy, opposition to gun control is at a new high. Thirty-six percent (36%) say the United States needs stricter gun control laws, but 56% don’t share that belief and oppose stronger anti-gun laws. Previously, opposition to more gun control has ranged from a high of 51% in July of last year to a low of 37% in April 2007 following the killings at Virginia Tech.

Seventy-three percent (73%) of those who say someone in their household owns a gun oppose stricter gun control laws. Fifty-three percent (53%) of those without a gun in the house favor stricter laws.

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The survey of 1,000 Adults was conducted on January 10-11, 2011 by Rasmussen Reports. The margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence. Field work for all Rasmussen Reports surveys is conducted by Pulse Opinion Research, LLC. See methodology.