US Gun Restrictions have Widespread Public Support, Say Polls

About three-quarters of Americans support Obama’s proposals to reduce gun violence, polls show.

President Barack Obama made some far-reaching proposals on Wednesday to help stem future episodes in mass gun violence. Photo: The White House/Flickr

As reports claim, the plan suggested by the U.S. president, has already drawn plenty за criticism from gun-rights advocates, headed by the National Rifle Association, and faces a tough battle for approval in the coming months in a divided and fiercely partisan Congress.

In the wake of December’s mass shooting in Newtown, Connecticut, Mr Obama announced 23 executive actions aimed to ensure guns don’t get into the wrong hands.

He also urged Congress to ban the sale of assault rifles as well as to limit the size of ammunition clips and require background checks for all gun sales.

“Increasingly, what we’re seeing is a lot of the policy-making apparatus of the federal government shifting to the executive branch,” said William Howell, a University of Chicago expert on presidential powers.

“It’s definitely not appropriate for the president to act unilaterally,” said Erich Pratt, director of communications for the Gun Owners of America.

The reinstatement of a ban on assault weapons, which was approved in 1994 and expired a decade later, is seen as the toughest sell to lawmakers, even though the poll found broad public support for it, reports Reuters.

A recent poll conducted by the agency, mostly taken before Obama released his recommendations on Wednesday, found 74 percent of Americans support a ban on assault weapons, with 26 percent opposed.

The poll also reveals that 86 percent of the nation favor expanded background checks of all gun buyers, including sales at gun shows and between private parties, with 14 percent opposed.

“I see no reason for high-capacity magazines if you want to go hunting,” said Sally Brady, an independent who owns a hunting rifle.

“The purpose of hunting is sport, and you don’t need a whole big bunch of bullets to shoot a deer or a squirrel. If you’re that poor of a shot, stay out of the woods.”

As far as proposal to place armed guards in schools is considered, it was favored by 72 percent with the NRA and 28 percent of Americans opposed.

“Attacking firearms and ignoring children is not a solution to the crisis we face as a nation,” the NRA said in a statement. “Only honest, law-abiding gun owners will be affected and our children will remain vulnerable to the inevitability of more tragedy.”

NRA President David Keene said the “Second Amendment is going to survive” Obama’s efforts on gun control.

“What we want to see is what they really have in mind. They’ve got bullet points. There’s going to be a lot more to it than that,” Keene said on CNN’s “The Situation Room with Wolf Blitzer.”

The U.S. president responded to accusations, explaining that he seeks to violate gun rights untrue. He went on, adding that opponents want to wage a campaign of intimidation and fear instead of working with him for needed changes.

“We can respect the Second Amendment while keeping an irresponsible law-breaking few from inflicting harm on a massive scale,” Mr Obama said.

The online poll of 559 American adults had a credibility interval, similar to a margin of error, of plus or minus 4.7 percentage points.

By the way, one more poll, conducted after the mass shootings at Virginia Tech in 2007 and Tucson in 2011, found that 47 percent of Americans favored stricter gun laws.

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