Most Americans think current gun laws are about right or even too harsh — and doubt more restrictive laws would keep guns out of the hands of the mentally ill or convicted criminals, a new poll shows.
According to a CNN/ORC survey
, 41 percent think existing laws make it too easy for people to buy guns, 49 percent say existing gun laws are about right, and 10 percent think it's too hard to buy a gun.
The polling is a striking difference from a survey a month after the December 2012 massacre of 27 people
at an elementary school in Newtown, Conn., when 56 percent said the laws
made it too easy to buy guns.
The survey also finds 56 percent think it's unlikely expanded laws would prevent mentally ill people from buying guns, while 58 percent think it's also unlikely such laws would keep guns from convicted criminals.
Even among those who think it's too easy to buy guns, 53 percent don't think expanded laws will keep guns out of the hands of a mentally ill person, and 55 percent don't think such laws will keep them from convicted criminals.
In other findings:
– 59 percent of the respondents disapprove of the way President Barack Obama is handling gun policy; just 35 approve.
– 52 percent of women say the current laws make it too easy to buy a gun, while just 30 percent of men agree.
– 65 percent of Republicans think current laws are about right, while only 28 percent of Democrats agree.
– 51 percent of those older than 50 think it's too easy to buy a gun, but only 37 percent of people younger than 50 think so.
The margin of error of the entire survey is plus or minus 3 points.
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