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Stricter Gun Control Laws Won't Prevent Criminals From Getting Guns, Say 63% of Americans

When it comes to keeping guns out of the hands of criminals, 63 percent of Americans remain unconvinced that tighter restrictions on buying and owning guns will be effective, according to the latest  Reason-Rupe poll. About a third (32 percent), said stricter regulations would be effective in preventing criminals from obtaining guns.

Seven in ten Republicans say stricter gun regulations would not be effective while just 26 percent say they would be effective.  Democrats are more divided on the issue. While typically supportive of increased gun control, more than half (53 percent) say tighter restrictions on buying and owning guns would not prevent criminals from obtaining the weapons while 44 percent say they would prevent criminals from getting guns. Two-thirds of independents don’t expect tighter restrictions to be effective while 30 percent think they will.

As education increases, so do expectations that tighter gun regulations will effectively keep guns from criminals. For instance, 29% of those with high school degrees or less believe such policies would be effect compared to 41 percent of those with post-graduate degrees. Nevertheless, majorities of all educational groups don’t expect tougher gun laws to prevent criminals from obtaining guns.

Women are slightly more likely than men to believe tighter gun regulations would be effective (35 to 29 percent). However, considering race and gender finds that white women are no different than white and nonwhite men. However, half of nonwhite women think tighter gun rules would be effective compared to 44 would think they would not.

Nationwide telephone poll conducted Dec 4-8 2013 interviewed 1011 adults on both mobile (506) and landline (505) phones, with a margin of error +/- 3.7%. Princeton Survey Research Associates International executed the nationwide Reason-Rupe survey. Columns may not add up to 100% due to rounding. Full poll results, detailed tables, and methodology found here. Sign up for notifications of new releases of the Reason-Rupe poll here.

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