Following the devastating mass shooting in Newtown, Conn., support for stricter gun control laws is now the highest it's been in a decade and has surged 18 points since the spring of this year, according to a new CBS News poll.
Fifty-seven percent of Americans now say gun control laws should be made more strict, according to the poll, conducted Dec. 14 - 16.
The poll followed the news of the Dec. 14 shooting, in which a gunman killed 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School. The public's renewed interest in stricter gun laws is evident on the White House website, where more than 150,000 people have signed a petition asking for immediate action on the issue. The horrific event has prompted some pro-gun Democrats to call for stricter gun laws, though the Republican party has remained largely silent on the issue. President Obama has said that in the coming weeks he will use whatever power is at his disposal in efforts to prevent anymore such tragedies.
In January 2011, following the shooting of then-Rep. Gabrielle Giffords in Arizona, a CBS News poll found that 47 percent of Americans backed stricter gun laws. That figure dropped off, however, in polling conducted about a year after the incident. In April of this year, just 39 percent of Americans supported stricter gun laws.
While more than half want tighter gun laws, three in 10 think laws covering guns should be kept as they are. Only nine percent think gun laws should be less strict.
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