Gun Controls Approved in Polls — Difficult at Best in Congress

Photograph by George Frey/Bloomberg

An attendee looking at a Smith & Wesson Holding Corp. semi-automatic assault rifle for sale at the Rocky Mountain Gun Show in Sandy, Utah, on Jan. 5, 2013.

Most Americans hold a favorable view of the measures that President Barack Obama proposes for curbing gun violence in America, following the slaying of 20 first-grade children at an elementary school in Newtown, Connecticut, last month.

So shows the polling of ABC News and the Washington Post: 53 percent of those surveyed viewing favorably the president’s plans to ban assault-styled weapons and high-capacity ammunition clips and other proposals, and 41 percent viewing this unfavorably.

The poll conducted by Langer Research Associates is new today.

A Gallup Poll also released today shows 91 percent of Americans supporting the requirement of criminal background checks for all gun sales, 82 percent support for increased spending on mental health programs and 60 percent supporting the reinstatement of a ban on assault-styled weapons such as the Bushmaster rifle used in Newtown, a ban imposed in 1994 and ended in 2004.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein of California and Rep. Carolyn McCarthy of New York, joined by other Democratic  legislators, will introduce a new ban on assault weapons today. Read Bloomberg’s Heidi Przybyla’s account of why passage of ostensibly popular measures — in particular a ban on the high-capacity ammo clips that make those weapons so powerful — will be more difficult than proponents expect.

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