Support for stricter gun-control laws has fallen sharply in the year since the December 2012 shooting massacre in Newtown, Conn, a new poll has found.
Fifty-two percent of respondents said they favor tougher legislation, a level comparable to public opinion before a gunman killed 20 children and six educators a year ago at Sandy Hook Elementary School, according to an NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll conducted between Dec. 4 and Dec. 8. But in February – two months after the shooting – 61% supported stricter gun laws, according to an NBC News/WSJ poll at the time.
The NBC News/WSJ poll released Wednesday found that 38% of respondents said gun laws should remain the same, and 8% said legislation should be loosened. It also showed a clear divide between political parties: 76% of Democrats favor tougher gun control laws and just 28% of Republicans feel the same.
Additionally, 39% of Americans view the National Rifle Association favorably, according to the poll. Nineteen percent support New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, who, throughout the past year, waged a campaign for tougher gun control measures.
The Senate in April failed to pass a bipartisan bill to tighten background checks for gun purchases, but many state leaders have prevailed in passing gun reform. For example, within the past year, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Illinois, and New York all closed a loophole that had allowed for the sale of firearms from private dealers without background checks.