Poll: Majority of Americans support gun control, assault weapons ban

A majority of Americans support strong, new gun control measures—including the assault weapons bans and broader background checks, according to a new ABC/Washington Post poll released Tuesday. The findings found broader support for gun control in the wake of the elementary school shooting in Newtown, Conn., with 52% of people saying they supported further gun restrictions since the shooting.

Since the shooting that claimed the lives of 26 in Sandy Hook Elementary School, there have been cracks in the NRA's strength, with voices like Sen. Joe Manchin and Morning Joe host Joe Scarborough calling for gun control. Many have skewered the National Rifle Association for supporting assault weapons and limited background checks—something Scarborough says is a move to protect gun manufacturers, not Americans.

The NRA has responded by slamming the White House, claiming the administration is prejudiced against "honest, taxpaying, hardworking Americans" and blaming them "for the acts of criminals and madmen." And many have questioned whether further gun control could pass in Congress.

The broadest support in the poll, however, came for mandatory background checks to purchase firearms at gun shows—88% of Americans polled said they supported that measure. Of those surveyed, 58% said they supported the expired assault weapons ban, while 39% opposed it.

The news of increased support of gun control comes just after the one-month anniversary of the Newtown shooting and the president’s announcement that he would lay out White House proposals on gun-control legislation.

In the poll, most respondents listed the economy and debt ceiling as the things they wanted resolved first, but 32% of respondents said they think gun control should be Obama and Congress’ top priority. An additional 27% said it should be a high priority, but not the highest.

The poll also saw wide support for greater regulation on high-capacity ammunition clips, something the president is expected to propose—65% of respondents said they supported a nationwide ban on clips with more than 10 bullets.