Survey of 1,000 Adults
April 18-19, 2007

Does the United States need stricter gun control laws?
Yes 45%
No 37%
How would you rate the way in which the University handled the incident?
Excellent 11%
Good 26%
Fair 33%
Poor 16%
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Following Virginia Tech Shooting, 45% Say U.S. Needs Stricter Gun Control Laws

Support for stricter gun control laws has increased following the tragedy at Virginia Tech. A Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey found that 45% of American adults now say the country needs stricter gun control laws while 37% disagree. The last time Rasmussen Reports asked that question, following Dick Cheney’s hunting accident, just 39% said stricter gun control laws were needed while 52% were opposed.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) of men and 52% of women now say that stricter laws are needed. Support for stricter laws is higher among Americans over 50 than it is among younger adults. There is also a strong partisan difference—63% of Democrats want stricter gun control laws. That view is shared by just 29% of Republicans and 39% of those who are not affiliated with either major political party. (More Below)

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The decline in opposition to stricter laws—from 52% a year ago to 37% today--is particularly striking among men. In the February 2006 survey, 65% of men said stricter laws were not needed. That figure has fallen to 44% today.

Rasmussen Reports will ask the same poll question again in a few weeks to see whether the increased support for stricter laws is a temporary reaction to the horrific news from Virginia or a lasting change.

Seventy-four percent (74%) say they have been following news of the Virginia Tech shootings closely, including 40% who say they have followed it Very Closely. Sixty percent (60%) say they have said a prayer for the victims and their families.

Thirty-seven percent (37%) say the University did a good or excellent job handling the situation. Thirty-three percent (33%) say fair and 16% say poor.

The latest public reaction to events in the news can be found by visiting the Rasmussen Reports home page.

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