A majority of those surveyed support a ban on military-style semi-automatic firearms, often called assault weapons, including 43 percent of people from gun-owning households.
Nearly 60 percent said stricter gun control legislation would help to stop the mass shootings that they’ve come to fear. The public has pushed for such legislation increasingly loudly since survivors of the February 2018 shooting at a high school in Parkland, Florida organized nationwide rallies and school walkouts to demand far-reaching gun control reform.
The group of young activists behind the March for Our Lives was among those that rejoiced last February when the Democratic-led House passed H.R. 8, a bill to require background checks on almost all gun purchases in the U.S. But for more than half a year, advocates have watched angrily as Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has refused to bring the bill to the Senate floor for a vote, saying President Donald Trump would not sign it into law.
With this in mind, Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and House Speaker Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) appealed directly to the president on Sunday, just before lawmakers were to return to Washington after a recess, calling on him to take “a historic opportunity to save lives” by aligning with the majority of Americans on gun policy, rather than the pro-gun lobby.
“Urgent, personal intervention is needed to stem the endless massacres of our fellow Americans by gunfire,” wrote the lawmakers.
The NRA opposes H.R. 8 along with other gun control proposals, and after last month’s shootings in El Paso and Dayton the president told the powerful lobbying group that background checks were “off the table.”
Pelosi and Schumer implored the president not to “squander” his unique opportunity to save the lives of Americans “by acceding to N.R.A.-backed proposals.”
“Legislation approved by pro-gun groups will do nothing to stop the continuing, horrific spread of gun violence and may, in some cases, actually make our communities less safe,” wrote the Democratic leaders.
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