Broad support, but less hope for tighter US gun laws - poll

Most Americans support stronger gun laws but are less confident that lawmakers will take action in the wake of a spate of mass shootings, according to a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday.

The poll of 940 Americans was conducted one day after a Texas gunman killed 19 students and two teachers, and less than two weeks after an avowed white supremacist killed 10 people at a supermarket in a mostly Black neighborhood of Buffalo, New York. 

Some 84% of respondents said they supported background checks for all firearms sales, while 70% said they backed "red flag" laws that would allow authorities to confiscate guns from people found to be a threat to public safety.

Also, 72% said they would support raising the age to buy a gun from 18 to 21.

Those policies were backed by broad majorities of Republicans and Democrats alike and echo the findings of previous surveys.

But most people do not think Congress will act. Only 35% said they were confident that US lawmakers would strengthen gun laws this year, while 49% said they were not confident.

US lawmakers have repeatedly failed to tighten gun laws after similar massacres over the past decade.