Poll: Support for gun control slips

By KEVIN ROBILLARD | 4/23/13 8:35 AM EDT

Five months after 20 children were killed in ab elementary school in Newtown, Conn., the public’s appetite for gun control is waning, according to a poll released Tuesday.

Only 49 percent want Congress to pass a new gun control law and 45 percent do not, according to a USA Today poll. Earlier polls had shown 60 percent of Americans wanting tighter restrictions on guns and up to 90 percent of them supporting universal background checks.

But a bill to provide those background checks failed in the Senate last week to nearly unified Republican opposition and the defections of key Democrats. The bill’s main sponsor, Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.), said it’s possible the bill could return this session if he can win over wary

Even though Manchin’s watered-down version of background check legislation, which he crafted alongside Sen. Pat Toomey (R-Pa.), died in the Senate, supporters of tougher gun control don’t want legislators to compromise. Only 30 percent say they should accept a weaker law that can win approval, while 61 percent want them to continue pushing for tougher legislation even if it can’t pass Congress.

Of those who opposed a new gun control law, 44 percent approved of the use of a filibuster to block the bill. Forty-one percent did not.

The survey of 1,002 adults was conducted April 25 through April 28. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 4 percentage points.

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