Poll shows US confusion over gun law reform

 

A fortnight after the mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut, America's relationship to guns and the laws that regulate them remains as confused as ever.

A new Reuters/Ipsos poll has found that while almost seven in 10 Americans now favour placing strong or moderate restrictions on gun ownership, a similar number support a citizen's right to carry a concealed firearm, or to use lethal force for protection in public.

As lawmakers prepare to return to Capitol Hill for the new Congress in January, these latest figures demonstrate the complexity of the task that awaits them in crafting new federal gun legislation. While Americans profess to approve of stricter regulations for ownership in theory, few would be happy to see their own firearm privileges curbed in practice.

Forty-eight per cent of the 1,477 surveyed online agreed that "gun ownership should have strong regulations or restrictions," but 69 per cent supported the law allowing concealed weapons, and almost four in 10 backed the right of "law-abiding citizens" to carry a firearm in a "church, workplace or retail establishment".

Meanwhile, as the mourning continues in Newtown, a Bronx woman has been arrested and charged with lying to FBI agents investigating a charity scam set up in the wake of the tragedy. Nouel Alba, 37, allegedly claimed to be the aunt of a victim.

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