WASHINGTON, Jan. 15 (Xinhua) -- The majority of Americans support tougher measures to counter gun violence, but divided sharply on how much priority the Obama administration and Congress should give to gun issues, according to a new poll released on Tuesday.
The latest The Washington Post-ABC poll showed that 52 percent of Americans say last month's Sandy Hook elementary school mass shooting, which killed 26 people including 20 schoolchildren, has made them more supportive of gun control.
U.S. President Barack Obama on Monday said that Vice President Joe Biden has provided him with a list of proposals on how to prevent gun violence, and that he plans to present the details to the American people later this week. The mix of broad proposals may include the renewal of an expired assault weapons ban, tougher background checks and the establishment of a database to track gun sales.
The new poll found that 58 percent of Americans support renewing the assault weapons ban, while 39 percent oppose it. Meanwhile, 71 percent and 65 percent of the respondents support a federal database to track gun sales and a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines, respectively.
Of those Americans who own at least one gun at home, 45 percent support the assault weapons ban. Moreover, 86 percent of households with firearms support background checks at gun shows, 76 percent support background checks for ammunition purchase, 62 percent support a new gun database to track gun sales, and 55 percent support a ban on high-capacity ammunition magazines.
However, the poll showed a sharp divide over how much emphasis the Obama administration and Congress should place on addressing gun issues. Sixty-eight percent of the public, both Democrats and Republicans, see the economy as the clear top priority for federal action. About a third of all Americans -- 53 percent of Democrats and only 19 percent of Republicans -- believe that enacting stricter gun control laws should be a high priority.
The general public is also divided on which of the two proposals would do more to reduce gun violence in schools: 41 percent of Americans favor putting armed guards in schools, as proposed by the National Rifle Association, and 43 percent back the White House's call for tougher gun control laws.