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Poll: 4 in 10 households have a gun owner

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Approximately four in 10 homes in the U.S. have at least one gun owner, with the numbers split significantly along party lines, a new poll shows.

About 24 percent of U.S. adults surveyed in a new Economist/YouGov poll say they personally own a gun and 15 percent say they don’t personally own one but someone in the house does.

Another 56 percent say no one in the household owns a gun, and 4 percent aren’t sure.

Among self-identified Democrats though, just 30 percent say there’s at least one gun owner in the household, compared to 49 percent of Republicans and 43 percent of independents.

On gun control, 48 percent say the laws governing the sale of handguns should be made more strict, 18 percent say they should be less strict, and 31 percent want no change. Seventy-three percent of Democrats favor stricter laws, compared to just 26 percent of Republicans and 39 percent of independents. Just among independents, 22 percent support looser handgun laws and 35 percent who favor no change.

Looking into the future, 58 percent think it is “somewhat” or “very” unlikely that Congress will pass new gun controls, compared to 34 percent who say it’s somewhat or very likely.

A measure to expand gun-purchase background checks failed in the Senate last April, and Congress has not passed any significant gun-related legislation since the shooting deaths of 20 children and six adults at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. in December 2012.

The survey of 1,000 U.S. adults was conducted from Jan. 4-6 and has a margin of error of 3.9 percentage points.

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