Gun control views unchanged after Colorado massacre: poll

WASHINGTON Mon Jul 30, 2012 3:42pm EDT

A Glock 22 pistol is seen laying on a Palmetto M4 assault rifle at the Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo store in Parker, Colorado July 24, 2012. REUTERS/Shannon Stapleton

A Glock 22 pistol is seen laying on a Palmetto M4 assault rifle at the Rocky Mountain Guns and Ammo store in Parker, Colorado July 24, 2012.

Credit: Reuters/Shannon Stapleton

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WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Americans' views on gun control remain largely unchanged despite the killing of a dozen moviegoers in a Colorado theater this month, a Pew poll showed on Monday.

Forty-seven percent of Americans say it is more important to control gun ownership, while 46 percent say it is more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns, the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press said in a statement.

The numbers are virtually unchanged from April, when 45 percent prioritized gun control and 49 percent gun rights. Other major episodes of gun violence in recent years also had little effect on public opinion about gun laws, Pew said.

James Holmes, a former University of Colorado graduate student, was formally charged on Monday in the shooting deaths of 12 people in the shootings at an Aurora, Colorado, theater on July 20.

Sixty-seven percent of those polled say that shootings like the one in Colorado are the isolated acts of troubled individuals. Twenty-four percent say such shootings reflect broader problems in U.S. society.

Hughes had bought 6,000 rounds of ammunition online. Senator Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey and Representative Carolyn McCarthy of New York said they were proposing limits on anonymous online or mail-order purchases of ammunition.

The legislation also would require reporting of bulk ammunition sales.

President Barack Obama pledged last week to work to "arrive at a consensus" on how to reduce gun violence.

The Pew survey was conducted July 26 to 29 among 1,010 adults.

(Reporting by Ian Simpson)

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