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Most American Muslims believe gun laws need to be stricter, says survey

Muslims are more likely than Protestants, white Evangelicals and the general public to hold this view, Ispu survey finds
A March For Our Lives rally in 2018 in NYC following the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida (MEE/Zainab Iqbal)

Most American Muslims believe gun control laws should be stricter, a new report by the Institute for Social Policy and Understanding (Ispu) has found.

According to the poll, 65 percent of Muslim respondents believe existing gun control laws need to be stricter, slightly higher than the 64 percent of Jews and Catholics that were polled.

Muslims are more likely than Protestants (54 percent), white Evangelicals (30 percent), and the general public (57 percent) to hold this view.

According to the survey, white Muslims were more likely than white Americans in the general public to believe gun laws should be stricter. But Black Muslims were more likely than Black Americans to believe laws covering the sale of firearms should be less strict.

The report, which will be released in full in August, comes just two weeks after 21 people, mostly children, were killed in a mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas.

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According to data from the Washington Post, more than 311,000 children in America have experienced gun violence in school since the 1999 shooting at Columbine High School. In that same period, 185 were killed and 369 were injured.

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"All Americans are unfortunately impacted by gun violence, directly or indirectly. As our local, state and national leadership work to find effective solutions, public opinion is critical to understand," Meira Neggaz, Ispu's executive director, told Middle East Eye.

"Our work researching American Muslim opinions, in comparison to other groups in the country's faith landscape, uncovers that most groups and the majority of Americans are aligned in their concern about the current state of gun laws."

The shooting at the Texas elementary school, and another at a New York supermarket that left 10 Black people dead, have piled pressure on politicians to take action.

On Sunday, a group of senators reached a deal on a framework for gun control legislation that could be the most significant passed on the federal level in decades.

A centrepiece of the Senate deal is to provide substantial resources for states to implement "red flag" laws, which allow individuals like police or family members to petition courts to keep firearms away from people deemed a risk to themselves or others.

Senate majority leader Chuck Schumer said on Monday that he will bring the bill to a vote on the chamber's floor as soon as it is written.

"I will put this bill on the floor as soon as possible, once the text of the final agreement is finalized so the Senate can act quickly to make gun safety reform a reality," Schumer told the senate.

"Yesterday’s agreement does not have everything Democrats wanted but it nevertheless represents the most significant reform to gun safety laws that we have seen in decades."

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