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[Correspondence] Policy misperceptions and support for gun control legislation

Firearms kill more than 30 000 Americans annually.1 Although federal law requires licensed gun dealers to undertake background checks on people who purchase guns, private sales at gun shows and online are exempt from these checks. Universal background checks for gun purchases could substantially reduce the number of gun-related deaths in the USA.2,3 Despite strong public support for universal background checks (92% of 1446 people polled in one survey),4 Congress has failed to act. Some researchers have argued that this disconnect between public opinion and legislation is attributable to a gap in engagement between supporters and opponents of stronger gun control.

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