WASHINGTON (Reuters) -- Half of all Americans support President Barack Obama's executive actions on gun control, a Reuters/Ipsos poll found on Tuesday, with a majority saying they would support the next president taking additional steps to tighten federal gun laws.
Obama, frustrated with inaction from lawmakers, ordered stricter gun rules last week that he can impose without Congress' help, angering Republicans who say he is overstepping the boundaries of his office.
Fifty percent of those surveyed said they supported Obama's executive actions. More than 80 percent of those from his own party said they were in favor of his steps, while 72 percent of Republicans opposed them and said his successor should try to dismantle them.
Guns have become a potent, polarizing issue in U.S. politics. The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right to bear arms, a right that is fiercely defended. Congress has not approved major gun-control legislation since the 1990s.
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(MAIN) 2016 issues: Guns, domestic violence, rape, death sentences
Majority of Americans support next president pushing tighter gun laws: Poll
CHICAGO, IL - SEPTEMBER 08: A makeshift memorial is shown along the sidewalk in the Lawndale neighborhood where a 22-year-old man was shot and killed over the Labor Day weekend on September 8, 2015 in Chicago, Illinois. The murder was one of nine reported in Chicago over the long weekend, with another 46 shot and wounded. Many major U.S. cities, including Chicago, are experiencing a surge in homicides and other violent crimes this year. (Photo by Scott Olson/Getty Images)
UNITED STATES - SEPTEMBER 10: Gov. Terry McAuliffe, D-Va., speaks during a rally on the East Front lawn of the Capitol to demand that Congress take action on gun control legislation, September 10, 2015. Andy Parker, far right, whose daughter Alison, a reporter for WDBJ-TV reporter, was killed on air last month, looks on. The event, titled #Whateverittakes Day of Action, was hosted by Everytown for Gun Safety and featured speeches by political leaders and families of gun violence victims. (Photo By Tom Williams/CQ Roll Call)
Signs are viewed on the outside wall of Roanoke Firearms on August 28, 2015, in Roanoke, Virginia. With mass shootings seemingly on a daily basis, it appears no place in the United States is safe from carnage: not churches, not schools, not even the morning newscast.The shocking on-air murder of a young reporter and a cameraman by a disgruntled former colleague August 26, 2015 has once again renewed calls for stricter gun controls.That is simply not going to happen, experts said, and the trend in recent years has actually gone in the opposite direction.'You can't get rid of them,' Harry Wilson, a professor at Roanoke College in Virginia -- near the scene of the latest shooting -- told AFP. AFP PHOTO/PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
The Big Boyz Gun store is seen August 28, 2015, in Blue Ridge, Virginia. With mass shootings seemingly on a daily basis, it appears no place in the United States is safe from carnage: not churches, not schools, not even the morning newscast.The shocking on-air murder of a young reporter and a cameraman by a disgruntled former colleague August 26, 2015 has once again renewed calls for stricter gun controls.That is simply not going to happen, experts said, and the trend in recent years has actually gone in the opposite direction.'You can't get rid of them,' Harry Wilson, a professor at Roanoke College in Virginia -- near the scene of the latest shooting -- told AFP. AFP PHOTO/PAUL J. RICHARDS (Photo credit should read PAUL J. RICHARDS/AFP/Getty Images)
NEW YORK, NY - AUGUST 21: Police cordon off the scene in lower Manhattan where two people were shot at the Federal Immigration Court on August 21, 2015 in New York City. One man was killed and another injured in the late afternoon shooting. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
CENTENNIAL, CO - JULY 16: Tom Teves, the father of Aurora shooting victim Alex Teves, is iterviewed after a verdict was delivered in the trial of James Holmes at the Arapahoe County Justice Center on July 16, 2015 in Centennial, Colorado. Holmes was found guilty on all counts in the 2012 movie theater shooting in Aurora, Colorado. (Photo by Theo Stroomer/Getty Images)
CHARLESTON, SC - JUNE 20: About 1,000 people participate in the March for Black Lives in support of the nine people shot to death at the historic Emanuel African Methodist Church earlier this week and for others killed by police violence June 20, 2015 in Charleston, South Carolina. Suspect Dylann Roof, 21, was arrested and charged in the killing of nine people during a prayer meeting in the church, one of the nation's oldest black churches in the South. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)
A woman protests against domestic violence as she joins other women's rights advocates in an International Women's Day march in downtown Los Angeles, California on March 8, 2015. AFP PHOTO/ MARK RALSTON (Photo credit should read MARK RALSTON/AFP/Getty Images)
DENVER, CO - SEPT 15: Beth Ferrier of Denver wipes away a tear as she listens to testimony from other women who describe being victims of sexual assault. Ferrier, along with Helen Hayes from Morin County, CA, left, and Heidi Thomas, far right, say they were victims of assault by Bill Cosby. They sit at a table with Rep. Rhonda Fields, second from right. Accusers in the sexual assault case against Bill Cosby join Rep. Rhonda Fields in a stakeholders meeting inside the Colorado State Capitol in Denver to discuss a bill written by Fields to abolish the Statute of Limitations in sexual assault crimes and cases. (Photo by Kathryn Scott Osler/The Denver Post via Getty Images)
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Respondents from both parties support more research into the causes of gun violence, the poll showed.
Nearly 80 percent of Democrats and 66 percent of Republicans said they would support the next president, who takes office next January after the Nov. 8 election, pushing for more research.
Republicans are split on efforts to tighten gun control more broadly. Forty-four percent of those polled said the next president should work to tighten federal gun control laws, while 49 percent were opposed.
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Sixty-three percent of Americans overall said they would like to see the next president push for stricter gun laws.
The survey of 1,559 Americans was conducted from Jan. 8 to 12, with a credibility interval of 3.2 percentage points.