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Most Americans support stronger gun laws but are less confident that lawmakers will take action in the wake of a spate of mass shootings, a Reuters/Ipsos poll released on Wednesday finds.

The poll of 940 Americans was conducted one day after a Texas gunman killed 19 students and two teachers at an elementary school in Uvalde.

Some 84% of respondents said they supported background checks for all firearms sales, while 70% said they backed "red flag" laws that would allow authorities to confiscate guns from people found to be a threat to public safety.

Also, 72% said they would support raising the age to buy a gun from 18 to 21.

Those policies were backed by broad majorities of Republicans and Democrats alike and echo the findings of previous surveys.

At the same time, most people do not think Congress will act. Only 35% said they were confident that US lawmakers would strengthen gun laws this year, while 49% said they were not confident.

President Joe Biden on Tuesday night called for stronger gun laws in the wake of the Texas massacre.

"As a nation, we have to ask, when in God's name are we going to stand up to the gun lobby?" Biden said in an address from the White House. "When in God's name will we do what we all know in our gut needs to be done?"

"These kinds of mass shootings rarely happen anywhere else in the world. Why?" the president said. "They have mental health problems. They have domestic disputes in other countries. They have people who are lost, but these kinds of mass shootings never happen with the kind of frequency they happen in America. Why? Why are we willing to live with this carnage?"