A new Gallup poll finds that support for stricter gun laws has fallen below 50%, a significant drop since December 2012, following the Newtown school shooting.

Laws Covering the Sale of Firearms -- Americans' Preferences Since 2000

Less than half, 47%, in the US said they they favor stricter laws covering the sale of firearms, down from 58% who expressed support for more stringent gun control laws nearly two years ago.

According to the poll 38% of Americans believe current gun laws are sufficient, with 14% saying the laws should be made less strict.

The 47% figure sits just above the historical low of 43%, which was recorded three years ago in 2011.

Gallup notes that a high of 60% favored stricter controls a decade ago, but since that time there has been a steady decline of support, excluding a brief surge following the Newtown incident.

The drop has been consistent across almost all demographics, including gender, political persuasion and race.

Views on Gun Sale Laws, by Demographic Group

The same poll found that a near-record high, 73%, of Americans believe there should not be a ban on handgun possession.

Support for Ban on Possession of Handguns, 1959-2014

Still, one in four Americans say handgun possession should be prohibited for everyone except the police and “other authorized persons” including private security and the military.

Gallup notes that “while shootings may still occur with disturbing regularity in the U.S., there is a disconnect between those events and support for making gun laws stricter.”

The issue of gun control was in the news again recently following a high profile shootings in Seattle and Ottawa, Canada. In addition, outgoing Attorney General Eric Holder admitted that his inability to enact more stringent gun control regulations was the biggest failure of his tenure, saying the matter “weighs heavily” on his mind.