An overwhelming seven in 10 Americans say they would feel safer living in a neighborhood where individuals could own a gun for self defense, the latest indication that support for comprehensive gun control is fading.

Rasmussen Reports found that 68 percent of voters polled would feel safer in an armed neighborhood. Just 23 percent said they'd feel safer in “a neighborhood where nobody was allowed to own a gun.”

The poll is the latest to show shrinking support for the type of gun control President Obama and Senate Democrats sought after the December 2012 slayings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. The president has put gun control on his 2014 agenda, but few in Washington expect action.

Here’s why: Support for gun control peaked at 52 percent during the president’s push last February for new rules. But support has now dipped to 47 percent in the Rasmussen Poll.

And the public is split over the need for tougher anti-gun laws, with 47 percent supporting and 46 percent opposing.

On specific weapons, however, the public appears challenged. For example, 59 percent support a ban on semiautomatic weapons like the AR-15, but that number has remained consistent over the past year. Support for a handgun ban has increased from 10 percent in February 2013 to 18 percent today, said Rasmussen.

Paul Bedard, the Washington Examiner's "Washington Secrets" columnist, can be contacted at