Over 90 percent of Americans support gun background checks: poll

Thu Feb 7, 2013 8:35am EST

Seattle Police Department Sgt. Paul Gracy carries weapons during a gun buyback event in Seattle, Washington January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Nick Adams

Seattle Police Department Sgt. Paul Gracy carries weapons during a gun buyback event in Seattle, Washington January 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Nick Adams

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(Reuters) - More than 90 percent of U.S. voters supported background checks for all gun buyers, while much smaller majorities were for stricter gun control laws such as bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines, said a poll released on Thursday.

But the National Rifle Association (NRA) edged out President Barack Obama in the poll, with 46 percent saying the pro-gun lobby better reflects their views on guns, versus 43 percent for Obama.

By a margin of 92 percent to 7 percent, voters supported background checks, the Quinnipiac University telephone poll showed. In households with a gun, 91 percent were in favor, while 8 percent were opposed, Quinnipiac said.

In response to the December 14 shooting that killed 20 school children and six adults in Newtown, Connecticut, Obama last month announced a series of gun-control measures opposed by the NRA, including proposals for enhanced background checks and a ban on military-style assault weapons.

House Democrats were expected to announce their own firearms legislation on Thursday.

A majority of those surveyed supported stricter national gun control laws, Quinnipiac said. Fifty-six percent were for a ban on the sale of assault weapons, and the same percentage supported a ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines, defined as those holding more than 10 rounds.

Congress would need to approve those initiatives and background checks.

"The politics of gun policy are also unclear," Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, said in a statement. "Despite the huge news media coverage of the issue since the Newtown shooting, only 37 percent of voters are more likely to vote for a congressman who votes to ban sales of assault rifles, while 31 percent are less likely, and 30 percent say it would not affect their vote."

The poll surveyed 1,772 registered voters from January 30 to February 4 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points, Quinnipiac said.

(Reporting by Daniel Trotta; Editing by Lisa Von Ahn)

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Comments (8)
Dragos111 wrote:
Senator Mark Kirk is sponsoring a bill that will define and penalize gun trafficking. That is moving in the right direction. It works to get illegal guns off the streets and hits right at the bad guys.

Whatever is done in the future it should be something that actually accomplishes the goal of stopping gun crime. It should also hit at the bad guys, not the good guys.

So many people are asking, “Why do you need a 20 round magazine?” There is a very good reason for that. If you have multiple home invaders you do not want to run out of ammunition in the middle of defending yourself. Banning larger magazines will put more people at risk.

Again, go after the bad guys, not the good guys.

Feb 07, 2013 9:28am EST  --  Report as abuse
BlueOkie wrote:
Most Americans don’t know what a Assault rifle is and think it was used in Newtown and all other mass murders. There are 60 million gun owners and 300 million guns that didn’t kill anyone today! Background checks are a good safeguard. Too bad the media wants to distort the truth rather than inform the public.

Feb 07, 2013 10:20am EST  --  Report as abuse
freddyshaw wrote:
Big brother intrusion, more bureaucracy, about as naive as “gun free zone”. Not going to make a difference.

Feb 07, 2013 10:41am EST  --  Report as abuse
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