POLL: Over 90 percent of Americans support gun background checks

A Walther handgun is displayed at the Smith & Wesson booth at the Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada in this file photo taken January 29, 2011.

A Walther handgun is displayed at the Smith & Wesson booth at the Safari Club International Convention in Reno, Nevada in this file photo taken January 29, 2011.

WASHINGTON — 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.

Arkansas moves to make gun permit info private

LITTLE ROCK, Ark. - The Republican-controlled Arkansas state Senate approved a bill on Wednesday that would exempt from public disclosure the names and zip codes of gun owners, those with permits to carry concealed guns and permit applicants.

The bill comes in response to the controversy late last year over a New York newspaper's decision to publish the names and addresses of thousands of gun permit holders on its website after a shooting rampage at a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school that killed 20 children and six adults.

The Journal News, which serves suburbs just north of New York City in Westchester and Rockland counties, pulled the information from its site last month.

The Arkansas bill, which passed the Senate 24-9, now moves to the state House of Representatives, which is also controlled by Republicans. Governor Mike Beebe, a Democrat, has said he opposes the bill because it restricts the state's Freedom of Information Act.

Republican state Senator Bruce Holland, the bill's sponsor, said he introduced the legislation after a constituent contacted him with concerns about the Journal News' actions.

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 Dec. 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 Jan. 30 to Feb. 4 and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.3 percentage points, Quinnipiac said.


waltspecht 2 years, 9 months ago

Isn't a background check required to legally purchase a firearm currently? Doesn't the Federal Government make little effort to confront those attempting an illegal purchase? Do the privacy laws not affect the ability to check the mental health of individuals. Doesn't poor record keeping and late postings prevent an accurate check of criminal records? Are all Domestic violance orders promptly posted to the National data base, if they ever get posted at all? So until the existing system is made to work effectively, what would additional checks accomplish?


RedEric 2 years, 9 months ago

Chris Kyles murderer had been hauled in twice within a couple of months before the murder for mental health problems. His right to privacy trumped Kyles right to safety. Brazelon fights for patient privacy with no regard for consequences. Owning a gun charges you to be responsible. How can a mental health patient be expected to be responsible. Instead the government punishes law abiding citizen for their own mismanagement.


Black_Falcon 2 years, 9 months ago

Walt- There is no need to let the (inconvenient) truths you so correctly pointed out from deterring some from attempting to do more of the same.


FryarTuk 2 years, 9 months ago

The Party of Stupid rolls on!


B4it 2 years, 9 months ago

It still amazes me how many of the "dumb masses" think the guns are jumping off of the shelves to kill people. These same irrational people are probably some of the first to protest when their friends or relatives are caught breaking the law and want them to go unpunished. There seems to be too little emphasis for the mentally impaired people pulling the trigger.

We already have laws for background checks. So I guess the survey was just a confirmation that most of the people agree with these laws. As for banning a specific type of weapon that holds more than 10 rounds, this has been proven in the past to do nothing toward reducing deaths. I guess this survey result is also just to make some feel better that "something" needs to be done, even it is wrong and unconstitutional.


USTPC 2 years, 9 months ago

What they do not tell you about this scientific poll is that the people called and asked live in Virginia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey. I would bet the response from people in Texas, Arizona, Georgia and any number of other "Red" states to some of the questions asked would be a long way from the results obtained in the three states polled.

In my opinion this poll means nothing. It is skewed based on the demographic.

As far as the question about background checks, I think there are very few against standard criminal background checks prior to purchasing a gun.

What is at issue is the proposed requirement of including personal private medical history in the background check, requiring doctors to ask if a person owns guns while giving a medical exam, and asking doctors to forego patient-doctor relationship if said doctor "thinks" his/her patient is a risk. In addition, proposals to reduce clip/magazine capacities, ban military style rifles (which, for the uneducated, means they cosmetically RESEMBLE a military rifle), etc. are also an issue.


Somebody 2 years, 9 months ago

Actually the story should read 90% of Americans polled support gun background checks. I mean just because a percentage polled said they support gun background checks does not necessarily mean 90% of all Americans actually support it. Realistically if you polled 10 people and 9 of them supported gun background checks, does that really mean 90% of all Americans support it? I am sure the criminals don't support it. They already have a background check in place now anyway, so it's a mute point.


Nous_Defions 2 years, 9 months ago

The majority of Americans are too busy working (or not) to provide food, lodging, big screen TVs, video games, newest cars, etc to really delve into and understand the draconian laws already on the books. Might I add that these laws are poorly enforced if at all. Polls asking questions about laws don't mean squat. A responsible firearm owner should be aware of national and state laws that pertain to firearm use and ownership.

Tomorrow at the Georgia State Capital, there will be a pro-gun rights rally on Washington Street at the front entrance of the Capital. Larry Pratt, Executive Director of Gun Owners of America, and John Monroe, an Attorney on Board of Directors of Georgia Carry will be speaking at this event. Times are 10 am until 3 pm. Please join us there to let our State and National Legislators know that we oppose further infringement of the inalienable rights endowed by our Creator and enumerated in the Bill of Rights!


chinaberry25 2 years, 9 months ago

I personally see nothing wrong with a background check for presidential candidates. If they have stuff in their background sealed, then they should be kicked out for the role of president. If it need to be sealed from Americans, then you do not need to be the leader of the free world. We need to know everything possible about he person who is running for office. This is certainly more problematic that and potential gun owner.


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