Poll: Gun control that Americans support
January 14th, 2013
03:39 PM ET
1 year ago

Poll: Gun control that Americans support

Washington (CNN) – One month after the deadly shootings at an elementary school in Connecticut, a new national poll indicates that a majority of Americans support a number of gun control proposals. But the survey points to wide partisan, gender, and educational divides over some proposals.

According to a Pew Research Center poll, 85% of the public backs making private gun sales and purchases at gun shows subject to background checks, with comparable support across party lines. And the poll indicates that 80% favor laws to prevent mentally ill people from purchasing guns, with broad support from Democrats, Republicans and independent voters.

The poll's Monday release comes one month after 27 people, including 20 children at Sandy Hook Elementary School, were killed in Newtown, Connecticut by a gunman, who then shot himself to death.

Two-thirds of people questioned in the survey say they support creating a federal database to track gun sales, but there's a partisan divide, with 84% of Democrats and only 49% of Republicans favoring the proposal.

Fifty-five percent favor a ban on assault style weapons, 54% back a ban on high capacity ammunition clips, and 53% support a ban on on-line ammunition sales, but again there's a wide partisan divide between Democrats and Republicans on these proposals.

According to the poll, nearly two-thirds support putting armed security guards or police in more schools, but only four in ten say arming more teachers and school officials with guns is a good idea.

By a 51%-45% margin, Americans say it's more important to control gun ownership than to protect gun rights. This is virtually unchanged from Pew poll that was conducted in the days following the Newtown, Connecticut shootings.

Men are divided on this question, while a solid majority of women say it's more important to control gun ownership. There's also a sizable gender gap over a ban on semi-automatic weapons, with two-thirds of women supporting such a move and men divided.

The survey also highlights an educational divide. Fewer than half of college graduates support a proposal to put armed guards or police in more schools, while three-quarters of those with no more than a high school education favor the idea.

The Pew Research Center poll was conducted January 9-13, with 1,502 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.9 percentage points.

– CNN Political Editor Paul Steinhauser contributed to this story


Filed under: Gun rights • Polls
soundoff (331 Responses)
  1. LBga

    As our founding fathers worked on forming this great nation, the ideas they put forth were written on paper not carved in stone. With the very purpose and foresight of knowing it wasnt perfect, that changes would be needed and included ways to do it. Least we not forget, that the very premise of this country that "all men are created equal" was signed off by the leaders at the time who still owned, flogged and hanged slaves.
    . Our civilian police forces are becoming more militarized by the day, having to protect them selves from the citizens they are there to protect. That snowball is on a downhill run and picking up speed.
    I have no issues with a person owning a firearm for protection of self, family and property. That being said, I don’t believe that includes the realm or the rights for citizens to walk around thinking they are duly deputized just because they're packing or to own an arsenal that could start WWIII.
    For every responsible gun owner there is a non responsible one, and I'm not talking about criminals. We all know someone that is "crazy", not mentally ill, that should never be giving a weapon. yet because they can sign their name on a check, they have the right to own a BMG 50 cal. sniper rifle. Which by the standards of most, is not an "assult weapon" because its semi-auto. There are people, including kids being killed everyday by so called responsible gun owners weapons, and again, not by "criminals".
    Its time for common sense to make a comeback.
    Its time for some common sense to come into play

    January 15, 2013 01:25 pm at 1:25 pm |
  2. Chris Miller

    Guns and specific types of magazines do not do the killing themselves. If you have noticed behind every gun there is a person who is controlling it. Therefore the gun is not killing the person is. So why ban assualt weapons or hi-capacity magazines? Banning these is like banning a pencil because, most people choose to write with one. The gun itself doesnt cause death the person behind it does.

    January 15, 2013 01:29 pm at 1:29 pm |
  3. Mark

    I hear disarming the Jews in Germany in the 1930's was a really popular initiative as well.

    January 15, 2013 01:30 pm at 1:30 pm |
  4. independentincc

    Polls are subject to many inaccuracies which are sometimes deliberately introduced by pollsters with an agenda. Re background checks, yes background checks should be universal but only if they do not amount to "backdoor" registration. The notion of databases, lists and other forms of big brother watch lists is anathema to the Second Amendment and all our civil liberties. The NRA and others are against closing the private transaction background loophole because closing it results in backdoor registration. Registration in turn allows the government to confiscate weapons easily as the corrupt police and politicians did in Katrina. Yea, ya can't just ask people their opinions on a complex subject without first educating them on the issues - who knew? But luckily our great Founding Fathers gave us our Bill of Rights and it will take a 2/3 vote of the Senate to modify or void any of the Amendments to our Constitution.

    January 15, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  5. Realist

    iliab said:"Do we really need this second amendment? None of civilized countries have it and they are doing much better than us in terms of crime and violence."

    You need to check your facts. Great Britain's per capita violent crime is through the roof compared to US, and those aren't even the same statistics. Great Britain only count's the crime if they convict the perpetrator, they don't count unsolved crimes. Stabbings are such a problem in Great Britain that they're now debating outlawing pointed knives. Australia's per capita violent crime skyrocketed after they confiscated firearms and is also much higher than the US.

    January 15, 2013 01:34 pm at 1:34 pm |
  6. Ken langham

    A majority of American do not feel The Majority of TEXANS. So FREE TEXAS!!! Let us walk away from the immorality and wrong that this country wants to dwell in.

    January 15, 2013 01:35 pm at 1:35 pm |
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