Poll: Gun control that Americans support
January 14th, 2013
03:39 PM ET
2 years 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. rs

    Animal and Bubba-

    Just stop at "I don't know". Polling is a pretty precise art- as demonstrated in the last election. In case you didn't notice, the pollsters nailed it in October while the GOP tried to claim skewed results- they were wrong.

    Meanwhile accept this fact: The NRA represents a little more than 1% of Americans. That leaves a whole lot of people not on the radical fringe to say that your right ends at our lack of safety-not to mention the wanton murder of our children. There are too many guns getting into the wrong hands. If you think about it for a minute or so the only places those guns can be sourced from are the so-called "good" gun owners, and gun stores and gun shows. See, the "gun lobby" really IS the problem here.

    January 15, 2013 09:48 am at 9:48 am |
  2. Newton

    1) republicans don't understand math so they distrust all polling data and ignore what it says (see Nate Silver nov elections)

    2) the well regulated militia to defend against the army already exits, it's called the national guard. If you want to fire a military weapon, feel free to enlist. Otherwise there is o rational reason to own a mass killing gun

    January 15, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  3. rs

    Oakspar77777-
    The Devil is in the details, sir. If by the 2nd Amendment you mean the right to own slow-loading, single-shot muskets for the use of militia's in the nation's defense- no one would vote against it. After all, that was the technology as the politicians of the day wrote the Amendment.

    If instead you mean allowing nearly military-grade weaponry that can fire 90 rounds a minute into school children (or theater attendees, or college students) by obvious psychotics, then you'll have difficulties getting a majority vote.

    Unfortunately for your case, the former isn't reality, and the latter is.

    January 15, 2013 09:54 am at 9:54 am |
  4. GOD

    @RS

    Guess your ok with your presidents and military killing kids huh

    January 15, 2013 09:56 am at 9:56 am |
  5. rs

    mm-
    Of course the gun issue is tied to Republicans! They are in the pocket of the NRA (who represent the people who manufacture and sell weapons of death). Look who supports the NRA, and who supports limiting access to military grade weaponry.

    January 15, 2013 09:57 am at 9:57 am |
  6. CarolinaGirl

    How can any one dispute the fact we need sound gun control laws put in place?

    January 15, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  7. sonnie3

    The sound reasons for the 2nd Amendment and the Great Vision of our Fore Fathers is really starting to shine with the strong light of clarity. It liberal politicians that are afraid of the 2nd Amendment as they are the ones who would like to make slaves and subject out of we the people one slow but sure step at a time.
    Wake up America
    Don't alow the gun grabers an inch or they will end up taking a mile!!

    January 15, 2013 09:58 am at 9:58 am |
  8. rs

    Bob, NY-
    So many issues with your post. HIPPA is about medical privacy for one. Look- paranoid nonsense about your weapons keeping the government at bay (for what?) is the delusional talk that would convince most sane folks you shouldn't have guns.

    The NRA and Crazy Wayne La Pierre are actually hurting gun owners with their inflammatory rhetoric, and radical fringe talk. If you look at yourselves from the point of view of most Americans- you appear to be the problem, and certainly not the solution.

    January 15, 2013 10:02 am at 10:02 am |
  9. If a deal is to be made, it MUST include mental health checks and some bans on movies and videogames

    eomthe left has to do its part too on this...this is a problem that has many sides...it must be tackled from many sides or else its just not going to be as effective.

    January 15, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  10. NEWTON

    Newton do some research on the 2nd Amendment before you post another non educated post again.

    PS: An AR-15 is not a military weapon. Again do some research...

    January 15, 2013 10:03 am at 10:03 am |
  11. James

    "According to the poll, nearly two-thirds support putting armed security guards or police in more schools"...really now...so the NRA's proposal was right on.

    January 15, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  12. rs

    Sonnie3-
    The "Founding Fathers" didn't have AR-15s. What's next? RPGs for personal use? The insanity has to stop somewhere. You don't need to be able to carry or own a semi-auto for any reason-except that the gun sellers want you too..

    January 15, 2013 10:04 am at 10:04 am |
  13. lou

    The people in the liberal Northeast and other liberal states will always roll over and do what they are told. One thing for sure the biggest threat to the longevity and the constitution of the US is the Democratic Party and the liberal so call main stream media. This is not about safety, children, it is about their agenda. The blood was not even dry on the children and they started talking about gun control and any other ways to control people who don't agree with them. They don't worry about democrats they will do what they are told but the the red areas on the map are a different story. Now they have to create an army to enforce taking away rthe rights. Real patriots are not going to roll over so easy and that has me concerned for our future.

    January 15, 2013 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  14. rs

    GOD-
    Really- that's happening in America today? Where ever you feel that is going on in the world, that has any bearing on this discussion?

    January 15, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  15. NEWTON

    So just that we are clear, what laws that are going to be put in place will the criminals be required to follow?

    It's called the blackmarket. Maybe CNN should do a story on how easy it is to obtain a fully automatic, deserialized machine gun. I can tell you right now. $700 dollars and the right people. Another words, it's easy. So again

    Say I am a bad guy, with these laws in place, which one will keep me from obtaining a $700.00 dollar machine gun that I can use to go on a shooting spree?

    January 15, 2013 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  16. Ryan

    So just that we are clear, what laws that are going to be put in place will the criminals be required to follow?

    It's called the blackmarket. Maybe CNN should do a story on how easy it is to obtain a fully automatic, deserialized machine gun. I can tell you right now. $700 dollars and the right people. Another words, it's easy. So let's play a quick "What if"

    Say I am a bad guy, with these laws in place, which one will keep me from obtaining a $700.00 dollar machine gun that I can use to go on a shooting spree?

    January 15, 2013 10:08 am at 10:08 am |
  17. rs

    If a deal is to be made, it MUST include mental health checks and some bans on movies and videogames

    eomthe left has to do its part too on this...this is a problem that has many sides...it must be tackled from many sides or else its just not going to be as effective.
    _____________________________________
    Sure, violate the first amendment to support the second.
    Sorry, videogames, movies and TV shows that are violent are seen the world over- only our nation has the gun violence problem. Face it, IT IS THE GUNS.

    January 15, 2013 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  18. DOG1

    The only thing radical NRA leadership and many of it's members took away from the Newtown slaughter was that the bushmaster is extremely effective with small fast moving targets, or what they like to refer to as a great "varmint gun".

    January 15, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  19. Ryan

    RS:

    With the right license and the right amount of money, you can own an RPG. I can tell you this, you will not ever hear on the news about a guy who killed people with an RPG who obtained it legally. It's usually for collection purposes.

    January 15, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  20. Sabre546

    Amazing how Gallops poll says 38% of Americans want stricter gun control. I guess they just do not poll the cnn viewers. This poll was dated yesterday FYI

    January 15, 2013 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  21. The Real Tom Paine

    Its amazing to watch all the comments screaming about this poll being fixed. First, this poll asked fairly broad questions, but when Pew dug into the results and asked followup questions, they revealed splits along party, gender, and demographic lines. There is no skewing of data here, no plot to confiscate guns. Read the article first. Remember, this is just one sample, just one poll. I'm sure they talked to more than a few gun owners, and that the poll was not conducted among the White House staff, as some of the more rabid here have suggested.

    January 15, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  22. ememen

    Strangely so, currently Americans do not have the right to vote in a National Referendum, it's time we benefited from the rights to direct democracy. Let us establish a process for a National Referendum now, to check the power of corporate lobbyists, and holding politicians answerable to us. We also know how much the NRA is busy doing with the “criminal background check” law on state and local level to eliminate it make the law weak and unsustainable. With the rights to a national referendum we could get all these laws in place by sidestepping the rabid lobbyists.

    January 15, 2013 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  23. pilot546

    Hey RS , You do realize that countries like China censor what movies , games and internet usage the people have?

    January 15, 2013 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  24. G

    The problem with more laws is they are followed by the followers of them...Newtown shooter broke 16 federal laws...which one of the laws stopped him? NONE.

    January 15, 2013 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. Canuck

    At least we don't hear all the BS about American exceptionalism any longer.

    January 15, 2013 10:20 am at 10:20 am |
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