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. Boodrow Malone

    No new gun laws will pass congress. Any Obama dictates suppressing second amendment rights will lose in court as they should. Evil people kill and have done so for a long, long time before guns were invented. The second amendment means what it says and it has nothing to do with hunting.

    January 15, 2013 01:51 am at 1:51 am |
  2. Ken

    Of course we support those laws, mostly because they are also supported by the NRA and are ALREADY IN EXISTENCE !!

    The gun show loophole has nothing to do with gun shows. It is a loophole that there does not need to be a background check when purchased between private parties. All gun shows have to do background checks, no matter where, when or what.

    This is the one question that is never deiscussed by CNN. See if they cab answer it . . .

    NAME ONE LAW THAT WOULD BE GUARANTEEED TO TAKE AND KEEP GUNS AWAY FROM CRIMINALS.

    Until that happens, just leave the gun laws alone. No of the proposed gun laws would have prevented any of the recent mass shootings.

    January 15, 2013 02:00 am at 2:00 am |
  3. Jim Hicks

    These statistics seem te be a little inflated. The entire mainstream media is not to be trusted with any story about anything anymore. The days of objective journalism are gone. I know of no person in my county that supports any of these infrengments on our 2nd Ammendment rights. Which these rights were not given by the US Government, they are inherent rights for just being born. If you do not want a gun in your house do not have one. But, never feel you have the authority to tell another what they can and cannot have in their home. Being an American means being free in the persuits of life and liberty. Let liberty ring throughout our wonderful nation, and silence the dangerous chorus of the tyrannical governments, organizations, groups, and individuals that would oppress our society.

    January 15, 2013 02:17 am at 2:17 am |
  4. 66Biker

    The NRA is so full of crap. Who in their right mind uses an assault rifle for hunting? Even Ted Nugent is smarter than that.

    January 15, 2013 02:44 am at 2:44 am |
  5. Twiz1

    Of course we do because unlike the majority of Wasihington DC we see problems and solution clearly without the BS politics that causes more problems in the US than they solve. Maybe we need to rethink how DC operates...maybe Senators and Congressman have too much power resulting in too many "deals" and abuses. The average blue collar worker has far more insight into fixing problems than the ivy league professional politician...in my opinion at least.

    January 15, 2013 02:49 am at 2:49 am |
  6. Mk

    Feinstein is proposing a ban that would make most guns on the market illegal and make the ones that are already legally owned NFA items. Sounds like gun grabbing to me

    January 15, 2013 03:40 am at 3:40 am |
  7. jeradmang

    I don't believe these statistics...I only know 2 people who think it is a good idea...and I have plenty of friends and family...even when these people tried to make their claims to me I debated it with them and walked away from the debate with their full attention. This is just another lie report being but out there by CIA-NN

    January 15, 2013 03:41 am at 3:41 am |
  8. ECONOMYSTIC EXTRAORDINAIRE

    I am pretty sure everybody knows Pew Studies are faulty.

    January 15, 2013 04:58 am at 4:58 am |
  9. topperG

    Running checks at gun shows, no problem. Won't fix mass shootings. Guarenteeing mental people don't get weapons – isn't going to happen. How is that going to be accomplished espescially when you don't know when someones mental state changes. Who is going to report it? How is that going to be reported? And oh by the way, that boys mom purchased those weapons and she taught him how to shoot them and allowed him access to them. She wasn't mental. At least as far as we know.

    January 15, 2013 06:24 am at 6:24 am |
  10. Marie MD

    A small percentage of the US population probably owns enough guns for the entire population.
    Is anyone keeping track of the deaths just in the last week of domestic violence with those guns? Of course not.
    Don't forget the body of a six year old child with ELEVEN (11) bullet holes!!!
    Even responsible gun owners are against the nra's good guys with gun policy. A rep in VA went to a gun show in VA and bought a gun without a background check even though he asked because the seller didn't think he looked like a bank robber!

    January 15, 2013 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  11. Marie MD

    Oops, I forget to add that the VA rep also bought a 30 round clip with said gun!!! This is even more important and scary.

    January 15, 2013 06:30 am at 6:30 am |
  12. Washington Is Out Of Touch with reality

    If the demoncrats would have kept all the nut cases locked up and quit giving kids all the psychotic drugs we would not be discussing this issue, but its the demoncrats like obama who wants to be the new dictator, but a storm is coming.

    January 15, 2013 06:36 am at 6:36 am |
  13. Paul

    Of course anyone with a dimes worth of sense wants better gun control. The fruit cakes on the right are just loud, but they aren't a majority. They sound like all the people who "guarnteed a Romney/ Ryan win.

    January 15, 2013 06:48 am at 6:48 am |
  14. Blah blah the wheel's off your trailer

    @Albert

    Let's see how you feel when the next victim is your love one. Let's see how you feel when your love one is another statistic of assault weapons. No one is targeting responsible gun owners. The issue here is keeping guns out of the hands of people who are capable of going on a deadly rampage.

    January 15, 2013 06:57 am at 6:57 am |
  15. Nick

    A well-practiced person can swap magazines in as little as one or two seconds – so what are you really saying when you want to limit magazine capacity (especially when lower-capacity magazines are less error-prone)? Face it, people: the problem isn't magazine capacity or gun shows. That is simply anti-gun liberals waving one hand to distract you from what they are really trying to accomplish when there is no solution to the one-off nut that wants to commit mass murder: 1) dismantle the gun lobby; and 2) start pocketing the political money from the big retailers who will benefit if gun shows go away because doing background checks is too expensive for the private citizen.

    Everything else is for show.

    January 15, 2013 07:00 am at 7:00 am |
  16. Jt_flyer

    Sounds like we need to get our cowardly House Representivates to get some courage and break free from the evil, self serving NRA. If not we'll have to wait 659 days until the democrats gain control of the House as they have the Senate.

    January 15, 2013 07:05 am at 7:05 am |
  17. Alex

    The new legislation getting ready to pass in New York state wanted to be able to confiscate weapons, but was shot down, yea that would be people trying to "grab guns" Because this makes sens let's ban rifles and give and arbitrarily stupid number limit to magazines, because that will stop inner city minorities from causing the majority of firearm related murders in this country with either stolen or illegally acquired handguns. What people need to do is stop standing on the dead bodies of a bunch of kids and using it as a soapbox for new laws.

    January 15, 2013 07:13 am at 7:13 am |
  18. jack

    They claim people don't want guns yet we see record sales month after month. I guess we are supposed to believe its the same people month after month. Keep believing these articles you good little sheep.

    January 15, 2013 07:26 am at 7:26 am |
  19. Dan

    The stats in this poll are wrong. I've looked at several polls and not one has been pro-ban. They have ranged from 4-1 to 9-1 against any bans. I would guess it's mostly because everyone knows that guns are not the problem, it's the drugs.

    January 15, 2013 07:37 am at 7:37 am |
  20. ronvan

    AlbertCan: Funny, I just heard on TV the answer to your question. The NRA has managed to have laws passed to PREVENT any kind of "tracking or statistics" on guns! And yesterday they made a statement that there would be NO ban on guns! Sounds to me that the NRA is not only a very powerful, MONEY, making business, BUT their confidence shows that they have "bought off" our "elected children" to vote THEIR way!

    January 15, 2013 07:38 am at 7:38 am |
  21. Marcia

    The NRA tactics here are reprehensible-where is my right to life,lliberty, and the pursuit of happiness without being shot -I want to be able to go to church, the mall, a movie, or send my children to school without them being shot.It is a proven fact that strict gun control leads to fewer gun deaths-What are an assault rifle and 30 round and 100 round magazines for except to kill humans? If you are in the army you need them-if you are a civilian you do NOT NEED THEM!

    January 15, 2013 07:43 am at 7:43 am |
  22. anon

    FYI Pew polls always have been a joke and unscientific. More like manipulative. I wouldn't believe these results no matter which way they were tipped. Also 1500 people doesn't represent the entire country.

    January 15, 2013 07:59 am at 7:59 am |
  23. AceGirlshusband

    Blaming the NRA responsible for gun crime is about like blaming Triple-A for driving fatalities.

    January 15, 2013 08:02 am at 8:02 am |
  24. michael

    The only crackpots are the feel good liberals who feel driven by there on cowardice to do something. Problem is they never never choose wisely because their decisions come from the heart not the brain.

    January 15, 2013 08:07 am at 8:07 am |
  25. The Real Tom Paine

    @ Collin:

    "They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety. – Ben Franklin

    Where, when, and exactly in WHAT contect, did Franklin supposedly say this? There have been a lot of quotes thrown out recently that have been attributed to the Founders, that they never said. Franklin, right up to the beginning of the Revolution, was in the tank for Britain and Empire, and I find it hard to believe that he would have stated something that can only be interpreted in a 21st-century context and meaning. The willingness of people to swallow wholesale, and without question, the modern spin on a statement from over 2 centuries ago is very troubling.

    January 15, 2013 08:16 am at 8:16 am |
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