Washington (CNN) - While the vast majority of Americans support background checks on gun sales, a new national poll indicates that a plurality say that the government could use the information from such universal background checks to confiscate legally-owned guns.
According to the Quinnipiac University survey, 91% of voters across the country support universal background checks. The poll, released Thursday, is the second in two days to indicate widespread backing of the proposal, which is key component of a bill Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid vowed to bring up when Congress returns from a two-week recess. A Morning Joe/Marist poll released Tuesday indicated 87% support for such checks.
The two surveys are in-line with other national polls from other organizations conducted the past couple of months, in the wake of the horrific shootings at Connecticut elementary school that left 20 children and six adults dead. Support for background checks in those surveys ranged from 83% to 92%.
The new survey, as with the past polls, shows no partisan divide on the question, with 96% of Democrats, 90% of independent voters, and 88% of Republicans saying they favor requiring background checks for all gun buyers. Eighty-eight percent of voters in homes with guns say they support the checks.
"In every Quinnipiac University poll since the Newtown massacre, nationally and in six states, we find overwhelming support, including among gun owners, for universal background checks," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "American voters agree with the National Rifle Association, however, that these background checks could lead someday to confiscation of legally-owned guns."
By a 48%-38% margin, voters say that the government could use the information from universal background checks to confiscate legally-owned guns. And gun owners believe 53%-34% that the checks could lead to confiscation of legal guns. There's also a partisan divide on the question, with 61% of Republicans and 51% of independents, and only 32% of Democrats, expecting confiscations.
The Quinnipiac University poll was conducted March 26-April 1, with 1,711 registered voters questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.