CNN Poll: No change on gun law opinions after Arizona shootings
January 17th, 2011
06:10 PM ET
9 years ago

CNN Poll: No change on gun law opinions after Arizona shootings

Washington (CNN) - Americans' overall attitudes toward gun laws have not budged an inch in the wake of the shootings in Arizona, according to a new national poll.

But a CNN/Opinion Research Corporation survey released Monday also indicates that majority of the public favors restrictions on semi-automatic guns and high-capacity ammunition clips, as well as background checks and limits on the number of guns that can be purchased.

The poll indicates that the two sides of the gun debate are evenly balanced, with one in seven Americans opposing any restrictions on guns at all and one in seven saying that all guns should be illegal except for police and other authorized personnel. Roughly a third support minor restrictions and roughly a third support major restrictions.

"Those numbers are identical to the results of a poll taken in the summer of 2009, indicating that the tragic events in Tucson have not changed how the public feels about gun laws," says CNN Polling Director Keating Holland. "This is a familiar pattern in polling - surveys taken after previous incidents like the Columbine shooting have shown little or no change in Americans' attitudes toward guns."

A total of 19 people were shot January 8 at the "Congress on Your Corner" event at a Tucson supermarket. Authorities believe Rep. Gabrielle Giffords was the target of the mass shooting that left six dead and another 13 wounded. Giffords was upgraded from critical to serious condition Sunday, eight days after being shot in the head at the public event. A 22-year-old suspect, Jared Lee Loughner, is in custody.

According to the survey, several restrictions, however, are widely accepted. More than nine in ten Americans favor background checks to determine whether a prospective buyer has been convicted of a felony. Six in ten favor a ban on semi-automatic assault guns, and on the kind of extended ammunition clips which Jared Loughner allegedly used in Arizona. Fifty-five percent questioned say they also favor limiting gun purchases to one per month.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation poll was conducted Jan. 14-16, with 1,014 adult Americans questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus 3 percentage points.

- CNN Deputy Political Director Paul Steinhauser contributed to this report

Filed under: Arizona • Gun rights
soundoff (28 Responses)
  1. Former Republican - Now Independent

    I have polled my friends and asked them if they particpated in, or knew of anyone who participated in, any poll regarding Second Amendment rights or "Gun Control Issues."

    The answer is "no." So I ask what is the value of this poll of about 1,000 people, considering how many adults are in this country?

    My conclusion(s): (1) Not much at all and; (2) CNN wasted their money and our time with this stupid article.

    January 17, 2011 07:59 pm at 7:59 pm |
  2. GOP = Greed Over People

    This American's attitude has changed, I just purchased my first hand gun.

    A sad day when the meek must prepare to "reload".

    January 17, 2011 08:08 pm at 8:08 pm |
  3. DAVE

    deer in the woods in my state have more protection when it comes to guns. i fish and hunt so don't even think i will give up my fire arms for hunting. the point i am trying to make is in my state if you are duck hunting and have more than three rounds loaded and one in the chamber you are in violation of the hunting laws. when hunting for deer you can have 6 rounds loaded and 1 in the chamber. you can't hunt with a high powered rifle in the lower half of my state either. if you live in this country you can have a clip of bullets of 30 plus rounds for your gun . these types of clips are for war when all you want to do is spray alot of bullets and kill the enemy without real aim at your target. how many people would have been killed our wounded if this nut had only 6 rounds to use before reloading? the gun he had was not used or designed to hunt with its for killing and wounding people!

    January 17, 2011 08:11 pm at 8:11 pm |
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