Poll: Could background checks lead to gun confiscation?
April 4th, 2013
06:00 AM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Could background checks lead to gun confiscation?

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.

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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.

Filed under: Gun control • Gun rights
soundoff (5 Responses)
  1. GI Joe

    My sister and her husband have 27 guns. Yet they run around complaining about being broke all the time.

    Go figure.

    April 4, 2013 06:12 am at 6:12 am |
  2. TomInRochNY

    What the American people want doesn't matter. What lobbyists want is the only thing that matters to Congress. And the NRA is a very big and powerful lobbyist organization.

    April 4, 2013 06:50 am at 6:50 am |
  3. Guest

    They could, that remains to be seen. It wont result in confiscation from criminals that dont follow the law. The dumbocrats love this socially driven, feel good legislation although it only effects the majority of gun owners that dont intend to break the law. The reality is that if we target thugs, criminals, gang bangers it doesnt put money into the system and drive the big government beast so, we target law abiding, hard working citizens that can be fined, pay for lawyers, etc. Great solution you idiots although it will have no effect on these heinous crimes.

    April 4, 2013 07:21 am at 7:21 am |
  4. Gurgyl

    Pass gun-ban laws. Period.

    April 4, 2013 07:41 am at 7:41 am |
  5. Ken

    If the question was phrased "Could government use the information to seize registered firearms?" or similar it is 100% that they could as they have the option to do so since they have the information.

    Seizing guns from citizens after passing a registration of firearms has already occurred in the US so speculation seems rather silly. California demanded registration of SKS rifles and then banned and seized them from registered owners. Given the Federal Government's record on rights over the last two administrations I don't doubt that some Executive in the future will simply declare firearms to be seized.

    April 4, 2013 07:47 am at 7:47 am |