Poll: Majority wanted background checks to pass Senate
April 29th, 2013
10:26 AM ET
10 years ago

Poll: Majority wanted background checks to pass Senate

(CNN) - Nearly two-thirds of Americans say that the Senate should have passed a bill that would have expanded background checks for gun sales, according to a new national poll.

But the survey, released Monday by Gallup, indicates a partisan divide, with Democrats and independent voters not seeing eye-to-eye with Republicans.

Two weeks ago, the Senate voted on a number of gun control proposals in the wake of last December's Newtown, Connecticut elementary school massacre that left 20 children and six adults killed. One of the provisions, the one thought most likely to get passed, was a bipartisan compromise that would expand the background check system to include private sales at gun shows and online.

In a 54-46 vote, the Senate came short of the 60 votes needed to move ahead with the legislation.

According to the poll, 65% of Americans say that the Senate should have passed the background checks bill, with just under one in three saying the Senate should not have passed the measure.

A Washington Post/Pew Research Center survey released last week indicated that 47% of the public described themselves as "angry" or "disappointed" with the Senate vote, with 39% saying they were "relieved" or "happy" about the vote.

Prior to the Senate's failure to pass the proposal, most national polling indicated that nearly nine in 10 Americans supported expanded background checks for gun sales.

The Gallup survey, like the Washington Post/Pew Research Center poll, points to a partisan divide. Eighty-five percent of Democrats and 64% of independents questioned said the Senate should have passed the proposal. Republicans were divided, with 45% saying the Senate should have advanced the measure and 50% disagreeing.

One of the authors of the bipartisan bill, Democratic Sen. Joe Manchin of West Virginia, said Sunday that the measure can still be revised and approved in the chamber. Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid has decided to shelve the amendment on background checks, vowing to bring it back to the Senate floor once they feel confident that it could get more support.

President Barack Obama, who strongly pushed action on gun control, condemned the Senate's action, saying it marked a "shameful day in Washington." Speaking from the White House Rose Garden shortly after the amendment failed, the president vowed that this is only "Round One" of the fight for tougher gun laws.

The Gallup poll was conducted April 22-25, with 1,043 adults nationwide questioned by telephone. The survey's overall sampling error is plus or minus four percentage points.

Filed under: Gun control • Polls
soundoff (46 Responses)
  1. g

    the only ones that are afraid of back ground checks are criminals .drug dealers and 70% of nra members

    April 29, 2013 11:18 am at 11:18 am |
  2. Wake up People!

    @rs. Thanks. I read so much that sometimes I forget what I read.

    Thanks also. But I'm not a bro.......

    April 29, 2013 11:20 am at 11:20 am |
  3. Richard Long

    Gallup Poll: Americans' Level of Worry About National Problems
    The economy 68%
    Federal Spending and the budget deficit 61%
    The availability and affordability of healthcare 59%
    Gas prices 55%
    Unemployment 50%
    Gun Control not even on the list.

    April 29, 2013 11:27 am at 11:27 am |
  4. ghostwriter

    82ndABNVET, that was some creative use of false equivency there. Fact is that we as a society decided that requiring things like registration and insurance for operating a vehicle made sense. Not too hard to understand.

    As far as driving not being in the Constitution, you are correct...but voting is. And guess what? You have to register to vote. Has that resulted in anything evil? No? Bet you are in support of all kinds of voting law changes that have been sent down lately. Why is it that those changes don't affect your rights? Is it because they actually only affect democratic voters?

    Just as conservatives are asking for the rights of the Boston guy to be rendered null, conservatives only see their rights as important.

    April 29, 2013 11:32 am at 11:32 am |
  5. Tom1940

    And what background checks would that be? (That would have prevented Adam Lanza and the movie theater shooter, and Congressman Jeffords attacker, etc., from carrying out their evil deeds)? Certainly, having persons names put into the present system if they are properly identified as a person who should not be allowed access/purchase/ownership/possession of firearms due to mental issues – however, even with people who knew these folks were not acting rational, stable, etc., the information was not acted upon. If you cannot make the system as it now exists work, then how will more "feel-good" laws/regulation/ordinances, etc., help? They will not. One properly trained armed guard at Sandy Hook School and we would not be talking about the death of 28 kids and their teachers, we would be talking of the "dead perp" that tried invading a school with guns and died in the attempt. Penalizing the 99 and 99/100 percent of lawful firearms owners and the American Public at large, is not the way to control the perps. Going after the perps and not their weapons is the way to solve this problem.

    April 29, 2013 11:34 am at 11:34 am |
  6. Sniffit

    "You can see the practical results in other polls. For example, Toomey actually got a bounce, while Ayotte took a hit in her approval rating.
    How much of a hit did she take?"

    Apparently, the most recent is that 44 percent of NH voters said they approve of the job she is doing while 46 percent said they disapprove. In the previous survey, she a positive approval rating, with a plurality of 48 percent saying they approved of her job performance at the time and 35 percent saying they disapproved.

    April 29, 2013 11:35 am at 11:35 am |
  7. ghostwriter

    Tom1940, they had armed guards in Colombine. So there goes your theory of that saving lives.

    This non-fact that the proposed ideas would not have stopped this attack or that attack makes little sense. The whole idea is to keep guns out of the hands of those who could or would do harm.

    Of course, the very folks who you get these ideas from are the very same folks who worked really hard to keep the system from working. It's like cutting off a guy's leg and then asking why he can't run a race. Without proper funding and with laws created to tie the hands of law enforcement, the system is bound to have errors. Too bad conservatives aren't at all interested in fixing those errors.

    April 29, 2013 11:57 am at 11:57 am |
  8. sonny chapman

    CNN, it's all over. You've been CAUGHT. Rick McDaniel has got your number. Close shop & send everyone home.

    April 29, 2013 12:09 pm at 12:09 pm |
  9. Name lynn

    Stop fighting an pointing fingers about the back ground check an just pass the bill.

    April 29, 2013 12:14 pm at 12:14 pm |
  10. Jd

    Before ramming new gun laws down our throat, how about we enforce the 20,000 gun laws currently on the books?

    April 29, 2013 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  11. Jd

    Instead of cramming new laws down our throats, how about we enforce the 20,000 gun laws currently on the books?

    April 29, 2013 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  12. Mickey1313

    Background checks are a smoke screen. The raise the price of guns, making self defence even harder for the poor. They also block dumb crimes but not mental illness. And to ghostwriter, who claims needing to register to vote, when your ssn should be all you need doesn't cause harm, look at voter turnout and say that,.again registration hinder s the poor from using there rights

    April 29, 2013 12:44 pm at 12:44 pm |
  13. lolo

    Nothing is going to work until they stop receiving big payoffs from the NRA.It won't happen until the severly conservative GOP/TP party understands this. No one wants their guns, but they belive this lie.

    April 29, 2013 01:10 pm at 1:10 pm |
  14. Romney is Still NOT My Hero

    As Lincoln said, "government of the money, by the money, for the money"....

    Oops, it should be "government of the people, by the people, for the peopleā€, but WE don't stand by that anymore.

    April 29, 2013 01:13 pm at 1:13 pm |
  15. They ought to change from the elephant to the hippo...

    82ABNVet writes-

    "Guns dont kill people. People kill people. ...

    A gun is an inanimate object. I is neither good or bad. It is a piece of metal/plastic."

    You're right! Guns just make it faster and easier to kill people or kill lots of people, with relative ease, and minimal risk to the shooter due to the distance from the target. In other words, GUNS are for SISSIES.

    "What you need to look at is the mental state of the person holding the gun. The common denomiator with all these mass killings is that the person conducting them is CRAZY. It doesnt matter if it is a shotgun, an AR-15, a pistol, a knife, or a sword. The tool used is not the issue. It is the mental issues that individual has."

    Au contraire... I think the tool used IS the issue! I bet you do too! Which would you rather face? A crazy person with a knife or one with an AR15? Get real!

    April 29, 2013 01:20 pm at 1:20 pm |
  16. Tony

    All of you on this post who is against background checks don't think you or your community is immune to gun violence until you are made to feel how those people felt that lost their kids then youwill be on board with this.

    April 29, 2013 01:22 pm at 1:22 pm |
  17. Dutch/Bad Newz, VA -aka- Take Back The House

    Instead of cramming new laws down our throats, how about we enforce the 20,000 gun laws currently on the books?
    Out of those 20,000, I bet you can't name 50 without googling it.

    April 29, 2013 01:37 pm at 1:37 pm |
  18. jinx9to88

    I guess we will find out what polls are correct in 2014. I will bet that the majority of Americans want background checks.

    April 29, 2013 01:43 pm at 1:43 pm |
  19. rob

    Chalk the loss in the Senate to Harruy Reid and the President. Reid because he miscalculated his own caucus voting unanimously for the bill and the President for demanding too much and shamelessly demagouging the issue all around the country.

    April 29, 2013 01:54 pm at 1:54 pm |
  20. RINO Bill

    More propaganda.

    I live in a screaming liberal state and do not know anyone who wants this type of back-door gun control. I don't know of anyone who has been contacted by any pollsters regarding this issue. And I have asked all of my acquaintances and relatives if they know of anyone contacted by pollsters regarding this issue and they do not.

    So who is making up this crap? Why is CNN reporting this unsubstantiated drivel?

    April 29, 2013 01:56 pm at 1:56 pm |
  21. Name

    What a bunch of fools. Trade freedom for safety. Look up battle of athens. Perfect example of the right to bear arms. And if you really think that Government won't eventually overtake your freedom in the name of safety you are a true sheep on your way to being fleeced. Funny how mass shootings didn't become a problem untill the mid 80's the same time mass pzyco drug presciptions, mass media and shootem up movies became popular. The real problem is degredation of the family and family values. But he keep klinging to your liberalism and safety for freedom ideas

    April 29, 2013 02:10 pm at 2:10 pm |
1 2