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Vast Majority Supports Universal Background Checks For Gun Purchases

A new poll finds that the vast majority of Americans support universal background checks for all gun purchases:

A new poll shows 88 percent of all Americans support universal background checks on the purchase of firearms, evidence of strong political backing ahead of votes on Senate gun control bill that would expand the practice.

The survey, published Friday by Quinnipiac University, showed that 83 percent of Republicans and 96 percent of Democrats supported universal background checks. Eighty-eighty percent of independents supported expansion of background checks, while 91 percent of women and 85 percent of men backed the practice.

Support was consistent across every racial, economic, education, and religious category, with no group showing lower than 85 percent support for closing the so-called “gun show loophole.” Even 85 percent of households that already own a gun supported the practice.

As I’ve noted before, it strikes me that background checks are the one element of the newly proposed gun control measures that has a chance of passing Congress but, the prospects of passage are by no means assured:

The politics of the issue will be tough, with Republicans and Democrats from rural states reluctant to challenge the gun lobby. The bill passed the Judiciary Committee by a party-line vote last week, and Senate Democratic aides are skeptical it will earn 60 votes on the Senate floor.

Votes on the Senate floor should come some time next month.

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About Doug Mataconis
Doug holds a B.A. in Political Science from Rutgers University and J.D. from George Mason University School of Law. He joined the staff of OTB in May, 2010 and also writes at Below The Beltway. Follow Doug on Twitter | Facebook

Comments

  1. CB says:

    Unlike our laws against murder, rape, and jaywalking, this will not solve the problem overnight, so we shouldnt even contemplate throwing away our explicit freedom to not have a background check before purchasing a killing machine. You silly fascist.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  2. swbarnes2 says:

    They might say they support background checks, but a hell of a lot of those 88% are voting for politicians who will never pass such a policy, and don’t intend to do otherwise in the future.

    Good intentions alone won’t actually accomplish anything.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  3. Tsar Nicholas says:

    Sun rises in east.

    Of course there are the issues of Zombieland not understanding the salient terminology, not knowing to what the misleading and rather oxymoronic “gun show loophole” meme refers, and not knowing at all about the various issues concerning federalism and related matters. But those are topics for other days and times.

    A national background check law is OK. Almost everyone agrees with that. Even gun nuts can agree with that. The so-called “universal” thing is fine, if we’re talking about commercial gun merchants, not casual sellers and traders. And if the left was not so stark raving crazy about this issue then that type of law could with the proper quid pro quo get enacted tomorrow. The problem is that the rabidly anti-gun left is as likely to compromise on the issue of gun rights as they are to solve poverty, bad schools and crime in big liberal cities controlled by leftists.

    If we enact a federal background check law the consideration should be preemption and thus abrogation of state and local gun laws. This too is a no brainer, but good luck convincing the Piers Morgans, DiFis, Bloombergs and Nancy Pelosis of the world.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 12

  4. C. Clavin says:

    I understand Tsar and Jenos are forming a Unity Ticket.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 6 Thumb down 0

  5. ajdarling says:

    What I want to know is where the polls are. What demographic are polls most likely to be surveyed through. I contend that if a rational national poll be applied through a ballot voting service, much like elections, there would certainly be a different result.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 4

  6. anjin-san says:

    I understand Tsar and Jenos are forming a Unity Ticket.

    The bithead/Jan “Nuts in 2016″ ticket will crush these upstarts…

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 2 Thumb down 0

  7. wr says:

    @anjin-san: “The bithead/Jan “Nuts in 2016″ ticket will crush these upstarts… ”

    That wouldn’t work. After all, Jan ran away from here to hide when defending her side got too hard. What Republican would support a politician who’d quite part way through her term?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 4 Thumb down 0

  8. PJ says:

    @ajdarling:

    What I want to know is where the polls are. What demographic are polls most likely to be surveyed through. I contend that if a rational national poll be applied through a ballot voting service, much like elections, there would certainly be a different result.

    You want to unskew this poll? I thought the unskew followers all committed mass suicide on November 7, 2012?

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  9. Andre Kenji says:

    Universal Background checks can only work if there is universal gun registration and universal gun licensing for gun owners. Each gun has a number on it, each gun owner has a license and a registry with the state.

    Unfortunately, that would be considered un-american and unconstitutional, including by the people of the courts.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 3 Thumb down 0

  10. JKB says:

    Two issues.

    First will this vast majority vote like universal background checks mattered? Probably not. Those who understand this issue has bad secondary effects like Andre Kenji mentioned will

    Second, it will simply be a cost imposed on gun purchases unless they try to implement it for real which will bring in the secondary effects mentioned above. Those are not supported by the vast majority and those that don’t support it vote the issue.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  11. Unsympathetic says:

    Of course, every person everywhere could just load nonlethal in the top of each clip, thereby solving 99% of the problem with no intervention needed.

    But that’s both simple and easy to do, so I’m sure the NRA won’t be promoting that.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0

  12. Davebo says:

    A national background check law is OK. Almost everyone agrees with that. Even gun nuts can agree with that. The so-called “universal” thing is fine, if we’re talking about commercial gun merchants, not casual sellers and traders. And if the left was not so stark raving crazy about this issue then that type of law could with the proper quid pro quo get enacted tomorrow.

    Actually it was enacted long ago. Not at all amazed you missed it.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  13. Tyrell says:

    The problem is that effective checks are like checking resident status: not as easy as it sounds.
    Our church tried to check the legality and status of a job applicant a few years ago – very difficult and time consuming. A maze of procedures. This was back when Congress was making a lot of noise about illegal immigrants and their relationship to certain organizations including churches.
    One House member even wanted churches to check people that the churches were ministering to or helping in any way!

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 0 Thumb down 0

  14. wldy1005 says:

    i do not support that bill at all. i feel as if this country is trying to turn into a more controling police state. all in the name of security. i don’t believe it is worth taking steps toward a police state.

    Like or Dislike: Thumb up 1 Thumb down 0