Poll: Half Believe Background Checks Lead to Gun Confiscation

Thursday, 04 Apr 2013 09:29 AM

By Melanie Batley

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Almost half of voters believe new rules for universal background checks could lead to the government confiscating legally-owned guns, according to a wide-ranging poll released Thursday.

The Quinnipiac University survey — which covered several subjects — also found that most voters believe same-sex marriage should be a constitutional right rather than a state-by-state decision.

And it found 46 percent disapprove of Obamacare, with 37 percent believing it will do more harm to them personally than good.

The poll of 1,711 registered voters, conducted between March 26 and April 1, showed that even though 48 percent of respondents thought background checks would lead to confiscations of legally-owned firearms, 91 percent support universal gun background checks — including 88 percent of those who live in households with guns.

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Peter Brown, assistant director of the university’s polling institute, said every poll since December’s school massacre in Newtown, Conn., has shown massive support for universal background checks.

“American voters agree with the National Rifle Association, however, that these background checks could lead someday to confiscation of legally-owned guns,” Brown added.

“The question is, how many of these voters fear confiscation as an abuse of government power, and how many are hoping the government uses confiscation to get more guns off the street?”

Political views were divided on the impact of the checks, with 61 percent of Republican respondents saying they are expecting confiscation, while most Democrats do not believe they would follow background checks.

In the same poll, Quinnipiac also found that 46 percent of American voters surveyed disapprove of Obamacare, with 37 percent believing the new healthcare law will hurt rather than help them personally. Another 41 percent said the law won't affect them.

Democrats and Republicans are at odds over the idea of increasing the number of people in their state who would be eligible for Medicaid. A total of 71 percent of Democrats polled approve of the idea, but 65 percent of Republican respondents said it's a bad idea. Independent voters are divided, weighing in with 45 percent in favor and 44 percent against increasing the number of people who would be eligible for Medicaid.

When it comes to gay marriage, 56 percent say it should be dealt with nationally, with just 36 percent believing it should be on a state-by-state basis. Half now believe same-sex unions should be legalized.

On the subject of immigration, 59 percent of voters say that illegal immigrants should be allowed to stay in the United States and eventually apply for citizenship, but 25 percent say they should be required to leave the United States. Eleven percent say they should be allowed to stay, but not apply for citizenship.

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