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Poll: Americans Oppose Obama's Executive Order on Guns

Image: Poll: Americans Oppose Obama's Executive Order on Guns (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

By Bill Hoffmann   |   Friday, 08 Jan 2016 01:23 PM

A majority of Americans oppose President Barack Obama's use of executive powers to enact new gun control initiatives — and they don't believe the controversial move will reduce the number of mass killings that have rocked the nation in recent months, a new Rasmussen Reports poll has found.

According to the poll of 1,000 likely U.S. voters, 58 percent say the government should only do what the president and Congress agree on in gun control matters.

Only 34 percent of those surveyed believe the commander-in-chief should take action alone if Congress does not approve the initiatives he has proposed.

Rasmussen also found only 21 percent believe Obama's executive order, which extends federal government oversight of gun sales, will reduce the number of mass shootings. Another 59 percent disagree, and 20 percent said they are not sure.

Those polled were quizzed on the need for additional gun control — and the results were sharply divided. Some 45 percent believe the United States needs stricter gun control laws, but 50 percent disagree.

In past surveys, voters tended to oppose further gun control laws — except during the chaotic periods following mass killings like the ones at Virginia Tech and Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

However, most have long believed the government needs to do a better job enforcing the gun laws already on the books, according to Rasmussen.

The new poll also found 79 percent of voters believe it is more important for Congress and the president to work together to achieve what's best for the country rather than to stand for what they believe in.

But they are also far more likely to blame Congress than the president for preventing that from happening.

Women and those under 40 continue to favor additional gun control more than men and older voters do. But most women and younger voters still oppose the president going it alone on gun control, Rasmussen found.

Additionally, 73 percent of Democrats believe the nation needs stricter gun control, but 76 percent of Republicans and 54% of voters not affiliated with either major party disagree.

In other findings:
  • 83 percent of GOP voters and 59 percent of unaffiliated voters believe the government should only do what the president and Congress agree on when it comes to gun control.
  • Democrats by a 56 percent to 34 percent margin believe the president should take action alone on gun control if Congress does not approve the initiatives he has proposed.
  • 65 percent of voters who favor stricter gun control say the president should take action on his own if necessary.
  • 87 percent of voters who oppose additional gun control think the government should only do what the president and Congress agree on.
The poll's margin of sampling error is +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.

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A majority of Americans oppose President Barack Obama's use of executive powers to enact new gun control initiatives — and they don't believe the controversial move will reduce the number of mass killings...
rasmussen poll, gun control, executive order, barack obama
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2016-23-08
 

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