Quinnipiac Poll on Guns: Most Voters Favor Expanded Background Checks

Thursday, 07 Mar 2013 09:19 AM

By Lisa Barron

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A vast majority of American voters favor expanded background checks for all gun buyers, according to a new poll.

A national Quinnipiac University survey released Thursday found that 88 percent of voters support requiring background checks, while just 10 percent oppose them. Voters with guns in their homes also support the checks by a margin of 85 percent to 13 percent, the survey found.

The poll of 1,944 registered voters taken Feb. 27 to March 4 comes as the Senate Judiciary Committee prepares to vote on a bill to expand background checks, along with three other measures. The four pieces of legislation mark the first time Congress will vote on issues addressing gun violence since the Dec. 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., that left 20 children and six adult educators dead.

Senate Democrats had hoped to reach a bipartisan deal on expanding background checks with Republican Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma. But Coburn reportedly remains opposed to a part of the bill that would require keeping records of private sales between individuals.

Record-keeping is currently mandated only for sales by the country’s 55,000 federally licensed gun dealers, not for sales that take place at gun shows or online.

Other bills scheduled for consideration by the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday would ban assault weapons, limit ammunition magazines or clips to no more than 10 rounds, make gun trafficking and the straw purchase of firearms federal crimes, and provide more money for schools to buy video cameras and other safety equipment.

The Quinnipiac poll also found that voters support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons by a margin of 54 percent to 41 percent, and back a nationwide ban on the sale of ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds by 54 percent to 42 percent.

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