The Ticket

91 percent of Americans support gun background checks: Poll

The Ticket

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Handguns displayed in Sandy, Utah. (Rick Bowmer/AP)

Despite concerns about how information on gun owners might be used, 91 percent of registered voters support universal background checks, according to a new poll released on Thursday.

Only 8 percent of voters surveyed by Quinnipiac University's Polling Institute March 26 to April 1 stated opposition to universal background checks—something the White House, many Democrats in Congress and and gun-violence opponents are pushing in the wake of the December shootings at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn. In households with guns, 88 percent of respondents expressed support for checks.

Many lawmakers and administration officials have used polling indicating strong support for universal background checks to urge the closure of background-check loopholes for gun show sales and elsewhere.

The support for such checks comes despite concerns about how that information could be applied. Forty-eight percent of voters surveyed said they believe information will be used by the government in the future to confiscate legally owned guns. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said they don't believe it will be used in that manner.

Additionally, 59 percent of respondents support an assault weapons ban, while 36 percent oppose it, the poll found. The administration and key gun-reform advocates in Congress have advocated a ban on assault weapons, although this currently has little chance of passage in Congress after it was separated from gun-reform legislation to be offered by Senate Democrats.

A ban on high-capacity magazines also earned a majority of support—58 to 38 percent—in the survey.

Quinnipiac's poll, which had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points, also touched on hot-button issues such as same-sex marriage, Obamacare, immigration and soda bans.

Support for same-sex marriage in Quinnipiac's research reached a 50 percent milestone in this most recent survey, and opposition to New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg's soda ban remains high. Opinions of Obamacare are more negative than positive, the poll found, with 46 percent opposing and 41 percent supporting the health care law. And a strong majority of Americans surveyed support enabling immigrants to apply for citizenship and remain in the United States.

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