FAIRFIELD COUNTY, Conn. -- As Americans are still reeling from the mass shooting in Orlando and the surge in gun violence, a new Quinnipiac University National poll finds that 90 percent of voters support background checks for gun purchases.
In addition, the poll, released Thursday, found that voters overwhelming support preventing anyone on the government's terrorist watch list from purchasing a gun in large numbers. According to the poll numbers, 86 percent favor the ban, with just 12 percent against it, including 83 percent of households where there is a gun.
The numbers are not surprising to Connecticut lawmakers who have been the leading the fight to change gun laws following the Sandy Hook tragedy. All local Democratic lawmakers recently led a sit-in on the U.S. House of Representatives floor launched by Rep. John Lewis, over the lack of a vote by Republicans on two items, no-fly, no buy and expanded background checks.
“The latest Quinnipiac Poll confirms what I’ve been saying for some time: what we’re asking for is not controversial outside of Washington. The American people overwhelmingly support responsible fixes to prevent terrorists from buying guns and to expand background checks to all commercial gun sales. If the Speaker scheduled a vote on these commonsense solutions in the House, they would pass with bipartisan support," said Rep. Elizabeth Esty (D-CT 5th District).
"Just yesterday, during our National Day of Action, I stood with the families of three victims from the shooting at Sandy Hook. We owe it to their families, and the families of all those who’ve lost loved ones to senseless gun violence, to honor their loss and their grief with a vote. I won't stop pushing until Congress finally acts," she added.
The poll also found that most voters believe that new guns laws can be passed without interfering with gun rights. Voters answering the poll said 64 to 28 percent, including 59 to 33 percent among voters in gun households, that such new laws are possible.
The numbers match what U.S. Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT), who recently led a 15-hour filibuster on the Senate floor in support of the new laws, has been saying.
“The poll released today is further proof of what we already know – that the only place these issues are controversial is in Washington. Everywhere else, they’re seen as common sense by 90 percent of Americans,” Murphy said.
Poll officials said that Americans are clearly worried about guns and want lawmakers to take action with voters supporting stricter gun laws 54 to 42 percent, the highest level of support ever for this generic question. Women show even higher numbers with 63 to 33 percent in favor, while men opposed with 51 to 45 percent.
Results for more specific gun questions are:
- 59 - 37 percent support for a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons;
- 47 percent say an assault weapons ban would help reduce gun violence and 49 percent say it would not be effective;
- 62 - 35 percent believe that expanding background checks would help reduce gun violence;
- 57 percent say it's too easy to buy a gun in the U.S., while 36 percent say it's about right;
- 52 percent say the U.S. would be less safe if more people carried guns, while 40 percent say the U.S. would be safer;
- 38 percent have a favorable opinion of the National Rifle Association, with 36 percent unfavorable.
The poll, conducted June 21 to June 27, surveyed 1,610 registered voters nationwide.
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