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Majority want stricter gun laws, strong support for background checks

  • McClatchy Newspapers
  • Published Thursday, Feb. 7, 2013, at 7:24 a.m.

Voters want stricter gun control laws--but not by an overwhelming majority.

A new Quinnipiac Polling Institute national survey shows that by a 52-43 percent margin, people want tougher laws.

Support for specifics varies:

--56–39 percent support for a ban on the sale of assault weapons, but voters in gun households are opposed, 52-44 percent.

--56–40 percent support for a ban on the sale of high capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds.

--46 percent say the National Rifle Association better reflects their view on guns, with 43 percent saying President Barack Obama is closer to their view.

--92-7 percent support for tough background checks.

"There is no significant voter opposition to requiring background checks for gun buyers,” said Quinnipiac assistant director Peter Brown, “and there is support for banning high volume ammunition clips and assault weapons, with the issue pretty much falling along party lines.

“The politics of gun policy are also unclear," he added. "Despite the huge news media coverage of the issue since the Newtown shooting, only 37 percent of voters are more likely to vote for a congressman who votes to ban sales of assault rifles, while 31 percent are less likely and 30 percent say it would not affect their vote. And it’s worth noting that voters narrowly believe that the NRA more represents their views on guns than does President Obama.”

The survey was conducted January 30 – February 4. Some 1,772 registered voters were polled. Margin of error is +/- 2.3 percentage points.

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