Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Gun Polls Find Agreement, Opposition on Key Issues

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

Gun Polls Find Agreement, Opposition on Key Issues

Article excerpt

A recent poll found one hot political item on which Republicans, Democrats and independents agree. Last week Pennsylvania's Quinnipaic University reported 94 percent of Republicans, 96 percent of Democrats and 94 percent of independents support "requiring background checks for all gun buyers." Support remained between 94 and 98 percent despite the respondents' age, education level, where they lived and whether they had children or owned guns. When the question was rephrased, "Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers?" the results remained the same.

In Pennsylvania, a federal background check is not required for purchases of long guns from private, non-licensed gun sellers such as hunters and target shooters.

The Quinnipaic poll showed less agreement on other gun-related questions: 60 to 35 percent favor a nationwide ban on the sale of military-style semi-automatic rifles; 59 to 39 percent favor a nationwide ban on the sale of magazines holding more than 10 rounds. The Jan. 22-27 telephone poll surveyed 1,221 registered voters in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey, Connecticut, Florida, Ohio and Virginia, with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

National Rifle Association executive vice-president Wayne LaPierre said last week he opposes universal background checks. "My problem with background checks," he said at a U.S. Senate gun control hearing Wednesday, "is you're never going to get criminals to go through universal background checks."

A recent NRA-commissioned poll of its members found 92 percent oppose the creation of a federal law banning the sale of firearms between private citizens. The poll also reported 93 percent of NRA members oppose requiring gun owners to register with the federal government, 91 percent support laws preventing the mentally ill from keeping firearms, 92 percent oppose gun confiscation via mandatory buy-back laws, and 89 percent oppose banning semi-automatic rifles. The telephone poll of 1,000 NRA members was conducted Jan. 13-14 with a margin of error plus or minus 3.09 percent.

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