Poll: 9 in 10 Americans Support Background Checks

By: CBS.com
By: CBS.com

As the White House continues its campaign to build support for stronger national gun laws, a new poll shows that the overwhelming majority of Americans - 92 percent - support the idea of background checks for all gun buyers.

The Quinnipiac University poll, conducted among 1,772 registered voters from Jan. 30-Feb. 4, showed that support among those living in a gun-owning household was almost equally high: 91 percent of those voters said they support universal background checks.

"There is no significant voter opposition to requiring background checks for gun buyers," said Peter Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute, in a statement. "And there is support for banning high volume ammunition clips and assault weapons, with the issue pretty much falling along party lines." The poll echoes similar findings in a CBS News/New York Times poll taken last month.

The Quinnipiac poll shows that voters support stricter nationwide gun control laws by 52 percent to 43 percent; 56 percent also support a ban on assault weapons and the ban of high capacity magazines holding more than ten rounds.

Among those living in gun-owning households, opposition to a ban on assault weapons outweighed support, by 52 percent to 44 percent. Those voters objected similarly to a ban on high capacity magazines, with 52 percent opposing a ban and 45 percent supporting it.

Forty six percent of registered voters said they identified more strongly with the National Rifle Association's views on guns; 43 percent said the same of President Obama.

The poll, which had a +/- 2.3 percent margin of error, also showed vast support for the Obama administration's recent announcement that it will allow women to serve in combat roles in the military, with 72 percent of registered voters supporting the idea.

Among women, that support was even more pronounced: 77 percent said they favored allowing women to serve in combat roles, while 21 percent opposed the idea. (A CBS News poll released last week showed 66 percent support). Thirty-six percent of men said allowing women in combat would enhance military effectiveness, and 34 percent said it would compromise effectiveness. Women said 46-30 percent that introducing women to combat roles would enhance effectiveness.

Views are more mixed on whether or not women should be included in a draft in the event that one is reinstated. Fifty-two percent of all voters say women should be drafted in that case, with divisions along gender lines. More women oppose than support the idea by a small margin (48-45 percent), while men support drafting women by a margin of 59 percent to 36 percent.

In general, however, most voters (65 percent) oppose reinstating the draft at all.

© 2013 CBS Interactive Inc. All Rights Reserved.


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