Gallup Poll: Americans Oppose Assault Weapons Ban, but Support Universal Background Checks

by S.H. Blannelberry , Guns.com  |  published on December 30, 2012

Assault Weapons

A new Poll conducted by Gallup shows that 51 percent of Americans oppose a ban on semiautomatic firearms known as ‘assault’ rifles, proving that those who wish to renew a Clinton-era Assault Weapons Ban have a tough hill to climb.

By contrast, only 44 percent favor an outright ban on ‘assault weapons,’ a slight but statistically insignificant jump from the 42 percent that supported the ban in the last Gallup poll conducted on Dec. 18.

In other good news for gun owners, a record-high 74 percent of poll participants oppose a ban on handguns, or as the poll stated, oppose preventing anyone but the police or other authorized officials from owning a handgun.

Though, it wasn’t all good news. The poll also showed momentum building for overall tougher gun laws, including two particular measures: universal background checks and a ban on high-capacity magazines.

According to the poll, 58 percent of those surveyed believe in strengthening laws covering the sale of firearms, which is up from 43 percent in 2011.

With respect to the specific issue of the inaptly named ‘gun show loophole,’ 92 percent favored closing this putative loophole (It’s unclear, based on the funky wording of the Gallup poll, whether or not Gallup knows precisely what the ‘gun show loophole’ refers to, i.e. sales that occur between private citizens. Under current federal law, all FFLs have to be licensed with the ATF and conduct background checks before making a sale to any citizen).

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