New Poll Shows Voters Unequivocally Support Gun Background Checks | Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence

New Poll Shows Voters Unequivocally Support Gun Background Checks

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 3, 2014 Contact: Jennifer Fuson 202-370-8128  

                                                                         Quinnipiac Poll Shows “Words Matter” in Gun Debate 

Washington, D.C. — Today’s Quinnipiac University Poll found that 92 percent of American voters, including 92 percent of gun owners, support requiring background checks on all gun purchases. The poll also showed 86 percent of Republicans support background checks.

“This poll reaffirms what we all already know: American voters, regardless of political persuasion, overwhelmingly support background checks to keep guns out of the hands of criminals. Brady background checks work. Since the enactment of the Brady law 20 years ago, background checks have blocked more than 2.1 million gun purchases by convicted felons, domestic abusers and other dangerous people. It is almost unthinkable that, despite such overwhelming public support, Congress continues to put the interests of the corporate gun lobby ahead of the safety of the American people and will not even vote on expanding background checks to online sales and gun shows. It is time we come together and hold the NRA lapdogs accountable for the lives that are being lost every day because of their despicable behavior,” said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Background checks are currently required when purchasing a gun from a federally licensed gun dealer; however, with guns sold online and at gun shows, people can easily evade background checks.

Approximately 40 percent of all guns sales go unchecked. Background checks help ensure guns are not sold to people who are prohibited from owning guns, like convicted felons, fugitives and domestic abusers. Last year, Congress proposed legislation that would expand background checks to online and gun show sales. The proposed legislation narrowly failed in the U.S. Senate (Manchin –Toomey) in April 2013 by a vote of 54 - 46. The U.S. House also failed to take up a vote on a similar measure (King-Thompson), despite having 189 cosponsors.

The Quinnipiac poll also affirmed that when poll questions move away from specific policy issues like background checks and start using terms like “gun control,” the poll numbers change, with only 50 percent of voters supporting “stricter gun control” laws.

“The corporate gun lobby is trying to pull the wool over the eyes of the American public by turning efforts to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people into a war of semantics,” said Gross, who emphasizes that the organization’s mission is not about taking guns away from law-abiding citizens, but rather keeping them out of the hands of dangerous people, who we all agree should not have them.

“We see from the Quinnipiac poll that words matter. Time and again when actual sensible policy proposals, like background checks, are put before voters, the American voters unequivocally support them,” added Gross. “It is time for Congress to listen.”

The poll also found that 89 percent of voters, including 91 percent of gun owners, support laws that prevent people with mental illness from purchasing guns.