Support for Universal Background Checks for Gun Purchases Hits All-Time High

“You rarely if ever see near-unanimity like this…. Crickets in DC, as usual.”

A collection of hand guns on display at the NOVA Armory, a gun shop in Arlington, Virginia. Rex Features/AP

A new Quinniapac University opinion poll shows that support for universal background checks has reached an all-time high. The study, released Wednesday, found that 95 percent of American voters favor uniform background checks for gun purchases, including 94 percent of those who live in households with guns, marking the highest levels of support since the university started asking the question in 2013.

The poll was conducted from November 7 to 13, just a few days after the Sutherland church massacre in Texas and a little more than a month after the mass shooting in Las Vegas, in which the shooter used a “bump stock” modification that enabled his semi-automatic rifles to fire as if they were fully automatic machine guns.

“With each American gun massacre, there is stronger voter support for tighter gun control measures,” Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll, said in a statement Wednesday.

The poll also found broad support for other gun control measures. Ninety-one percent of voters support banning the sale of guns to people who have been convicted of a violent crime, 62 percent favor stricter regulation of ammunition sales, and 74 percent support banning modifications that can make semi-automatic firearms function more like a fully automatic weapon. On the whole, 59 percent of voters say that it is currently too easy to buy a gun in the United States. 

“You rarely if ever see near-unanimity like this,” Larry Sabato, the director of the University of Virginia’s Center for Politics, wrote on Twitter. “Broad support for other gun reforms too. Crickets in DC, as usual.”


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