Vast Majority of Americans Support Background Checks for Gun Purchases

Carl Bialik in FiveThirtyEight: “In dozens of polls over the past two decades, Americans have been asked if they support expanding background checks for the purchase of firearms … Consistently, at least 70 percent of Americans said they favor background checks. Often, far more do. In October, a CBS News/New York Times poll found that 92 percent of Americans — including 87 percent of Republicans — favor background checks for all gun buyers.”

“The popularity of background checks transcends age, political party, gender, education and even gun ownership. Last month, Quinnipiac University asked Americans whether they support a law requiring background checks for sales at gun shows or online. At least 84 percent of every one of 15 subgroups — including Republicans, men, gun owners and people living in rural areas — said ‘yes.'”

“Summarize all the conflicting views on gun control into one question, as the Pew Research Center has done, and you find a nation evenly split since 2010. Since 1993, Pew has asked the following question: ‘What do you think is more important — to protect the right of Americans to own guns or to control gun ownership?’”


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  • looks like the trend is toward gun control

    • pisher

      But it’s a very specific trend–towards making sure ‘the wrong people’ don’t get guns. Trouble is, as with the San Bernardino shooters, they can just get somebody else to buy the guns for them.

      I mean, let’s do it, but it’s not an effective national assault weapons ban, is it? It doesn’t restrict what you can buy, just how quickly you can buy it. That’s why people are mainly okay with it. But the NRA won’t be.

  • embo66

    Given all this evidence that background checks are so universally supported, I wonder how the Republicans are going to argue against them this time out.

    • pisher


      I mean, it’s not really an argument, but it’s what passes for one in Republican politics these days.

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