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A Majority Of Americans — Even Most Gun Owners — Want Background Checks On Every Gun Sale, Poll Finds

There is a high amount of support — near-universal — for a federal law requiring background checks on every gun sale within the United States.

Photo by Mario Tama/Getty Images

Eighty-nine percent of Americans support such checks, even on sales made privately or at gun shows. Among those who own a gun, there is agreement on the issue: 88 percent of individuals within that group of people also support universal background checks, according to a recent Washington Post/ABC News poll.

There are some splits on other issues. While a majority of Americans support a ban on assault weapons in general (56 percent), most gun owners don’t want to see a ban on that particular type of weaponry.

On the sale of high capacity ammunition accessories, 60 percent of Americans supported a ban on those products. Among gun owners, there was an even split, with 48 percent saying they backed a ban on them and the same number saying they opposed such a ban.

But a majority of Americans overall were clear on their beliefs that assault weapons shouldn’t be in the hands of the citizenry, and were willing to back measures to get rid of them. Fifty-two percent of respondents in the poll, for instance, supported a mandatory gun-buyback program on assault weapons. Just 44 percent opposed the idea.

The poll comes about as lawmakers in Washington D.C. debate the merits of passing stricter gun laws, following a spate of mass shootings since the start of August. A bill requiring stronger background checks on all gun sales has already passed the U.S. House of Representatives, but has stalled in the Senate.

In a tweet from last week, Rep. Ro Khanna (D-California) expressed his belief that an assault weapons ban should also be passed, pointing out to the successes of a previous ban during the 1990s.

“President Clinton banned assault weapons in 1995 and mass shootings fell. Once the ban expired and was never renewed, mass shootings rose by 138 percent,” Khanna stated.



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