National poll claims Americans conflicted over firearms issues

Americans are conflicted over firearms issues, according to the results of a new national survey out of Florida’s Saint Leo University Polling Institute.

Close to 25 percent of the 1,015 respondents polled online between March 13-17 said there should be no new gun control laws for any reason and 7.6 percent said firearms should not be owned privately.

According to the pollster, a majority — 60 percent — said there should be additional licensing or permitting and some restrictions on certain firearms like so-called “assault weapons,” a term loathed by the gun rights community, many of whom claim it was invented by politicians to push gun control laws.

Of course, there are those, like gun rights advocate Charles C.W. Cook who says it was the gun industry who created the term as a marketing ploy to make standard weapons seem more sexy.

The term was then picked up by gun control groups like the Violence Policy Center and remains a misnomer in the political battle over guns. “Assault weapons” is often used to describe fully-automatic assault rifles, which are often confused with the semi-automatic AR-style rifle. The uninformed will sometimes conclude that the “AR” stands for “assault rifle,” which it does not. The designator is named for the ArmaLite rifle, after the company that developed it in the 1950s, according to gun industry trade group the National Shooting Sports Foundation.     

Some 78.3 percent of those polled in the St. Leo survey said the issues of gun control and gun rights will be important to them in the general election for president. Almost half of those said the issues would be “very important” to them.

Only 35.1 percent of respondents said they would be more likely to support a presidential candidate who opposes new gun control measures

The number of gun owners in the country has remained relatively steady, with about 49 percent of Americans packing at home in 1960 and 41 percent in recent years, according to Gallup. By the same account, the number of people who favor stricter gun regulation has decreased over the years by more than 20 percent.