Poll shows Americans worried, conflicted about guns

An overwhelming majority of “American voters clearly are worried about guns,” according to a poll by Quinnipiac University.

Survey results published June 30 show majority support for topical gun control measures like an assault weapons ban and expanding background checks, but also conflicting opinions about their effects.

Ninety-three percent support background checks for all gun buyers, including 92 percent of gun owners — a measurement on par with numerous other polls taken in recent years. Yet, fewer believe the measure would reduce gun violence. Sixty-three say it would, including 53 percent of gun owners, compared to 35 percent who say it would not.

Measuring opinions on a nationwide assault weapons ban, 59 percent support such a measure with 42 percent of gun owners agreeing. As for real world effects, the survey shows split results. Forty-seven percent believe banning them would reduce gun violence, including 32 percent of gun owners, compared to 49 percent who believe the opposite.

Fifty-four support stricter gun laws, including 39 percent of gun owners. In that same vein, 57 percent think buying a gun is too easy, including 45 percent of gun owners. Whereas 36 percent think it is “about right,” including 48 percent of gun owners.

Sixty-four percent think new gun laws will not interfere with the right to own guns, including 59 percent of gun owners, compared to 28 percent who think it will.

Forty percent think more people carrying guns would make the country safer, including 55 percent of gun owners. Fifty-two percent think it would be less safe, including 34 percent of gun owners.

Eighty-six percent support prohibiting those on a government terror watchlist from buying guns, including 83 percent of gun owners. On that same note, 62 percent think the government has not gone far enough in its anti-terrorism policies to include “restricting the average person’s civil liberties.”

Results show feelings about the National Rifle Association divided fairly proportionate with 38 percent expressing a favorable opinion, 36 percent unfavorable, and 24 percent indifferent.

Quinnipiac questioned 1,610 registered voters from June 21-27, and collected a host of demographic information including whether or not they have a gun in the house, a figure that amounted to 45 percent.