Americans Back Gun Restrictions, Says New Poll

A new Ipsos/Reuters Poll has found strong support from Americans for restrictions on gun ownership and where they can be carried.

91% of those surveyed agreed on the need for background checks before a firearm can be sold. Only 6% said they thought gun ownership should require no or very few restrictions.

Nearly three-quarters of respondents said they supported limiting the sale of automatic weapons, and 62% oppose bringing firearms into churches, workplaces or stores. 69% supported laws like those recently repealed in Virginia that limit the number of guns someone can purchase in a given time frame.

However, nearly half of those surveyed felt crime rates were rising where they lived — even though FBI statistics show violent crime is declining. And most of those surveyed said they supported laws that allow Americans to use deadly force to protect themselves from danger in their own home or in a public place.

87% supported the use of deadly force to protect themselves from danger in their home.

Two-thirds said they backed laws permitting the use of deadly force to protect themselves in public.

Said pollster Chris Jackson:

“Americans do hold to this idea that people should be allowed to defend themselves and using deadly force is fine, in those circumstances. In the theoretical … there’s a certain tolerance of vigilantism.”

The survey included 650 Republicans, 752 Democrats and 520 independents. The precision of the Reuters/Ipsos online poll is measured using a credibility interval and this poll has a credibility interval of plus or minus 2.6 percentage points for all respondents.

Next week, victims of gun violence will converge on Capitol Hill to challenge Congressional leaders and members to keeps guns out of the hands of dangerous people.

The lobbying effort is linked to the anniversaries of the mass shootings at Virginia Tech and Columbine High School. It is led by Colin Goddard, who survived being shot four times in 2007, and includes Tom Mauser, whose 15-year-old son Daniel was killed in the Columbine High School massacre on April 20, 1999, and Sherialyn Byrdsong, whose husband Ricky was killed on July 2, 1999 by a white supremacist.

Said Goddard:

“Time and again after high-profile shootings, we’ve heard members of Congress say that now is not the ‘appropriate’ time to discuss legislation to prevent these tragedies. Well, 32 Americans are murdered every single day in this country. We want to know: When will it be ‘appropriate’ to talk about keeping us safe? We are tired of living with the tragedy of gun violence, and we want Congress to act now to protect us and keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people. We won’t rest until they do.”

Brady Campaign President Dan Gross said that thousands of Americans are dead “because the gun lobby has made it easy for dangerous people to get, carry, and use guns.”

The Brady Campaign is organizing to stop bills it’s calling the “George Zimmerman Armed Vigilante Act.” The Senate bills, similar to one which passed the House late last year, would allow dangerous people to carry guns anywhere in the US, even though those states’ concealed carry laws would make it highly unlikely that someone like Zimmerman would be granted a permit to carry a gun in public.

Related stories:

Zimmerman a “Poster Child” For Gun Lobby

GOP Convention: Water Pistols Are a Threat, Actual Guns are OK

States Allow the Mentally Ill to Regain Gun Rights

Picture by TW Collins


Nick Andrews
Nico Smart3 years ago

The terms 'online poll' and 'credibility' are never to be used together in the same discussion, let alone the same sentence. You want to know what kind of background check is supported by the majority of Americans and those worldwide? Checking the background of your target before squeezing the trigger. That makes sense. Anything else is a feel-good but ineffective sham.

Aileen, try to ban guns and you will get a lot of dead law enforcement officers and politicians. It would not affect crime at all, except to increase it dramatically.

Eugene Pack
Eugene Pack3 years ago

Wow David I couldnt agree with you more on most of your postings. But hey if government wont listen to the people and you think its time to take OUR back how do you propose doing that ?

Exactly what the Second Amenedment was and still is for. If you actually believe what you type then you my friend have an obligation to stand up and take back OUR government. I ask you how will you do that without the very guns you hate and would have me give up ? Oh wait I know we all sit here and complain on the internet that will wake those polititions up.

Your very own statements prove the point its not about guns. Its about a corrupt government and peoples loss of values. I went to school in the 60s and 70s and we had bullies, drugs, and guns in the home, yup even those nasty ones with bayo lugs and pistol grips oh I wonder how I made it through school without going on a shooting spree ? Oh wait I know I KNEW BETTER AND HAD RESPECT FOR OTHERS !

Continue to blame the gun as pressure cooker bombs explode in the street killers will kill no matter how many laws you pass. Yet good people would harm no one even if murder wasnt illegal.

David King
David King3 years ago

When the Senate and Congress that we hire (and pay) refuses to do our bidding over that of the NRA... Then we have reached the bottom!

Until we have campaign finance reform...

Especially for the big oil companies, The NRA, the American war machine companies, Wall Street, and many companies in the health industry. We continue to see legislation that makes no "common-sense" for the American people, our economy, our environment, our safety, our future, etc...
BUT not only does this legislation get drawn up by the hired lackeys (ALEC or the NRA) for these companies, BUT IT GETS PASSED (even in a Democratic controlled senate).

Democrats (I believe) are less likely to KILL the golden goose than Republicans, but they are still responsible for giving these companies more power, more money, more permission to destroy our Earth,and more permission to poison ALL it's inhabitants to make more profit.

This is a difficult problem to solve, BUT WE HAVE TO!

It really is about our survival, and not just about perpetuating the American way of life...

David King
David King3 years ago

I hope this helps!!!

For too long, America has watched helplessly as the the Senate became the place where good bills go to die. The ridiculous, outdated, undemocratic filibuster means that majority rule is turned on its head, and the stubbornness of 41 senators is enough to block the hard work and good will of 59 others. And with the Republican minority using the filibuster at an unprecedented pace, work and progress ground to a halt. Harry Reid tried a "handshake agreement" deal with Senate Republicans earlier this term, and it has been a colossal failure. Harry Reid can change this rule, and he does not need 60 votes to do it. Republicans will howl and complain, but tough. It's time -- past time -- to restore basic democracy to the Senate. And besides, it doesn't take a rocket scientist to realize that if the Republicans get back the majority, they won't hesitate to end it themselves. Send Harry Reid a message. Tell him to fix the filibuster.


David King
David King3 years ago

part two:

I am more committed to this fight than ever, and I am never giving up. I know you won't either. Together, we will continue to support candidates who will stand up against the NRA and with America's children and families.

Click here to urge the 45 Senators -- 41 Republicans and four Democrats who voted against 90% of the American people last Wednesday -- to reconsider their vote and stand with the American people in support of commonsense gun violence prevention measures.


David King
David King3 years ago

How do we just shrug our shoulders and accept this level of senseless violence, when we can take concrete steps to minimize the loss of innocent lives -- right now? How do gun lobbyists, and the senators in their pockets, flat out lie and suggest that reform would lead to a national gun registry, when the bill explicitly states that is prohibited?

How do 90% of the Republican Senators in Congress vote against something that 90% of the American people -- and 85% of gun owners -- support?

Click here to urge the 45 Senators -- 41 Republicans and four Democrats who voted against 90% of the American people last Wednesday -- to reconsider their vote and stand with the American people in support of commonsense gun violence prevention measures.

This isn't the first time we've seen senators do the bidding of a few powerful, money-backed special interest groups at the expense of the majority of American families -- but this is an all-time low.

It's downright shameful that these senators express their condolences for victims' families, yet choose not to stand up to the NRA when given a clear opportunity to prevent another tragedy like Newtown.

Three days after Newtown, Senator Mitch McConnell took to the Senate floor and said, "There's literally nothing we wouldn't do for our kids." But then yesterday, he turned around and voted against one of the simplest and most commonsense measures to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill.

Eugene Pack
Eugene Pack3 years ago

Figures the anti gunner posts are gone and his email is invalid. Troll !

Eugene Pack
Eugene Pack3 years ago

The Second Ammendment isnt about hunting and if anyone thinks expanded background checks will stop bad people from doing bad things then go ahead and give up your freedom, NOT MINE !

Do you really trust your governenment ?

michael g o'leary
michael o'leary3 years ago

hey aslan a. this is for you and all the others that hate guns. A Well Regulated Militia, Being Necessary To The Security Of A Free State, The Right Of The People To Keep And Bear Arms Shall Not Be Infringed. what part of Shall Not Be Infringed that you don't understand. it's as plain and simple as it can be. "a person that is armed is a citizen, a disarmed person is a subject". gun control worked great in europe during ww2 and it also works great in red china and the soviet union and cuba and north korea and mexico. it worked out real well for the japanese as they were on their way at taking over all of asia and the pacific. the people of australlia had their guns taken from them and now when the criminals want to break into a house or rob a store or a person,the government has made their job alot easier. the same thing is happening in the uk as well. STUPID!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Christopher M.
Christopher M.3 years ago

Steve r cite source for Japan did not invade armed America