This Poll Defies Conventional Wisdom About Gun Control And The NRA

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A new poll conducted by Republican Party strategist and pollster Frank Luntz finds that, surprisingly, most NRA members and gun owners support more restrictive members on gun ownership.The poll was commissioned by Mayors Against Illegal Guns, which is co-chaired by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg.

The poll, which surveyed 945 gun owners, was conducted in May, long before last Friday’s horrific movie-theatre shooting during a screening of “The Dark Knight Rises” in Aurora, Colorado. Still, some of the findings are pretty surprising:

  • 87 per cent of NRA members agree that support for Second Amendment rights goes hand-in-hand with keeping guns out of the hands of criminals.
  • 74 per cent support requiring criminal background checks of anyone purchasing a gun.
  • 79 per cent support requiring gun retailers to perform background checks on all employees.
  • 75 per cent believe concealed carry permits should only be granted to applicants who have not committed any violent misdemeanours, including assault.
  • 74 per cent believe permits should only be granted to applicants who have completed gun safety training.
  • 71 per cent believe people on terror watch lists should be prevented from purchasing guns (actually, this is kind of surprising in how low it ranks). 

Bloomberg has been pushing for more discussion on gun control in the wake of the shooting

“Gun owners and NRA members overwhelmingly support common sense steps to keep guns out of the hands of criminals, even as the NRA leadership continues to oppose them,” Bloomberg said in a release announcing the poll results.  “It’s time for those in Washington – and those running for President – to stand with gun owning citizens who are concerned about public safety, rather than influence peddling lobbyists who are obsessed with ideology.”

The NRA has opposed most restrictive measures. In 2009, they opposed a bill sponsored by Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.), saying it would target “loyal Americans” and calling the bill’s seven co-sponsors “extreme gun control supporters.”

According to the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence and Mayors Against Illegal Guns, 40 per cent of all guns sales — at gun shows or between private individuals — don’t pass background checks. But the NRA has opposed these as an invasion of privacy. 

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