After Tucson, New Poll Shows Americans Support Tougher Laws on Guns

By Mayors Against Illegal Guns - JAN. 18, 2011

The bi-partisan coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns today announced the results of a new poll conducted jointly by Momentum Analysis, a polling firm with Democratic clients, and American Viewpoint, a polling firm with Republican clients. The poll reveals that Americans and gun owners strongly support a sensible approach to gun laws that protects the Second Amendment rights of law-abiding Americans while also keeping criminals and other dangerous people from accessing firearms.

“The shootings in Tucson have reopened the debate on guns in America,” said Margie Omero, President of Momentum Analysis. “After the events in Arizona, half of Americans now say they support stricter gun laws, only seven percent say that weakening gun laws is the answer, and overwhelming majorities support many specific gun policy proposals to keep guns out of the hands of criminals and other dangerous persons.”

“Large majorities of Americans agree with the 2008 Supreme Court ruling that the Second Amendment confers an individual right to own guns – and Americans strongly oppose efforts to ban handguns,” said Bob Carpenter, Vice President of American Viewpoint. “But Americans and gun owners also strongly support requiring a background check for every single gun sale, and improving the way background check data is collected, shared, and used. Most Americans view these goals – protecting gun rights for the law-abiding and keeping guns from criminals – as compatible.”

“This poll shows that, particularly in the wake of yet another tragic mass shooting, Americans and gun owners agree with our efforts to fix our federal background check system and close loopholes,” said coalition co-chair and New York Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg.
“If the tragedy in Tucson was not enough to ensure that Congress finally takes action, we hope this clear call for reform from the public will add to the groundswell of support.”

“This poll only reinforces what more than 550 mayors have known all along,” said coalition co-chair and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino. “That we can support the rights of responsible, law-abiding people to own guns and at the same time do much more to keep illegal guns out of the hands of criminals, drug abusers, the mentally ill and other dangerous people. The Supreme Court has answered the Second Amendment question on the rights to own a gun but Americans are tired of Washington’s failure to produce laws and policies that reflect their consensus on responsible gun ownership.”

Nine out of Ten Americans Support Efforts to Connect the Dots and get Every Record Into the Gun Background Check Database

  • 90 percent of Americans and 90 percent of gun owners support fixing gaps in government databases that are meant to prevent the mentally ill, drug abusers and others from buying guns.
  • 91 percent of Americans and 93 percent of gun owners support requiring federal agencies to share information about suspected dangerous persons or terrorists to prevent them from buying guns.
  • 89 percent of Americans and 89 percent of gun owners support full funding of the law Congress passed unanimously and President George W. Bush signed after the Virginia Tech shootings to put more records in the background check database.

Americans Broadly Support Closing Loopholes and Gaps in Background Checks

  • 86 percent of Americans and 81 percent of gun owners support requiring all gun buyers to pass a background check, no matter where they buy the gun and no matter who they buy it from.
  • 89 percent of Americans and 85 percent of gun owners support a law to require background checks for all guns sold at gun shows.

Americans Overwhelmingly Believe the Second Amendment Protects a Responsible,
Law-abiding Individual’s Right to Own Handguns

  • 79 percent of Americans and 90 percent of gun owners believe the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to own guns and is not limited to protecting the rights of state militias.
  • 80 percent of Americans and 90 percent of gun owners oppose a law that would ban the sale of all handguns.

The survey of 1,003 registered voters was conducted by Momentum Analysis, a polling firm with Democratic clients, and American Viewpoint, a polling firm with firm with Republican clients. Interviews were conducted from January 11 through January 13, 2011. The margin of error is plus or minus three percentage points. The survey is demographically representative of registered voters across the country.

About Momentum Analysis

Momentum Analysis is a Washington, DC-based polling firm serving Democratic candidates and progressive organizations. Its clients include the Democratic National Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, EMILY’s List, the National Education Association, and candidates for office from City Council to US Senate. In 2010, the firm’s bipartisan work on Walmart moms defined and describe that swing voting bloc. President Margie Omero is also a Huffington Post/ blogger.

About American Viewpoint
American Viewpoint is one of the most widely respected public opinion research and strategic message consulting firms in the United States. Founded in 1985 by Linda DiVall, the company has established a national reputation for outstanding quantitative and qualitative research in politics, corporate affairs, public policy and government relations. American Viewpoint has advised Republican campaigns and groups, including McCain-Palin '08, Bush-Cheney '04, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Senator Roy Blunt and Senator Johnny Isakson. Corporate clients have included AT&T, CBS News, International Paper and Pfizer.

About Mayors Against Illegal Guns
Since its inception in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 mayors to over 550. Mayors Against Illegal Guns has united the nation’s mayors around these common goals: protecting their communities by holding gun offenders and irresponsible gun dealers accountable, demanding access to trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking, and working with legislators to fix gaps, weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other prohibited purchasers to get guns.


Founder of Independence USA PAC, Founder of Everytown for Gun Safety, Co-founder of the Partnership for a New American Economy, and Co-chair of Building America's Future


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