Poll: Support of Background Checks for Gun Sales Remains High

(AP Photo/John Locher, File)

(CN) – Americans remain divided on assault weapons policies even as they largely agree on background checks, according to a new poll published Monday.

The poll, conducted by Monmouth University, found public support of background checks for gun purchases remains significant. Among those polled, 83% say they support comprehensive background checks, even when the sale is private and between two individuals. Just 13% oppose background checks.

Respondents also expressed strong support for “red flag” policies, which allow law enforcement to take away guns from those who show signs of being a danger to the public or themselves. The poll found 75% support “red flag” laws, while only 20% do not.

Support becomes less overwhelming regarding assault weapons regulations. According to the poll, 56% of Americans support banning future sales of firearms classified as assault weapons, while 53% say they oppose mandating buybacks of assault weapons.

Support for an assault weapons ban fell slightly from a Fox News poll after the deadly shooting in El Paso, Texas, in August. That poll found over two-thirds of Americans support the idea of an assault weapons ban – 11 points higher than in Monday’s poll. Support for background checks also dropped, from 90% in the Fox News poll to 83% in Monday’s poll.

Meanwhile, the Monmouth University poll found strong support for the creation of a national gun ownership register, with about two-thirds in favor and a third opposed.

Political divisions crop up as is often the case in the gun debate: 85% of Democrats and 59% of independents support the idea of a national gun register, while only 33% of Republicans can get behind it. Similarly, 86% of Democrats support a ban on assault weapons and only 35% of Republicans feel the same.

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