Overwhelming Majority of Gun Owners Oppose Universal Background Checks

Overwhelming Majority of Gun Owners Oppose Universal Background Checks

Gun Owners of America recently completed an unscientific poll of its members with respect to “universal background checks” where 24,866 members voted.  The result was that 96% of GOA members opposed “Obama’s universal background checks.”

So many gun owners tried to register their opposition to banning private gun sales that GOA’s server crashed, and many who were opposed this framework for a national gun registry were unable to cast their votes.

In conducting the poll, GOA was careful to lay out both its arguments against the proposal, in addition to Obama’s arguments in support of universal background checks.  Yet, confronted with arguments for both sides, gun owners — many in red states — overwhelmingly rejected the universal background check provision.

GOA’s Communications Director Erich Pratt addressed the seeming disparity between GOA results and those of “mainline” polls like Quinnipiac.

“It makes a lot of difference whether you lead into the question with a seductive trail of bread crumbs,” said Pratt. “Deemphasizing the fact that this is part of Barack Obama’s gun control package also makes a lot of difference in producing the liberal poll results in main-stream polls.  The precise wording of the question also makes a lot of difference.”

Pratt noted that polls which gauge the intensity (or lack thereof) for gun control are much different than candidate polls. “This is not like a ‘will you vote for Obama or Romney?’ type of poll,” Pratt said. “Unlike with universal background checks, the media can’t easily jimmy a presidential poll by the wording of the question.”

Having said that, Pratt stated that several polls clearly show that Americans are not demanding more gun control:

* According to a Fox poll, only 22% of Americans thought gun control would make a difference in cases like Newtown.

* Similar poll results show that only 4% of Americans thought gun control was a major priority — an outcome not considerably different from GOA’s own unscientific poll.

* And the NRA conducted a scientific survey of about 1,000 members and found that only 5% of its members support the universal registry legislation.

But the importance of the GOA poll is that it shows that an overwhelming majority of voters in places like Montana, South Dakota, Arkansas, Louisiana, West Virginia, Virginia, New Hampshire, North Carolina, and Alaska do not support banning private sales of firearms, notwithstanding the efforts of the liberal media to create an impression to the contrary.