October 31, 2014

Support for gun background checks

A new poll finds 81 percent statewide support for background checks on gun sales.

The Marquette University Law School Poll shows the majority of Wisconsin residents support background checks on private gun purchases and sales at gun shows. “Statewide 81 percent favor those kinds of background checks, compared to 18 percent who are opposed to it. That’s very similar to results of national polling.”

Poll Director Charles Franklin says background checks are supported by gun owners (82%) and non-gun owners (81%). Meanwhile, support drops considerably when the question moves from background checks to banning assault style weapons. There is 54 percent support for such a ban, and 43 percent are opposed.

The poll shows opposition to a ban of assault-type weapons was stronger in more rural regions. Also, support for the ban depends on whether one is a gun owner.

Worth noting 43 percent of those against the ban say they have a gun in their house, 51 say they do not, remaining 6 percent declined to answer. Both men and women favor background checks, but more women than men favor a ban on assault weapons.

The statewide poll of both landline and cell phone users was released Tuesday afternoon. It covers a number of topics, and was conducted March 11-14, 2013. Results are based on a sample of 1060 registered voters and have a margin of error of +/-3.1 percent. An oversample from the city of Milwaukee was included to allow more detailed analysis of respondents in the city.

AUDIO: Jackie Johnson report 2:06