Polling on Assault Weapons

Posted on September 8, 2012

A poll conducted in August 2012 found that 57% of those polled favor a ban on the manufacture, sale and possession of semi-automatic assault weapons.1

A June 2011 poll confirms support for a national assault weapons ban:  62% of Americans polled support a federal ban on the sale of assault weapons.2

A January 2011 poll of registered voters found that 81% of respondents favor the tracking of bulk purchases of assault rifles; guns that recently have become the weapon of choice of Mexican drug cartels.3

Another poll conducted in January 2011 found that 63% of respondents favor a ban on assault weapons.  A majority of gun-owning households – 54% – also support such a ban.4

A poll conducted shortly after the 2008 presidential election found that 65% of Americans, including 60% of gun owners, favor banning military style assault weapons.5

A 2006 poll found that 82% of Americans support restrictions on the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons.6

In 2004, a poll of likely presidential election voters found that 77% of overall respondents, and 66% of gun owning respondents, supported renewal of the now-expired federal assault weapon ban.7

Sixty-seven percent of Field & Stream readers do not consider assault weapons to be legitimate sporting guns.8

  1. CNN/ORC International poll (Aug. 9, 2012), at http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2012/images/08/09/rel7a.pdf. []
  2. Time Magazine/ABT Poll, Most Agree US Constitution Withstands Test of Time (June 2011), at http://www.srbi.com/Constitution_Poll.html. []
  3. American Viewpoint/Momentum Analysis, Momentum Analysis & American Viewpoint National Survey (for Mayors Against Illegal Guns) (Jan. 2011) at http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/downloads/pdf/maig_poll_01_18_2011.pdf. []
  4. CBS News/New York Times Poll, The Economy, the Budget Deficit and Gun Control (Jan. 2011), at http://www.cbsnews.com/htdocs/pdf/Jan11_Econ.pdf?tag=contentMain;contentBody. []
  5. Penn, Schoen, & Berland Associates, Inc. for Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence, Post-Election Analysis: Sensible Gun Laws Builds Bridges not Burns Them to Moderates, McCain, and Even Gun Owners in Post-Heller World (Nov. 18, 2008), available at: http://www.bradycampaign.org/xshare/pdf/memo-11-18-08.pdf. []
  6. Tom W. Smith, National Opinion Research Center (NORC)/University of Chicago, Public Attitudes Towards the Regulation of Firearms (Mar. 2007) (discussing the results of the “2006 General Social Survey” NORC/University of Chicago) , at http://www.icpgv.org/pdf/NORCPoll.pdf. []
  7. Americans for Gun Safety, Taking Back the Second Amendment: A Seven-Step Blueprint for Democrats to Promote Responsibility and Win the Gun Vote 7 (Oct. 2003) (citing a national poll of 802 likely 2004 presidential election voters conducted by Penn Schoen & Berland from October 1- 6, 2003, with a +/-3.46% margin of error), at http://www.dlc.org/documents/AGS_Blueprint.pdf. Other polls of likely 2004 presidential election voters found strong support for banning assault weapons. See, e.g., The Harris Poll #69, Majority of U.S. Adults Favors Continuing Ban on Sales of Assault Rifles, According to Latest Harris Poll (Sept. 24, 2004) (71% favored continuing the then-expiring federal ban on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines); National Annenberg Election Survey, Annenberg Public Policy Center, Most of Public Wants the Assault Weapons Ban Extended; So Do Half of NRA Households, Annenberg Data Shows (Apr. 23, 2004) (71% of all respondents – and 64% of gun-owning households – wanted the now-expired federal ban renewed by Congress); Consumer Federation of America, Consumers Strongly Support Renewing and Strengthening the Federal Assault Weapons Ban 3 (Feb. 2004), at http://www.consumerfed.org/pdfs/ASSAULTWEAPONSURVEY2004.pdf (67% favored renewal of the federal ban, with 57% strongly supporting renewal. Among gun owners, 56% supported renewal, with 45% strongly supporting renewal. Furthermore, 65% of Americans supported strengthening the then-existing assault weapons ban, including 51% of gun owners). []
  8. Field & Stream, The 2003 National Hunting Survey, July 2003 (citing an informal survey of 2,897 readers). []