Protecting citizens from gun violence should take precedence over protecting gun owners’ rights, a majority of voters said, according to a Fox News poll released Sunday.
It is more important to protect people from gun violence, 53 percent of respondents said in a survey of registered voters, compared to 40 percent who said it’s more important to protect the individual right to bear arms.
There’s broad support for several gun control measures proponents say would reduce gun violence, the Fox poll also found. Just over 90 percent of registered voters said they favor requiring universal background checks for all gun purchases, including private sales.
Eighty-four percent of voters favored mandatory mental health screening for gun buyers, and 72 percent said they supported raising from 18 to 21 the minimum age to purchase a firearm. Support for banning so-called “assault weapons” — typically understood to mean AR-15-style rifles — was less firm, but a comfortable majority of 60 percent agreed those firearms should be prohibited.
The Fox poll was taken ahead of Saturday’s March for Our Lives in Washington, D.C., where about 200,000 people gathered in support of stricter gun laws in response to February’s Parkland, Fla., school shooting. Supporters also held demonstrations in cities across the country.
Oddly, a majority of Fox News poll-surveyed voters supported new gun control laws, while only 44 percent said the measures would make the U.S. more safe. That was down from eight points from a similar poll taken June 2016.
Boosting security at schools was a popular idea, with about seven in 10 respondents supported putting armed guards in schools. Allowing trained teachers to carry concealed weapons in school, one of President Donald Trump’s favored ideas, was far less so — just 37 percent of the people surveyed said they supported arming teachers.
The Fox News poll was based on landline and cellphone interviews with 1,014 randomly chosen registered voters nationwide and was conducted under the joint direction of Anderson Robbins Research (D) and Shaw & Company Research (R) from March 18-21, 2018. The poll has a margin of sampling error of plus or minus three percentage points for all registered voters.
Read the full poll results here.
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