While the results of a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday showed that a majority of gun owners believe that universal background checks could lead to confiscation of legal guns, the poll also showed strong support for an expansion of background checks.
The poll found that 53 percent of voters in households with guns believe the government will use the information gained from background checks in the future to confiscate legally-owned guns, while 34 percent disagree.
Nonetheless, 88 percent of voters in households with guns said they support requiring background checks for all gun buyers compared to just 11 percent that are opposed.
Among all voters, 91 percent support universal gun background checks, while 8 percent are opposed. Forty-eight percent of all voters said the background checks could lead to confiscation versus 38 percent that disagree.
"In every Quinnipiac University poll since the Newtown massacre, nationally and in six states, we find overwhelming support, including among gun owners, for universal background checks," said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
He added, "American voters agree with the National Rifle Association, however, that these background checks could lead someday to confiscation of legally-owned guns."
The poll said 61 percent of Republicans and 51 percent of independents believe the background checks will lead to confiscation, while 54 percent of Democrats said they will not.
"The question is how many of these voters fear confiscation as an abuse of government power and how many are hoping the government uses confiscation to get more guns off the street," Brown said.
The release of the Quinnipiac poll results comes as the Senate prepares to debate new gun control legislation later this month.
Last month, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., introduction a gun control bill that includes provisions to expand background checks, improve school safety and reduce gun trafficking.
While a controversial assault weapons ban was dropped from the legislation, Reid promised that the chamber would vote on restoring the proposal to the bill.
However, a number of Republican Senators have threatened to filibuster any bill that enacts additional restrictions on gun rights.
The Quinnipiac survey of 1,711 registered voters was conducted March 26th through April 1st and has a margin of error of plus or minus 2.4 percentage points.
by RTT Staff Writer
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