Poll: Public trusts GOP, Obama evenly on gun control

A new poll released Tuesday finds the nation evenly split on whether they trust President Obama or GOP lawmakers more on the contentious issue of gun control.

The ABC News/Washington Post poll found that 42 percent say they trust Obama on the issue, while 41 percent say they trust Republicans in Congress, many of whom have been skeptical of new gun-control measures. 

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The poll also reveals a split between those who are gun owners and those who are not. Respondents who live in gun-owning households trust Republicans more by a 56 to 26 percent split, while those who do not own firearms trust the president over the GOP by 58 to 26 percent.

The president and lawmakers are working to address gun violence and prevent further mass shootings like the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn, which killed 20 children. 

Obama has made a public push to pressure Republicans to act, but many proposals still face strong opposition from the gun lobby and GOP lawmakers who caution that more gun control will not address the larger culture of violence.

The poll, though, found massive support for many gun control measures being pushed by lawmakers.

Ninety-one percent of those surveyed support legislation mandating background checks at gun shows, while 8 percent oppose such measures. 

Under current law, licensed gun dealers must run background checks on buyers. But the so-called “gun show loophole” allows private sales of guns without a background check.

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) has also introduced legislation reinstating a federal assault weapons ban. Fifty-seven percent of those surveyed say they support an assault weapons ban, while 41 percent said they oppose it. 

Feinstein is urging Obama to take a more active role in pushing for measures to ban the sale of military-style weapons 

Many critics of new gun laws say the best way to prevent shooting massacres like the one at Sandy Hook would be to post armed guards in schools. The ABC News/Washington Post poll found a near even split on putting more security officers in schools. Fifty percent said they support placing guards in schools, while 48 percent said they are against the idea. 

The poll also found that a wide majority — 82 percent —  support making illegal gun sales a federal crime, while 15 percent said they are against that proposal. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee recently approved legislation making illegal gun sales a federal offense. 

Overall, the ABC News/Washington Post poll found a slim majority say they support stricter gun laws. The poll found that 52 percent support tougher gun laws, while 42 percent are against instituting more stringent gun-ownership laws. 

The ABC News/Washington Post poll was done between March 7 to March 10 among a random sample of 1,001 adults. It had a margin of error of 3.5 percentage points. The sampling was made up of 33 percent Democrats, 25 percent Republicans and 35 percent independents. 


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