Aug 18, 2019

Nearly 90% of voters want Congress to expand background checks

An "El Paso Strong" sign at the makeshift memorial for victims of the shooting that left a total of 22 people dead at the Cielo Vista Mall Walmart. Photo: Mark Ralston/AFP/Getty Images

An overwhelming majority of Americans favor Congress expanding background checks for firearm sales, passing "red flag" laws and instituting a voluntary buyback program, according to a WSJ/NBC poll conducted between Aug. 10–14.

The big picture: Overall, the U.S. remains divided over the government's role in gun control, despite widespread support for those specific measures. 50% of Americans say they're more concerned that the government won't go far enough to regulate access to firearms, while 45% are more concerned gun control laws will be too restrictive. Only 46% of the 834 registered voters surveyed have a gun in their household.

Highlights: The poll was conducted after the mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

  • 89% say they favor Congress expanding background checks to all firearm sales and transfers.
  • 76% back "red flag" laws that help law enforcement temporarily remove guns from those deemed to pose a danger to themselves or others.
  • 75% support a voluntary program where the government would buy back firearms that people no longer want.
  • 62% favor banning the sale of selected semi-automatic firearms referred to as assault weapons.
  • 25% support banning the sale of handguns.

Methodology: The NBC/WSJ poll was conducted Aug. 10–14 of 1,000 adults — more than half reached by cellphone — and it has an overall margin of error of ±3.1 percentage points. The margin of error for the 834 registered voters interviewed is ±3.4 percentage points.

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March for Our Lives launches gun control plan to spur 2020 youth vote

David Hogg speaks onstage at March For Our Lives in 2018. Photo: Kevin Mazur/Getty Images for March For Our Lives

March for Our Lives, started by student activists who survived the 2018 mass shooting in Parkland, Fla., launched a massive gun control plan Wednesday aimed at kicking off a youth voting surge in 2020.

Why it matters: It was the influential group's first public action since the recent mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton.

Go deeperArrowAug 21, 2019

Beto O'Rourke brings gun control campaign to gun show

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke in his hometown of El Paso Thursday. Photo: Sandy Huffaker/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke visited a gun show in Arkansas Saturday to talk with firearm owners and vendors about his plan to stop gun violence.

Go deeper: Where 2020 Democrats stand on gun control

Keep ReadingArrowAug 18, 2019

After Texas shootings, 2020 Democrats push for gun control measures

Democratic presidential candidate Beto O’Rourke speaks during the 2020 Public Service Forum hosted in Las Vegas. Photo: Ethan Miller/Getty Images

Democratic presidential candidates joined fellow 2020 hopeful Beto O’Rourke in speaking of the need for gun control on Saturday following a second mass shooting in Texas in August.

"Don’t know what the motivation is, do not yet know the firearms that were used or how they acquired them, but we do know this is f**ked up. We do know that this has to stop in this country. There is no reason that we have to accept this as our fortune, as our future, as our fate, and yet functionally right now we have. ... To have a Congress that will not ... even pass universal background checks or close those loopholes that allow people to buy a firearm when they should not be able to."
— Former Texas congressman Beto O'Rourke at an event in Fairfax Station, Virginia
Go deeperArrowUpdated Sep 1, 2019