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Poll: Majority of Americans support stricter enforcement of nation's gun laws

Mothers strongly favor handgun licensing and registration

May 10, 2000
Web posted at: 5:20 p.m. EDT (2120 GMT)

WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Although Americans support many specific gun control proposals by a wide margin, the public is not convinced that new laws are really the answer to reducing gun violence in this country, according to a CNN/USA Today/Gallup Poll

The poll, conducted April 28-30, consisted of interviews with 1,003 adult Americans, including 395 mothers and 318 fathers. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 5 percent, unless otherwise indicated.

When given the choice between new laws or enforcing existing laws, a thin majority say they would prefer to see current gun laws enforced more strictly. Just 44 percent say that they would prefer to have new gun laws pass in addition to enforcing the current laws.

Mothers, however, are strongly in favor of new gun laws rather than relying on the enforcement of existing laws. Six in ten women who have ever had children (including women with adult children) favor new gun laws.

Women who have never had children are split about evenly, and men strongly prefer enforcement of existing laws. Support for new gun laws is even higher among women with children under 18.

It is important to note that individual gun control proposals -- including some which the Million Mom March will focus on -- meet with widespread approval among men and women as well as parents and those with no children.

Mothers may be in a minority when it comes to overall attitudes toward gun control, but the legislation that the organizers of the Million Mom March are calling for meets with widespread approval.

Those polled were asked the following question: In terms of gun laws in the United States, which of the following would you prefer to see happen: Enforce the current gun laws more strictly and not pass new gun laws or; pass new gun laws in addition to enforcing the current laws more strictly?

Which would you rather see?
Enforce existing gun laws
51%
Pass new gun laws
44%
Sampling error: +/-5 percent pts

Which would you rather see?
 
New Laws
Enforcement
Mothers
61%
32%
All others
33%
64%
Sampling error: +/-5 percent pts

Which would you rather see?
 
New Laws
Enforcement
Mothers
61%
32%
Women with no children
47%
50%
Fathers
33%
62%
Men with no children
23%
76%
Sampling error: +/-7.5 percent pts

Which would you rather see?
 
New Laws
Enforcement
Mothers of young children
72%
22%
Mothers of adult children
51%
41%
Women with no children
47%
50%
Sampling error: +/-7.5 percent pts

When it comes to specific gun control proposals, the public is generally supportive. More than nine in 10 favor waiting periods for handgun purchases, so background checks can be conducted.

More than three-quarters of those polled favor the registration of all handguns and mandating built-in trigger locks. Two-thirds favor requiring all handgun owners to obtain a special license. And nearly six in 10 favor a law preventing people from purchasing more than one handgun per month.

Would you favor or oppose the registration of all handguns?
Favor
76%
Oppose
22%
Sampling error: +/-3 percent pts

In addition to registering handguns, would you favor or oppose the federal government requiring all handgun owners to obtain a special licence in order to own handguns?

Favor
69%
Oppose
29%
Sampling error: +/-3 percent pts

Would you favor or oppose a law limiting the number of handguns an individual can purchase to one per month?

Favor
58%
Oppose
40%
Sampling error: +/-3 percent pts

Would you favor or oppose a law requiring that all guns sold in the United States be equipped with built-in trigger locks?

Favor
79%
Oppose
19%
Sampling error: +/-3 percent pts

Do you favor or oppose a five-day waiting period for the purchase of handguns, in order to conduct background checks?

Favor
93%
Oppose
7%
Sampling error: +/-3 percent pts

 
ELECTION 2000

WHAT'S AT STAKE

RACES
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THE STATES
Who are your elected officials? What is the past presidential vote and number of electoral votes in your state? Find out with these state political and election facts.

POLLS
Check out the latest numbers or dig back into the poll archives.

COMMUNITY


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Wednesday, May 10, 2000


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