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New Polling: Voters are Nearly United In Support for Expanded Background Checks

March 10, 2021

According to new polling from Morning Consult, “84 percent of voters support requiring all gun purchasers to go through a background check – making the measure more popular than the widely backed $1.9 trillion COVID-19 relief plan.” 

This polling comes the week that the House will vote on that very policy, H.R. 8 –– a bipartisan bill to require background checks on all gun sales. Earlier this week, the Biden-Harris administration called for the House to pass this bill, and last month, President Joe Biden released a statement saying “[t]he time to act is now” on gun safety.  Background checks on all gun sales is Everytown’s top legislative priority for this Congress.

Additional findings from are detailed in this chart from Morning Consult: 

This polling mirrors other recent polling, which found that 93% of voters, 89% of Republicans, and 87% of gun owners support background checks on all gun sales. There’s a good reason why background checks enjoy such broad support: they save lives. But because of loopholes in our current laws, nearly a quarter of Americans who obtain firearms do so without getting a background check. Each year, 1.2 million online ads offering firearms for sale are listed that would not legally require a background check to be completed. And nearly 1 in 1 in 9 prospective buyers who respond to these ads would not pass a background check.

Requiring background checks on all gun sales is especially critical during COVID-19: gun sales skyrocketing in stores and in the online market for unlicensed sales, meaning that hundreds of thousands of guns are likely being sold through unlicensed sellers with no background check and no questions asked. 

If passed into law, H.R. 8 would become the first meaningful federal gun safety legislation enacted in 25 years. While this legislation moves through Congress, the White House can also address this crisis: As detailed in this Everytown roadmap, there are important steps the Biden-Harris administration can take to strengthen the background system, including clarifying the definition of who is “engaged in the business” of selling guns to clearly capture high-volume sellers.

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