Majority of Arizonans favor limits on who can get access to guns

One gets the impression listening to some folks in the state legislature that Arizona wants every baby born in the state (legally) to own an automatic weapon….no regulations whatsoever on gun ownership.

But maybe the  impression Arizonans aren’t willing to accept reasonable regulation of guns is not true.

Arizonans may in fact be more moderate than the news accounts of state legislative efforts to allow guns on college campuses….

A new poll by the bipartisan coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns found that 83 Percent of Arizonans and 75 Percent of Gun Owners Support Requiring All Gun Buyers to Pass a Background Check – no matter where they buy the gun or who they buy it from.

In other words…gun shows would have to require background checks.

Other results of the poll:

 91 percent of Arizonans and 91 percent of gun owners support requiring federal agencies to share information with each other about suspected dangerous persons or terrorists, in order to prevent them from buying guns.

 88 percent of Arizonans and 86 percent of gun owners support fully funding the NICS Improvement Act, the law passed after the Virginia Tech shooting to prevent people with a history of mental illness from buying guns.

 77 percent of Arizonans and 72 percent of gun owners support requiring gun dealers to notify state and local police when someone fails a background check when buying a gun.

 85 percent of Arizonans and 85 percent of gun owners support prohibiting people on the terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns.

 75 percent of Arizonans and 71 percent of gun owners support tracking bulk purchases of semi-automatic assault rifles, the weapon of choice of Mexican drug cartels.

 69 percent of Arizonans and 56 percent of gun owners oppose proposals to allow carrying concealed guns on college campuses.

 75 percent of Arizonans and 72 percent of gun owners oppose state proposals to allow carrying of concealed guns in government buildings, including courthouses and the state legislature.

 Arizonans Support Closing Loopholes and Gaps in the Background Check System

 82 percent of Arizonans and 78 percent of gun owners support a law to require background checks for all guns sold at gun shows.

 83 percent of Arizonans and 75 percent of gun owners support requiring all prospective buyers to pass a background check, no matter where they buy the gun and no matter who they buy it from.

Press Release:

 

POLL:  ARIZONANS – INCLUDING GUN OWNERS –

OVERWHELMINGLY SUPPORT FIXING GUN BACKGROUND CHECK SYSTEM

83 Percent of Arizonans and 75 Percent of Gun Owners Support Requiring All Gun Buyers to Pass a Background Check –

No Matter Where They Buy the Gun or Who They Buy it From

Strong Majorities of Arizona Gun Owners Support Tougher Laws to Keep Guns Out of the Hands of Dangerous People

While Protecting Rights of Law-Abiding Citizens

75 Percent of Arizonans and 72 Percent of Gun Owners Oppose State Proposals to Allow Carrying a Concealed Gun in Government Buildings, Including Courthouses and the State Legislature

FixGunChecks.org Campaign and more than 250,000 Americans Urge President and Congress to Fix Background Checks

The bipartisan coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns today announced the results of a statewide poll demonstrating overwhelming support among Arizonans for measures designed to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, including fixing glaring loopholes background check system. 

The survey by American Viewpoint found deep support for provisions contained in the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011, introduced today by Senator Chuck Schumer (D-NY).  The legislation, modeled on a proposal by more than 550 mayors in the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition, would create stronger incentives for states to submit records to the National Instant Background Check System (NICS) on individuals who are prohibited from purchasing firearms. The bill would also require federal agencies to certify that they are sharing information about prohibited purchasers and require all gun buyers to pass a background check, with narrow exemptions. 

Full results for the polls are available here: http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/downloads/pdf/poll_slides_2011.pdf

The poll questionnaire is available here: http://www.mayorsagainstillegalguns.org/downloads/pdf/poll_questionnaire.pdf

 “This isn’t just about public opinion, it’s about saving lives and making our families safer,” said Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva. “There’s a reason 83 percent of Arizonans and 75 percent of gun owners support requiring all gun buyers to pass a background check. The loopholes that gave Jared Loughner easy access to deadly weapons have no place in civil society, and ending them will make this country a safer place to sleep at night. Background checks are a simple law enforcement tool to ensure that gun buyers are not a threat to public safety, and opposing them puts one far outside the mainstream. This is a bill whose time has come, and I will strongly support it in the House.”

Tucson shooter Jared Loughner had a history of drug abuse that led military recruiters to reject him in December 2008.  According to U.S. Army sources, he was eventually rejected from enlistment after admitting that “he smoked marijuana to such an extent” that they decided they were “not going to accept a habitual drug abuser into the Army.” 

Any of these facts should have prohibited Loughner from buying a gun for at least one year.  But less than a year later after the military turned him away, he was able to buy a shotgun after passing a background check conducted by the NICS.  A year after that, in November of 2010, he bought another gun-a Glock that he used to kill 6 people and injure 13 others, including Rep. Gabrielle Giffords (D-AZ).

The national gun background check system has serious flaws.  In part because Congress has failed to fully fund the system, millions of records of prohibited purchasers (including criminals, drug abusers, domestic violence offenders and the mentally ill) are still missing from the NICS database.   Arizona has submitted only 5,036 mental health records and only one drug abuse record to the NICS database. 

There is also no federal law requiring background checks for “private sales” by someone other than a licensed dealer.  Around 40 percent of U.S. gun sales are private sales completed at places like gun shows, in parking lots or over the Internet.

The Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011 would provide tough incentives to states to ensure that all records of prohibited buyers are included in the background check system, and that all purchasers have a background check, with reasonable exceptions.

“Debates since the Tucson shooting, ranging from the tone of politics to the gun culture in Arizona, have been conducted in general terms and give the impression of sharp divisions,” said pollster Bob Carpenter of American Viewpoint, which conducted the survey.  “However, our poll today shows that when you get down to the policy details, Arizonans, including gun owners, unite behind their support for proposals ranging from improving reporting of mental health records into the background check system, reporting bulk purchases of assault rifles, and requiring background checks on all gun sales. When you get past controversy and turn to specifics, even gun owners agree that there many places where gun laws need to be fixed.”

The polls were released as the National Drive to Fix Gun Checks campaign truck continues its two-month journey across the United States.  The campaign is holding events in cities across the country with local mayors, families of local gun violence victims and others to harness the growing momentum for reform.  The truck is led by Omar Samaha, whose sister was killed in the 2007 Virginia Tech massacre.  Around 250,000 Americans have signed petitions calling on the President and Congress to fix the gun background check system.  The campaign site can be found here:  http://www.fixgunchecks.org/

Support for Getting Records of Dangerous People into Background Check System and Requiring Background Checks for Every Gun Sale

 91 percent of Arizonans and 91 percent of gun owners support requiring federal agencies to share information with each other about suspected dangerous persons or terrorists, in order to prevent them from buying guns.

 88 percent of Arizonans and 86 percent of gun owners support fully funding the NICS Improvement Act, the law passed after the Virginia Tech shooting to prevent people with a history of mental illness from buying guns.

 77 percent of Arizonans and 72 percent of gun owners support requiring gun dealers to notify state and local police when someone fails a background check when buying a gun.

 85 percent of Arizonans and 85 percent of gun owners support prohibiting people on the terrorist watch lists from purchasing guns.

 75 percent of Arizonans and 71 percent of gun owners support tracking bulk purchases of semi-automatic assault rifles, the weapon of choice of Mexican drug cartels.

 69 percent of Arizonans and 56 percent of gun owners oppose proposals to allow carrying concealed guns on college campuses.

 75 percent of Arizonans and 72 percent of gun owners oppose state proposals to allow carrying of concealed guns in government buildings, including courthouses and the state legislature.

 Arizonans Support Closing Loopholes and Gaps in the Background Check System

 82 percent of Arizonans and 78 percent of gun owners support a law to require background checks for all guns sold at gun shows.

 83 percent of Arizonans and 75 percent of gun owners support requiring all prospective buyers to pass a background check, no matter where they buy the gun and no matter who they buy it from.

 Poll Methodology

 This poll was part of a five-state bi-partisan polling project sponsored by Mayors Against Illegal Guns and managed by Momentum Analysis. The Arizona poll was conducted between February 16 and February 17, 2011 by American Viewpoint, a Republican polling firm.

 About American Viewpoint

 American Viewpoint is one of the most widely respected public opinion research and strategic message consulting firms in the United States. Founded in 1985 by Linda DiVall, the company has established a national reputation for outstanding quantitative and qualitative research in politics, corporate affairs, public policy and government relations. American Viewpoint has advised Republican campaigns and groups, including McCain-Palin ’08, Bush-Cheney ’04, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Congressional Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, Senator Roy Blunt and Senator Johnny Isakson.  Corporate clients have included AT&T, CBS News, International Paper and Pfizer.

 About Mayors Against Illegal Guns

 Since its inception in April 2006, Mayors Against Illegal Guns has grown from 15 mayors to more than 550. Mayors Against Illegal Guns has united the nation’s mayors around these common goals: protecting their communities by holding gun offenders and irresponsible gun dealers accountable, demanding access to trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking, and working with legislators to fix gaps, weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other prohibited purchasers to get guns.

See Arizona Republic version of story.

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About Hugh Holub

Attorney and writer.
This entry was posted in 2nd amendment, arizona politics, gun control, guns. Bookmark the permalink.

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