Neither President Obama nor Mitt Romney is eager to pick up a debate over gun control in the wake of last week's deadly rampage in Colorado. But even gun owners believe there's room for incremental steps to restrict some gun ownership.
A new survey shows 82 percent of gun owners -- including 74 percent of National Rifle Association members -- support requiring a criminal background check on anyone trying to purchase a gun. Similarly, 80 percent of gun owners and 79 percent of NRA members said they are in favor of requiring gun retailers to perform background checks on all employees to ensure they are not felons.
Frank Luntz, the Republican pollster and wordsmith, conducted the poll in May on behalf of Mayors Against Illegal Guns, a coalition led by New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg, an independent, and Boston Mayor Thomas Menino, a Democrat. Luntz presented the poll -- of 945 gun owners across the country, half of whom are members of the National Rifle Association -- to the U.S. Conference of Mayors at their June meeting in Orlando. The results of the poll are being released on Tuesday at a Center for American Progress event.
In the wake of the tragedy in Colorado, Bloomberg has called on President Obama and Mitt Romney to make gun violence a larger part of the conversation during the presidential campaign.
The poll also found support for at least some restrictions on concealed-carry permits. Eighty percent of gun owners and 74 percent of NRA members said concealed-carry permits should be granted only to applicants who have completed a gun-safety training program, while 69 percent of gun owners and 63 percent of NRA members said permits should be available only to people 21 and older.
Significant majorities of gun owners and NRA members also support granting concealed-carry permits only to applicants who have not committed any violent misdemeanors and do not have prior arrests for domestic violence.
Eighty-five percent of gun owners and 87 percent of NRA members agreed that support for Second Amendment rights "goes hand-in-hand" with keeping illegal guns away from criminals, the poll finds.
The Luntz Global poll carries a margin of error of plus-or-minus 3.2 percentage points.