Poll finds big support for background checks

88 percent say they support universal background checks, including 85 percent of gun owners

By Jillian Rayfield

Published March 22, 2013 1:40PM (EDT)

    (<a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/gallery-293770p1.html'>Laborant</a> via <a href='http://www.shutterstock.com/'>Shutterstock</a>)
(Laborant via Shutterstock)

According to a survey by Quinnipiac University conducted since the Newtown school shootings, universal background checks have big support, including among gun owners.

Eighty-eight percent say they support background checks, while 10 percent oppose them -- and 85 percent of gun owners say they support them as well.

The poll comes as Sen. Harry Reid put in motion a Senate debate on a gun control bill, which includes background checks and school safety measures. Roll Call reports:

The move appeared aimed at spurring a bipartisan group of senators to rapidly conclude their talks on background checks. Those senators include Democrats Charles E. Schumer of New York and Joe Manchin III of West Virginia and Republicans Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and Mark S. Kirk of Illinois.

Reid is starting the procedural steps needed to introduce the bill Thursday and have it ready in the queue for floor action when senators return from a two-week break for Easter and Passover. That means the bill could come up as early as the week of April 8.

“I hope negotiations will continue over the upcoming break to reach a bipartisan compromise on background checks, and I am hopeful that they will succeed. If a compromise is reached, I am open to including it in the base bill,” Reid said in a statement. “But I want to be clear: In order to be effective, any bill that passes the Senate must include background checks.”

Jillian Rayfield

Jillian Rayfield is an Assistant News Editor for Salon, focusing on politics. Follow her on Twitter at @jillrayfield or email her at jrayfield@salon.com.

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Gun Control Harry Reid Polling Universal Background Checks U.s. Senate