Support for gun control has surged during the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a new national survey commissioned by Everytown for Gun Safety, the gun-control organization largely funded by failed 2020 presidential candidate Michael Bloomberg.
Everytown tapped the pollsters at Global Strategy Group last month to ask 1,500 Americans whether gun control was “more important” now than it was before the outbreak.
Specifically, two issues were highlighted in the poll (conducted April 17-22): background checks on all gun sales (aka universal background checks) and disarming domestic abusers.
Pollsters then followed up by informing the respondents of the recent spike in gun sales since the country began to go on lockdown to monitor whether that info impacted their stance.
Estimates suggest as many as 4.3 million firearms were sold in March and April, approximately double the number during the same time last year.
Main survey results were as follows:
- 60% of Americans said that requiring background checks on all gun sales was “more important” now than before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
- After being informed of the spike in gun sales, 70% of those surveyed said that requiring background checks on all gun sales was “more important” now than before the pandemic.
- 68% of Americans said that passing legislation to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers was “more important” now than before the start of the coronavirus pandemic.
- After being informed of the spike in gun sales, 72% of those surveyed said legislation to disarm domestic abusers was “more important” now than before the pandemic.
“This poll makes it clear that for voters across the country, and across political parties, the pandemic has only intensified their desire for common-sense gun laws,” said John Feinblatt, president of Everytown for Gun Safety. “Support for gun safety is surging, along with the electoral prospects of candidates who pledge to do everything in their power to prevent gun violence.”
“Americans are now facing dual crises — the global health pandemic, and the gun violence crisis, which shows no signs of stopping,” said Shannon Watts, founder of Moms Demand Action. “This polling makes clear that Americans will prioritize gun safety when they vote in November.”
One can argue that this poll is completely worthless. Convicted domestic abusers are already prohibited from possessing firearms under federal law and anyone engaged in the business of selling firearms must conduct an FBI (NICS) background check on the purchaser before the transfer can be completed.
In other words, there are laws already on the books that satisfy the widespread public demand for those policies. Ergo, no new gun control is necessary!
With respect to background checks, there is an exception for private sales or transfers in certain states. Meaning, neighbors, hunting buddies, family members, etc., can sell or transfer a firearm to one another without having to run a NICS check.
However, it’s illegal for one to sell or transfer a firearm to someone he or she knows or has reason to believe is a prohibited person. A neighbor or hunter or family member would be liable under federal law if he sold a firearm to someone he knew was a felon, a minor, a domestic abuser, a drug addict, etc.
Bottom line is that we have all the laws we need to arrest, charge, and incarcerate those individuals intent on doing harm to others. We just need to do a better job of enforcing ’em.
And, short of that, we need to ensure that responsible and law-abiding Americans have the means to defend themselves when the system fails.