EXCLUSIVE POLL: Support for President Obama's gun control proposals, but fight will be tough

(WXYZ) - Using the State of the Union address as his bully pulpit, President Barack Obama turned up the heat in his call for stronger national gun control laws. 

A new EPIC-MRA poll released first to WXYZ and the Detroit Free Press, suggests the President may get some of what he wants but probably not all of it. 

When 600 likely Michigan voters were asked if they were familiar with the gun law changes the President wants, 44 percent said they were opposed , 42 percent said they favor them. But when the same respondents were questioned about very specific gun control changes, the results varied. 

A large majority, 86 percent, support requiring background checks before anyone could purchase firearms at gun shows. Only 12 percent opposed background checks.  

Fifty-eight percent say they would welcome a law banning the sale and possession of high capacity ammunition clips containing more than 10 bullets. Thirty-eight percent oppose it. 

A bigger challenge will be enacting a law banning the future manufacture, sale, or possession of semi-automatic assault weapons such as the AK-47 or the AR-15. Fifty-four percent support this kind of law, 43 percent oppose it.  

The poll also suggests that the powerful National Rifle Association might be out of touch with many of its members and the general electorate on some key gun issues.  

Forty-two percent of those who participated in the Lansing-based survey said they think the NRA has "too much influence,"  thirty-seven percent said the NRA has the "right amount of influence," 13 percent said "too little influence," and 8 percent were undecided.  

WXYZ pollster Bernie Porn believes Congress will "pass a new background check law but controlling assault weapons will be very difficult."

Here in Michigan, a bill is being considered in the State Senate that would exempt personal firearms, accessories, and ammunition made and used in Michigan from federal laws and regulations.  A slight majority, 53 percent, oppose the proposed law, 35 percent favor it, 12 percent are undecided.

The EPIC-MRA survey was conducted February 5 – 10 and has a margin of error of plus or minus 4.0 percent. 


Another legislative proposal under consideration in the Michigan State Senate would exempt any personal firearms, firearm accessories or ammunition that is manufactured in Michigan, and would remain within the borders of the state, from having to meet federal laws or regulations. Based on what you know or have heard or read about this issue, do you favor or oppose this legislative proposal?

Favor – 35%
Oppose – 53%
Undecided – 12%

Overall, based on what you know or have heard or read about President Obama's proposed changes in national gun laws, do you favor or oppose his proposed changes in current laws?

Favor – 42%
Oppose – 44%
Undecided – 14%

Now I am going to read several statements to you that describe specific legislative proposals at the federal level that would change current gun laws. For each description I read, please tell me if you favor or oppose that proposal?

A law that would require background checks before anyone, including gun dealers, could buy guns at gun shows.

Favor – 86%
Oppose – 12%
Undecided – 2%

A law which would ban the sale and possession of high-capacity ammunition clips that can contain more than 10 bullets?

Favor – 58%
Oppose – 38%
Undecided – 4%

A law that would ban the future manufacture, sale or purchase of semi-automatic assault weapons, such as the AK-47 or the AR-15?

Favor – 54%
Oppose – 43%
Undecided – 3%

Do you think that the National Rifle Association has too much influence, too little influence, or, the right amount of influence over gun related laws in this country?    

Too much influence – 42%
Too little influence – 13%
About the right amount of influence – 37%
Undecided – 8%

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