Federal gun control was soundly rejected in a recent poll from Rasmussen.
The polling site asked 1,000 participants what they thought of allowing Washington to come up with gun control legislation, and it was clearly a point that made most uncomfortable.
Just 34 percent of the respondents wanted the federal government in charge, while an additional 36 percent said that it was a responsibility that should fall to states.
Eighteen percent called it a “local” decision.
Opposing Views notes that the poll was taken at the end of September, which was slightly before the deadly shooting at Umpqua Community College.
In the past, there have been spikes in support for federal gun control. One particular poll in 2013 from Gallup saw support high after the 2012 shooting at Sandy Hook, a Newtown, Connecticut, elementary school.
However, the slight surge in support waned in the coming months as more details of President Obama’s proposed gun control legislation came to light.
According to the latest Rasmussen poll, “most voters still don’t think the federal government should have the final say on gun ownership and don’t like a country in which only the government has guns.”
The telephone survey found that the 34 percent support number was down from a high of 38 percent in December. Twelve percent of the respondents admitted to “not being sure” as to who should have the final say.
The poll was conducted from September 20-21, 2015 and had a margin of sampling error of +/- 3 percentage points with a 95 percent level of confidence.
Of course, the polling may not mean much to President Obama, who is currently mulling executive action and is not encumbered by the need for reelection.
The President’s proposal would establish new guidelines regarding who is legally considered a licensed gun dealer, according to NBC News.
Licensed gun dealers are required to conduct background checks on potential buyers, and the new guidelines would reportedly define any retailer who sells a number of guns above a certain threshold as “in the business” of gun sales.
These retailers would then be subject to the same laws regarding background checks which apply to current gun dealers.
One administration official familiar with the new proposal admitted it was “a super-complicated policy.”
While the administration has considered the sales of 50 or 100 guns each year as the threshold to trigger the definition of a gun dealer, no formal number has been settled upon.
The policy proposal is hardly new and was first considered in 2013 following the failure of a bill in the Senate that would have required background checks on almost all gun sales.
The Obama Administration ultimately opted against implementing the proposal on the grounds they could face potential lawsuits challenging the legality of his executive order.
The administration was reportedly also wary of the complexity behind defining who is to be legally considered a gun dealer.
The ongoing fear is that a number of weapons are sold outside the realm of background checks. Another growing concern is that legal gun owners with unstable family members may not be taking enough steps to secure their firearms. (See Adam Lanza, the Sandy Hook killer.)
Still, those legal challenges that the Obama administration is leery of stem from the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution, which grants the right of citizens to own firearms.
The U.S. Supreme Court has also determined that permanent resident aliens have the right to own firearms as well.
Any attempt to take or reduce those rights would likely be met with legal challenges that the administration would have difficulty winning, especially since the court has ruled on the matter as recently as 2012.
Do you think federal gun control is as unpopular as the Rasmussen polling? Sound off in the comments section.
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