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New Polling: 89 Percent of Minnesota Gun Owners Support Background Checks on All Gun Sales

Results Show Wide Support from Republicans and Democrats Alike As State Legislature Considers Bipartisan Legislation That Would Require Criminal Background Checks On All Minnesota Gun Sales

ST. PAUL, Minn. — Everytown for Gun Safety Action Fund and the Minnesota chapter of Moms Demand Action for Gun Sense in America, a part of Everytown, today released new polling conducted by SurveyUSA on behalf of Everytown – available here – finding that 89 percent of Minnesotans, including 89 percent of Minnesota gun owners, support requiring all gun buyers to pass a criminal background check before purchasing a gun.

These polling results come after lawmakers introduced bipartisan legislation last month to require criminal background checks on all Minnesota gun sales. Just last week, Vermont passed landmark legislation that will close its background check loophole, and across the country, legislatures in red and blue states are taking action in response to widespread calls for gun safety laws after the Parkland tragedy.

The survey interviewed 1,300 Minnesota adults. It found, among other results:

  • 89 percent of respondents – including 89 percent of gun owners – support requiring all gun buyers to first pass a criminal background check, no matter where they buy a gun and no matter whom they buy a gun from.
  • This support crosses party lines: 84 percent of Republicans and 94 percent of Democrats support requiring all gun buyers to first pass a criminal background check, no matter where they buy a gun and no matter whom they buy a gun from.

Federal law requires licensed gun dealers to conduct criminal background checks on gun sales, but there is no federal background check requirement for unlicensed sales, including sales initiated online and sales made at gun shows. While a number of states have passed background check requirements to address this loophole, Minnesota has not.

The polling also shows strong support (87 percent) for temporarily blocking a person from having guns if there are clear red flags that he or she poses a serious risk of harm to self or others. Minnesota lawmakers are also considering Red Flag legislation, similar to laws recently enacted by Florida and Vermont after the Parkland tragedy, that would let families and law enforcement ask a court for an Extreme Risk Protection Order to temporarily keep guns out of the hands of someone who poses a risk of harm to self or others.

STATEMENT FROM ERIN ZAMOFF, VOLUNTEER CHAPTER LEADER WITH THE MINNESOTA CHAPTER OF MOMS DEMAND ACTION FOR GUN SENSE IN AMERICA:

“It is too easy for people with dangerous histories to access guns in Minnesota because no background checks are required for unlicensed sales – including sales that take place online and at gun shows. This is a gaping loophole.
“As this polling makes clear, an overwhelming majority of Minnesotans across party lines support closing this deadly loophole and requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales. I urge lawmakers to make our state safer by passing the common-sense legislation on the table.”