62% of Americans Now Support a Ban on Semi-Automatic Assault Rifles and Clips

Esther Zuckerman
62% of Americans Now Support a Ban on Semi-Automatic Assault Rifles and Clips

Obama was right. On the same day the president said at a press conference that a "majority of Americans support banning the sale of military-style assault weapons" and "high-capacity ammunition clips" a new CNN/ORC International poll finds just that. Sixty-two percent of the 620 Americans polled between Monday and Tuesday support banning semi-automatic assault guns and high-capacity clips. That said, in an ABC News-Washington Post poll released earlier this week only 52 percent of those surveyed supported a ban on semi-automatic handguns. In the earlier poll, conducted between Friday and Sunday, 59 percent supported banning high-capacity clips, a much closer figure. In 2004, when the last assault-weapons ban ran out, Sen. Dianne Feinstein cited an earlier poll claiming that 77 percent of Americans wanted to renew the ban. Feinstein now says she will propose legislation in January for a ban on assault rifles — a measure "actively" supported by President Obama, the White House says — and on high-capacity clips, which the White House says  "is something certainly that he would be interested in looking at."

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Though it's hard to interpret how the National Rifle Association feels about Obama's newfound position (though we can guess), the NRA tweeted for the second time since the Newtown shooting Wednesday afternoon about the president's support for banning such weapons: 

President Obama supports gun control measures, including reinstating an assault weapons ban reuters.com/article/2012/1…

— NRA (@NRA) December 19, 2012

The CNN poll also reveals that now 52 percent of those surveyed want "major" gun restrictions or a ban. That's a five point increase from August following the Aurora and Oak Creek shootings, but remains within the margin of error.