Then why support Obama if you believe it won’t change anything?
The American public is broadly supportive of the executive actions issued by President Barack Obama this week aimed at increasing the reach of federal background checks for gun purchases and improving enforcement of existing laws.
However, less than half say that these changes will be effective at reducing gun-related deaths, and most say they oppose the way Obama made these changes.
A new CNN/ORC poll finds 67% say they favor the changes Obama announced, and 32% oppose them. Support for the executive actions, designed to expand background checks to cover more gun purchases made online or at gun shows and to make it easier for the FBI to complete background checks efficiently, comes across party lines, with majorities of Democrats (85%), independents (65%) and Republicans (51%) in favor of them. Majorities back the measures across most demographic groups, in fact, including 57% of gun owners and 56% of rural residents.
Those who strongly favor the changes outnumber those who are strongly opposed by about a 2-to-1 margin: 43% say they are strongly in favor, 21% strongly opposed.
Support for the measures lags a bit behind the level of support most polling finds for expanded background checks generally. A Quinnipiac University poll in December found that 89% of Americans favored “a law requiring background checks on people buying guns at gun shows or online.” The changes announced by the President do not go that far, however, narrowing what has been called “the gun-show loophole” without closing it entirely.
Skepticism about the effectiveness of the executive actions is widespread.
Almost 6 in 10 say these measures will not be effective in reducing the number of gun-related deaths in the United States. That sentiment is particularly strong among gun owners, 75% of whom say they doubt the changes will reduce gun deaths.
Democrats are most optimistic about the prospect that the changes will help, 67% say they will be effective, while Republicans are broadly skeptical, with 78% saying they will not work. Women, who are about half as likely as men to be gun owners, are about evenly split on the question (47% say they will be effective, 50% not), while men mostly say they won’t work (64% not effective vs. 34% who say they will be effective).
Read more: CNN