Make us your home page
Instagram

Today’s top headlines delivered to you daily.

(View our Privacy Policy)

PolitiFact.com | Tampa Bay Times
Sorting out the truth in politics

NRA support for background checks is high, but polls predate bill

The statement

A "wide majority of NRA households … supported this legislation" on gun background checks.

President Barack Obama on Wednesday in the White House Rose Garden

The ruling

After the Senate failed to advance an amendment that would have expanded federal requirements for background checks on gun purchasers, President Barack Obama took to the White House Rose Garden to denounce the vote, calling it "a pretty shameful day for Washington."

At several points in his remarks, Obama invoked his gun-policy adversary, the National Rifle Association. "To the wide majority of NRA households who supported this legislation, you need to let your leadership and lobbyists in Washington know they didn't represent your views on this one," Obama said.

We found that two independent polls have attempted to take the pulse of the NRA's membership on universal background checks, the linchpin of both the failed compromise amendment sponsored by Sens. Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., and Pat Toomey, R-Pa, and the underlying bill sponsored by Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev. Here's how the data stack up.

• One poll was done by CBS News and the New York Times. The survey, conducted Jan. 11-15, found that 85 percent of those living in a household with an NRA member favored background checks for all potential gun buyers.

• The other survey, by the Pew Research Center for the People and the Press, was taken Feb. 13-18. It found that "people in NRA households overwhelmingly favor making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks: 74 percent favor this proposal, while just 26 percent are opposed."

These results verify that rank-and-file NRA members and those who live with them favor universal background checks by margins of between 74 percent and 85 percent.

Still, there's a problem with Obama's phrasing. He said that a "wide majority of NRA households … supported this legislation." Both of these polls were taken before either of the two relevant pieces of legislation were filed in the Senate. Reid's underlying bill was submitted March 21, while the Manchin-Toomey amendment was submitted April 11.

So while the polls do demonstrate strong support for background checks — a key element of both Senate measures — it's a bit of a stretch to say that the NRA members polled supported "this legislation." The legislation in question hadn't even been introduced yet.

We rate the statement Mostly True.

Edited for print. Read the full version at PolitiFact.com.

NRA support for background checks is high, but polls predate bill 04/19/13 [Last modified: Friday, April 19, 2013 10:57pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

© 2017 Tampa Bay Times

    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Pitching on no rest backfires for Erasmo Ramirez, Rays

    The Heater

    ARLINGTON, Texas — After battling through a 61/2-hour affair Sunday in Minnesota that was the second-longest game in franchise history, Rays officials were quick to decide that even though Erasmo Ramirez had just worked the 15th and final inning, they would stick with him to start Monday's game in Texas.

    Erasmo Ramirez, starting a day after closing a 15-inning marathon, struggles against the Rangers, comes out after throwing 43 pitches in 21/3 innings.
  2. Britain investigating missed signals over Manchester bomber

    World

    LONDON — Britain's domestic intelligence agency, MI5, is investigating its response to warnings from the public about the threat posed by Salman Abedi, the suicide bomber who killed 22 people and wounded dozens more in an attack at a crowded Ariana Grande concert in Manchester, England, last week.

    People gather Monday at St. Ann’s Square in Manchester, England, to view tributes to victims of the suicide bombing that killed 22 on May 22 as a concert by Ariana Grande was concluding.
  3. Trump condemns killing of pair who tried to stop racist rant

    Nation

    The mayor of Portland, Ore., on Monday urged U.S. officials and organizers to cancel a "Trump Free Speech Rally" and similar events, saying they are inappropriate could be dangerous after two men were stabbed to death on a train as they tried to help a pair of young women targeted by an anti-Muslim tirade.

    Coco Douglas, 8, leaves a handmade sign and rocks she painted at a memorial in Portland, Ore., on Saturday for two bystanders who were stabbed to death Friday while trying to stop a man who was yelling anti-Muslim slurs and acting aggressively toward two young women. From left are Coco's brother, Desmond Douglas; her father, Christopher Douglas; and her stepmother, Angel Sauls. [Associated Press]
  4. What major sporting event could Tampa Bay land next?

    Lightning Strikes

    We are on quite a roll as a community. First, we had a Super Bowl drop from the storm clouds into our lap. It just reaffirms the fact that Tampa Bay is great at lap. And Monday it became official: Next year's NHL All-Star Game will be held at Amalie Arena. The best in the world will be here to shoot and score. And …

    MVP Wayne Gretzky is congratulated at the 1999 NHL All-Star game, the last time the event was in Tampa Bay. [DIRK SHADD   |   Times file]
  5. How the 2018 NHL All-Star Game reflects Jeff Vinik's vision for Tampa

    Lightning Strikes

    TAMPA — There were several reasons the NHL announced Monday that Tampa will host the 2018 All-Star Game on Jan. 28.

    This was the  logo for the 1999 NHL All-Star game played Sunday, Jan 24, 1999 at the Ice Palace in Tampa Bay. (AP Photo)