Even Texas Voters Support Background Checks On Guns


Gov. Rick Perry (R) likes to argue that America has no need for new gun control laws. A poll released Wednesday found that most voters in his home state of Texas have a different view.

The survey from Democratic-leaning Public Policy Polling found that 72 percent of Texas voters support “requiring background checks for all gun sales, including gun shows and the Internet,” while only 22 percent are opposed.PPP has taken the lead in gauging the political fallout from the Senate’s failure in April to pass legislation that would have expanded background checks. The background check legislation, co-authored by Sens. Joe Manchin (D-WV) and Pat Toomey (R-PA), fizzled with only four Republican senators voting “yes” and four red state Democrats voting “no.”

Since the legislation went down, PPP found that some members — namely Sen. Jeff Flake (R-AZ) — suffered a huge public backlash at home for their opposition to background checks, while red state Democrats who supported the measure, like Sens. Kay Hagan (D-NC) and Mary Landrieu (D-LA), actually drew a boost following their votes.

Along with South Dakota Gov. Dennis Daugaard (R), Perry traveled to Connecticut last month to court gun makers that have threatened to leave over the state’s new gun control measures, which include restrictions on high-capacity magazines and the nation’s first dangerous weapon offender registry. Connecticut Gov. Dannel P. Malloy (D) signed the reforms into law in April, nearly four months after the massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary.

In April, Perry dismissed universal background checks for gun buyers as a “kneejerk reaction.” A month later, speaking at the National Rifle Association’s convention in Houston, Perry went a step further.

“I am not sure there is any gun reform that’s needed in this country,” Perry said.


Tom Kludt is a reporter for Talking Points Memo based in New York City, covering media and national affairs. Originally from South Dakota, Tom joined TPM as an intern in late-2011 and became a staff member during the 2012 election. He can be reached at tom@talkingpointsmemo.com.