Are background checks an important part of reducing gun violence?

The Minnesota Legislature and the U.S. Congress are considering gun violence legislation. Opinion polls have consistently shown strong support for measures such as expanded background checks and a ban on assault-style weapons and large ammunition clips. Neither state or federal lawmakers seemed to think they had the votes to pass an assault weapons ban, but expanding background checks could be a possibility.

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More on historical attitudes from Gallup

The National Rifle Association opposes both the assault weapons ban and the expanded background checks. The background check requirement “is the most pivotal piece” of gun legislation, said Dan Gross, president of the Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence.

Today’s Question: Are background checks an important part of reducing gun violence?