Is America's appetite for gun control fading?

Poll: Public support drops for universal background checks, banning assault weapons and arming schools


This is a rush transcript from "The Five," April 2, 2013. This copy may not be in its final form and may be updated.

ERIC BOLLING, CO-HOST: The gun debate is dominating the news today. In Connecticut, lawmakers agreed to the strictest gun laws in America. In Georgia, a small town passes a law that requires all homes to have a gun. And in Washington, the NRA rolled out there million dollar study recommending several ways to improve gun safety in America, including their controversial National School Shield.

But America's appetite, Bob, for increased gun laws is waning. In a recent Fox News poll, support for universal background checks, down. Banning assault weapons, down. Banning assault weapons, down. And arming our schools, down!


BOLLING: So, the question is -- is gun control legislation DOA down on Capitol Hill?

BECKEL: No, that's dead on arrival.



PERINO: You owe me a Coke.

BOLLING: Well --

BECKEL: Are you asking me?

I still believe that the background checks with the exceptions of family members selling to family members will be a part of this bill. There's certainly no way that the assault weapons are going to be put in there. It will be a much weaker bill than what Obama wanted, which is too bad. But it is.

But reality set in with these Democrats in the Senate, who are up for reelection in some very tough states. And, you know, I give NRA credit for this. They're always good lobbyists and they made their voices heard, and their money.

BOLLING: Ands, what do you think?

ANDREA TANTAROS, CO-HOST: I think the left overreached on this one big time. And even Bill Clinton cautioned them on this exact, same thing. They went too far, too fast.

President Obama pushed for assaults weapons ban, background check, and Andrew Cuomo in New York state, he had a kneejerk reaction, and embarrassingly, he's had to go back and retool that bill. He was disarming police officers. He was saying, oh, we're going to limit magazines that have seven rounds in them. No such thing, sorry to break that news. And now, he wants to go on honor code system with gun owners?

I think that Second Amendment advocates, anyone who has a gun, look at what they're doing. They shake their head. They get that half of the stuff wouldn't have prevented an Adam Lanza. And they say, you know what? Just slow down and let the schools decide things like whether they want an armed guard just like Sandy Hook did on their own.

BOLLING: And, Dana, what we are seeing is, states and towns doing what they want to do as far as gun laws. Should the feds get involved in these things?

PERINO: Well, I was talking to someone today. And New York school district has pretty effective program that they have been implementing. I think what it could be is finding whatever -- it's a banned phrase -- best practices are used where it seemed to have worked. And New York school system might be one that could be replicated across the board, except now, if you are in a small rural district, that won't necessarily make sense to you.

So I'm for local control and local decisions, and parents and teachers and students getting involved. I do think there will be a bill. I don't think it's a dead on arrival. It will be a weaker one but I think that there will be a set of principles that most Americans will be able to agree on.

On honor system, that is what our Constitution is. If you're a citizen, like, I don't understand how they think there's some honor code now that you have like extra honor code, for like extra credit for the Constitution.

TANTAROS: Because they don't trust us, I guess.

BOLLING: There were a few senators that have said no matter what the bill, if includes any of the things that have been outlined already, they were going to filibuster. They're saying no way it's going to get to a vote.

Brian, what are your shots?

BRIAN KILMEADE, GUEST CO-HOST: My thought is this -- your outline was beautiful. You said, look at what Georgia has done, look, what Connecticut is doing. Guess what? You like the Connecticut rules, go there. You go to Georgia, I wanted to own a gun and I want to make it mandatory and my neighbor has a gun, too, to keep burglars out, go to Georgia. And I think that's a way to do it.

But I think one thing I find fascinating about the entire debate is the fact is, if we wanted to protect children, we wanted to protect ourselves on planes, we want to protect ourselves at FOX. We have armed guards here. A lot of these guys are armed and they're trained.

Why can't we have the air marshal system with schools? I don't know if the elementary school two blocks has gotten an air marshal -- that has a guard there. I don't know if it were four blocks away. You know what? We don't have to say anything.

Adam Lanza was looking for a soft target. Loughner was looking for a target in which he could penetrate and make maximum damage, as was the idiot in Aurora. They're looking for soft target to maximum success. So I don't give these people the idea that they are going to be stopped because there could be an armed teacher there on or there could be a retired professional there.

BECKEL: But, Brian, it's beyond in schools. I mean, there's been a lot of these instances they have not taken place in schools.

And the other reason why you need federal legislation is interstate commerce. And that seems to me to be one of the reasons that you simply have to have some federal guidelines. The last thing I'll say is, I want to hear somebody give me --

BOLLING: Can you just clarify that one though? What are you against interstate commerce? I understand interstate commerce is. But --

BECKEL: Right, because guns are sold across state lines.

BOLLING: So is pot.

BECKEL: Well, but pot is outlawed. So --

TANTAROS: Bob, there's plenty of laws already on the books that cover a lot of the things that they are trying to do anyway.

BECKEL: My fundamental question that I want to ask you was, OK, is can somebody here give me a reasonable argument why you shouldn't have background checks?

BOLLING: Here -- no, should there be background checks? If I want to give my son my Kimber 1911, I want to give it to him. Do I have to make sure --

BECKEL: No, that exception would be in the bill.

TANTAROS: I actually agree with your question because asking that question implies that we don't have background checks. I think that's what the left have used to garner public support. And when they find out, Bob, that there's a number of laws on the books for background checks and that they want to go after say, Eric, giving an antique gun to his young son, why can't have his young son have a background check?

BECKEL: Not on gun shows, which are a huge market for guns.

TANTAROS: That is not true.


KILMEADE: In gun shows. But here's, Nancy Lanza wants to give it to Adam Lanza, I have a problem with that. I think there should be some -- for example, I got to register my car. If I got to go sell my car to my brother, I got to go sign my title over and motor vehicle has to know. Why is that such a big deal?

I don't see a person to person -- I -- you might think you know your neighbor. You might think you know your neighbor. So you give your extra gun. You sell me your extra gun for 100 bucks. I like to know. I don't want that responsibility on me if you have a dark side. And all of a sudden, you open up on it. I would like know you got it registered --

BECKEL: Brian, that is very good point. I just want to ask the NRA if they can explain it to you.

TANTAROS: But, Bob, anybody with the dark side is not going to stop, you know what? I should got tell --

BECKEL: Are you not for background checks?

TANTAROS: I should go tell the government -- I'm for letting for the states decide what works for them and the locality and --

BOLLING: Here's what happens, the bill hits the floor, the bill hits the floor for background checks and some other things, no gun trafficking, which is already law anyway. It hits the floor and all of a sudden, it goes into committee. It goes into the backroom. It gets loaded up with amendment.

Some -- you know, Dianne Feinstein has issues. Some -- Harry Reid has issues. And then it gets loaded up and then here -- then what do we end up with? We don't end up with the original bill. We end up with --

BECKEL: There was no original bill. The bill emanated out of committee.

BOLLING: There is.

BECKEL: It was one of those bills in Congress that goes from committee out, and that's why.

PERINO: So, when this bill goes through -- I think, Bob, you might agree with me, if it were to get to the floor, any amendments or things that were added to, it's only going to weaken the bills in the eyes, from the left in my opinion. I don't think that there's any way that they can make it stronger behind closed doors. But you'll have to watch for them.

They'll add pork barrel spending for that bill because that's the only one that's moving through the Senate.

BOLLING: Can I go this? We're going to run out of time. I want to do this.

There are some other headlines today and this is pretty, pretty alarming. Connecticut unveils ammo eligibility requirements. California considers ammo tax.

How about this one? This is the one that's going to make people's head to explode. Mandatory gun insurance or you get a $10,000 fine. That was by, I believe, in New York Congress person if I'm not mistaken.

Anyway, so we have to ask. Andrea, should -- does that not alone, that one, that last one right there, prohibit a good percentage of the population from owning guns? If you are required to buy insurance for your guns, you are going to take the availability of guns out of most America.

TANTAROS: And it specifically targets I think middle class and low income Americans which is very, very unfair. Look, I think they are losing this one. I think they really stepped in it. And now, this is why you start to see these crescendo of arguments and editorials like in "The Washington Post" about, oh, it's white men, ph, white men buy guns because they are insecure about their manhood down there. I mean, these crazy things.

And Senator Blumenthal of Connecticut took to the Sunday shows and he said, well, there is a silent majority that wants what we want. Oh, a silent majority?


PERINO: Yes, exactly.

BECKEL: Wait a second. The insurance, first of all, having insurance is very good idea for people who get shot by accident and things like that.

But the cost of this insurance is a fraction of the price of a gun.

BOLLING: How do you know?

BECKEL: Because they've already floated numbers out there.

BOLLING: Who knows what -- if it's mandatory, where Americans has to have it, do you know what it's going to be?

BECKEL: Do you think that's a bad idea?

BOLLING: Let me tell you, my health insurance isn't minimal. It's not a little bit. It's insanely high, and going higher.

BECKEL: Do you think it doesn't make sense to have insurance?

BOLLING: I think it's absolutely asinine to require you to have insurance to own a gun.

PERINO: Unfortunately, the Supreme Court ruled, it might not be the same law, but it basically said you can require Americans to have to buy insurance or to pay a tax or penalty whatever they end up Justice Roberts end up calling it. So, it's not that farfetched.


BOLLING: Right. It's Obamacare for guns.

TANTAROS: And don't you shake your head, which lobbyist got that bill suggestion on the floor of the state house. Hmm, the insurance industry maybe?

BOLLING: I don't know. But, Brian, if this is -- if there is anything about the Second Amendment that stands out, it says your right to bear arms shall not be infringe upon, requiring me to own insurance. Doesn't that infringe upon my right?

KILMEADE: I think it is over the top. And I think that, for example, in California or it is New York, it's another reason, New York is most restricted state in the union. A lot of people choose to leave. They choose to go other places. That might be another reason to go, but you're able to go.

PERINO: You couldn't do "Fox & Friends" from Florida.

KILMEADE: They'll remove the whole show. I think they will.



BECKEL: The number of lawsuits every year against people that have guns by people that get shot by accident, or the guns were left open are a lot, why not have insurance to protect yourself from that?

BOLLING: Why not have insurance -- why not require, since Obamacare open the floodgates, why not have insurance --


BOLLING: How is it different?

TANTAROS: Right. Where does it end?

BOLLING: How is it different? It's requiring me to own something.

BECKEL: You are required to have a drivers license, you are required to have insurance on your car. I think you're doing away --

PERINO: The insurance for your care is state by state.

BECKEL: On interstate truckers --


TANTAROS: That's why I don't like actually that Georgia law that you just mentioned. I know it's a good intended to law to mandate people to buy guns. But I don't like mandating people have to buy everything.

KILMEADE: Nelson, Georgia.

BOLLING: Nelson, Georgia.

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