A clear majority of gun owners would support gun control measures like requiring background checks to purchase firearms, according to a poll conducted by prominent Republican strategist Frank Luntz.

A debate over gun control has resurfaced in the aftermath of the grisly shooting in Aurora, Colorado, which killed 12 people, but the issue is likely to be a nonstarter politically. A spokesperson for President Obama, who prior to becoming president supported reinstituting a ban on assault weapons, did not advocate any new safeguards.

He believes that we need to take steps that protect the Second Amednment rights of the American people but that we ensure that we are not allowing weapons into the hands of inidivuals who should not, by existing law, obtain those weapons, White House spokesman Jay Carney told reporters.

But more than 80 percent of the gun owners members surveyed in Luntz's study, described at a Center for American Progress event on Tuesday, advocated criminal background checks. The figure was nearly three-quarters for members of the National Rifle Association. A majority of NRA members also backed measures like only granting gun permits to people who have undergone training and refusing permits to people with criminal records.