Poll: Voters divided on government role in gun control, access

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Gun control sit-in: Stunt or game-changer?

With gun policy taking center stage on Capitol Hill in the aftermath of the June 12 mass shooting in Orlando, Americans still remain lukewarm to sweeping gun control compared to the mid-1990s, when public opinion propelled a 10-year assault weapons ban into law.

Fifty percent of voters say that they are concerned that the government will go too far in restricting the rights of citizens to own guns, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, while 47 percent said they were more concerned that authorities would not do enough to regulate access to firearms.

SEE ALSO: Which states have an assault weapons ban?

The margin is slightly closer than in December 2015, soon after the terror attack in San Bernardino, Calif. At that time, 52 percent of respondents worried about government overreach on gun reform, compared to 44 percent who expressed concern that gun policy would be too lax.

But in 1995, months after President Bill Clinton had signed a federal assault weapons ban into law, nearly six-in-ten voters - 58 percent -- worried that the government still would not do enough to regulate access to guns, while just 35 percent worried that the government would go too far.

Related: Is the NRA Losing its Grip on State Legislatures

A ban on the sale of the semi-automatic firearms referred to as assault weapons remains relatively popular, according to a new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll, with 51 percent of voters supporting such a ban while 31 percent oppose it.

Related: See the deadliest mass shootings in U.S. history:

42 PHOTOS
Deadliest Mass Shootings in U.S. History
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Deadliest Mass Shootings in U.S. History
TOPSHOT - Mourners hold up signs during a vigil in Washington, DC on June 12, 2016, in reaction to the mass shooting at a gay nightclub in Orlando, Florida. Fifty people died when a gunman allegedly inspired by the Islamic State group opened fire inside a gay nightclub in Florida, in the worst terror attack on US soil since September 11, 2001. / AFP / Andrew Caballero-Reynolds (Photo credit should read ANDREW CABALLERO-REYNOLDS/AFP/Getty Images)
ORLANDO, FL - JUNE 12: FBI agents investigate near the damaged rear wall of the Pulse Nightclub where Omar Mateen allegedly killed at least 50 people on June 12, 2016 in Orlando, Florida. The mass shooting killed at least 50 people and injuring 53 others in what is the deadliest mass shooting in the countryÃs history. (Photo by Joe Raedle/Getty Images)
WEST HOLLYWOOD, CA - JUNE 12: A guest holds a sign remembering the Orlando Massacre at the LA PRIDE Music Festival and Parade 2016 on June 10, 2016 in West Hollywood, California. (Photo by Joe Scarnici/WireImage)

Virginia Tech, 32 killed

Blacksburg police officers run from Norris Hall on the Virginia Tech campus in Blacksburg, Va., Monday, April 16, 2007. Multiple shootings occurred at the engineering building on Monday. A gunman opened fire in a Virginia Tech dorm and then, two hours later, in a classroom across campus Monday, killing at least 30 people. (AP Photo/The Roanoke Times, Matt Gentry) 

Susan Hylton, left, hugs her daughter, Mary McFillin, both of Vienna, Va., Monday, April 16, 2007, after Hylton arrived on campus to pick up her daughter. McFillin, 19, is a student at Virginia Tech. A gunman killed 32 people at Virginia Tech Monday in the deadliest shooting rampage in modern U.S. history. (AP Photo/Richmond Times-Dispatch, Dean Hoffmeyer)
BLACKSBURG, VA - APRIL 17: Thousands of people attend a candlelight vigil on the campus of Virginia Tech April 17, 2007 in Blacksburg, Virginia. According to police, English major Cho Seung-Hui, 23, a native of South Korea, went on a shooting rampage that left a total of 33 people dead. It was the worst mass shooting in U.S. history. (Photo by Chip Somodevilla/Getty Images)

Sandy Hook Elementary, 27 killed

Carlee Soto uses a phone to get information about her sister, Victoria Soto, a teacher at the Sandy Hook elementary school in Newtown, Conn. Friday, Dec. 14, 2012 after a gunman killed over two dozen people, including 20 children. Victoria Soto, 27, was among those killed. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Emergency vehicles line the road at a firehouse staging area for family at the entrance to Sandy Hook School, the site of a school shooting in Newtown, Conn., Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. A man opened fire Friday inside two classrooms at the school where his mother worked as a teacher, killing 26 people, including 20 children. The killer, armed with two handguns, committed suicide at the school and another person was found dead at a second scene, bringing the toll to 28, authorities said. A law enforcement official identified the gunman as 20-year-old Adam Lanza. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)
Parents leave a staging area after being reunited with their children following a shooting at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of New York City, Friday, Dec. 14, 2012. An official with knowledge of Friday's shooting said 27 people were dead, including 18 children. It was the worst school shooting in the country's history. (AP Photo/Jessica Hill)

Luby's Cafeteria, 23 killed

Police officers gather outside Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas, at the scene where a gunman killed 23 people including himself, with semi-automatic gunfire during lunchtime on Wednesday, Oct. 16, 1991. It was the deadliest mass shooting in U.S. history. (AP Photo/Rick McFarland)

Unidentified mourners comfort each other after a funeral service for Michael Griffith at Grace United Methodist Church in Copperas Cove, Texas on Sunday, Oct. 20, 1991. Griffith was among the people who were killed on Wednesday in the massacre at the Luby's Cafeteria in Killeen, Texas. (AP Photo/Eric Gay)
Officials remove bodies from Luby's Cafeteria off Interstate I-90 at Killeen, Bell County, Texas, on Wednesday night, Oct. 16, 1991. The gunman, George Hennard, crashed his pickup truck through the window of the restaurant at lunchtime and opened fire, killing 23 people and wounding 20 others, before killing himself. (AP Photo/Ron Heflin)

McDonald's in San Ysidro, Calif., 21 killed

A San Diego police officer helps an injured woman away from the scene of a shooting at a McDonald's restaurant in San Ysidro, Calif., July 18, 1984. The woman had been in the restaurant when a gunman opened fire with an automatic weapon killing 20 people and wounding another dozen. Police said the woman had family with her in the restaurant. (AP Photo/Lenny Ignelzi)

This view is from the northeast of the San Ysidro McDonald's in San Diego, shown July 19, 1984. West San Ysidro Blvd. is in foreground. Most of the bodies found outside the restaurant were along this side, in front of the parked cars alongside the store. (AP Photo/Vince Bucci)
Gloria Aquino, right, shares her sorrow with a friend during burial services for her sister, Paulina Aquino, who was gunned down in the McDonald's massacre in San Ysidro, California last Wednesday. Services were on July 21, 1984 in Tijuana, Mexico (AP Photo/Jimmy Dorantes)

University of Texas at Austin, 18 killed

Ambulance attendants remove the body of Mrs. Kathleen Whitman, wife of Charles Joseph Whitman, from the family home in Austin on August 1, 1966. Whitman was identified by police as the slayer of 16 persons including his wife and mother during a wild shooting spree. (AP Photo/DO)

FILE - This Aug. 1, 1966 file photos shows the weapons used by Charles Joseph Whitman in his mad shooting spree Aug. 1, 1966 in which 16 persons were killed and a score more wounded, in Austin, Texas. Police seized the weapons after they gunned down Whitman in his perch in the University of Texas administration building tower. A rifle used in the 1966 sniper rampage is being sold in an online auction. Bids are starting at US$ 25,000. (AP PHOTO/FILES)
FILE - In this Aug. 2, 1966 file photo, from left, Allen Crum, university co-op employee; Austin policemen Ramiro Martinez, Houston McCoy and Jerry Day, the four men who braved the deadly accurate sniper fire by Charles Joseph Whitman from the University of Texas tower, meet with newsmen in Austin, Texas. McCoy, the Austin police officer who fired two blasts from his shotgun to bring down Whitman, has died. (AP Photo/Ted Powers, File)

U.S. Post Office in Edmond, Okla., 14 killed

An Edmond, Okla., postal worker is comforted after the Aug. 20, 1986, shooting spree by Patrick Sherrill that killed 14 of his co-workers. Until the Oklahoma City bombing, it was the deadliest one-day attack in state history. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)

Medical personnel rush a wounded man to a waiting ambulance in this Aug. 20, 1986 file photo, following a shooting spree at U.S. Post Office in Edmond, Okla., where U.S. Postal employee Patrick Henry Sherrill shot and killed 14 fellow employees before taking his own life. Over the past 20 years, the Post Office has tried to make improvements to prevent such acts of violence. (AP Photo/David Longstreath)
Police stand near shooting spree victims at the Edmond Post Office, Edmond, Oklahoma Wednesday, August 20, 1986. A postal employee shot and killed 14 people before taking his own life. (AP Photo/Steve Gooch)

San Bernardino holiday party, 14 killed

This July 27, 2014 photo provided by U.S. Customs and Border Protection shows Tashfeen Malik, left, and Syed Farook, as they passed through O'Hare International Airport in Chicago. The husband and wife died on Dec. 2, 2015, in a gun battle with authorities several hours after their assault on a gathering of Farook's colleagues in San Bernardino, Calif. (U.S. Customs and Border Protection via AP)

An investigator looks at a Black SUV that was involved in a police shootout with suspects, Thursday, Dec. 3, 2015, in San Bernardino, Calif. A heavily armed man and woman opened fire Wednesday on a holiday banquet, killing multiple people and seriously wounding others in a precision assault, authorities said. Hours later, they died in a shootout with police. (AP Photo/Jae C. Hong)
Trung Do Nguyen, right, comforts his mother, Van Thanh Nguyen, at a wake for his sister and her daughter, Tin Nguyen, at the Peek Funeral home in Westminster, Calif., on Friday, Dec. 11, 2015. Nguyen died in the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Calif., last Wednesday, Dec. 2. Woman at left is unidentified.(AP Photo/Nick Ut)

Columbine High School, 13 killed

A woman embraces her daughter after they were reunited following a shooting at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., on Tuesday, April, 20, 1999. As many as 25 were killed at the school by two young men who went on a shooting rampage on Tuesday. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

LITTLETON, CO - APRIL 20: (VIDEO CAPTURE) Columbine high school shooters Eric Harris (L) and Dylan Klebold appear in this video capture of a surveillance tape released by the Jefferson County Sheriff's Department in the cafeteria at Columbine High School April 20, 1999 in Littleton, CO during their shooting spree which killed 13 people. (Photo courtesy of Jefferson County Sheriff's Department via Getty Images)
Jefferson Country Sheriff's Deputy Aaron Rollins, left, gives Duchess of York, Sarah Ferguson, a guided tour of the makeshift memorial near Columbine High School in Littleton, Colo., on Tuesday, April 27, 1999. Two students went on a shooting rampage at the school last week, killing 12 other students and a teacher before killing themselves. (AP Photo/Michael S. Green)

Fort Hood, Texas, 13 killed

KILLEEN, TX - NOVEMBER 5: Sgt. Fanuaee Vea embraces Pvt. Savannah Green while trying to reach friends and family outside Fort Hood on November 5, 2009 in Killeen, Texas. At least one gunman killed 12 people and injured 31 in a shooting on a military base at Fort Hood this afternoon. One shooter was killed by military police and at least two other soldiers are in custody. (Photo by Ben Sklar/Getty Images)

U.S. Army Lt. Gen. Bob Cone, right, speaks during a news conference outside Fort Hood, Texas, Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. Cone announced that a mass shooting suspect is in custody and not dead. The suspect is in stable condition. (AP Photo/LM Otero)
Sgt. Anthony Sills, right, comforts his wife as they wait outside the Fort Hood Army Base near Killeen, Texas on Thursday, Nov. 5, 2009. The Sills' 3-year old son is still in daycare on the base, which is in lock-down following a mass shooting earlier in the day. (AP Photo/Jack Plunkett)

Binghamton, N.Y., 13 killed

Law enforcement personnel investigate outside the American Civic Association, Friday, April 3, 2009, in Binghamton, N.Y. A gunman opened fire on a center where immigrants were taking a citizenship exam Friday in downtown Binghamton, killing 13 people before apparently committing suicide. (AP Photo/Heather Ainsworth)

FILE - Police officers help hostages exit a building near the American Civic Association in downtown Binghamton, N.Y., following a shooting spree by a gunman in this April 3, 2009 file photo. (AP Photo/Press & Sun-Bulletin, Rebecca Catlett)
Unidentified people embrace outside a Catholic Charities office where counselors tend to relatives of victims of the shooting in Binghamton N.Y., Friday, April 3, 2009. A gunman barricaded the back door of a community center with his car and then opened fire on a room full of immigrants taking a citizenship class Friday, killing 13 people before apparently committing suicide, officials said. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

Wah Mee gambling club, 13 killed

Wai Chiu "Tony" Ng looks on Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2007, prior to the official start of a hearing before the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board at the McNeil Island Corrections Center on McNeil Island, Wash. Ng was acquitted of murder and convicted of 13 counts of first-degree robbery and one count of second-degree assault for his role in the Feb. 19, 1983, killings of 13 people at the Wah Mee gambling club in Seattle. He was sentenced to serve seven consecutive life terms, and the ISRB has paroled him on the first five counts. Wednesday's hearing was to consider the sixth count. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, Pool)

Wai Chiu "Tony" Ng, center, facing the review board, and his attorney, George Marlton, to his right, and his Department of Corrections counselor Donald Walston, left, face Julia Garratt, second from left, and Dennis Thaut, both of the Indeterminate Sentence Review Board, Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2007, prior to the start of an ISRB parole hearing on McNeil Island, Wash. Ng was acquitted of murder and convicted of 13 counts of first-degree robbery and one count of second-degree assault for his role in the Feb. 19, 1983, killings of 13 people at the Wah Mee gambling club in Seattle. He was sentenced to serve seven consecutive life terms, and the ISRB has paroled him on the first five counts. Wednesday's hearing was to consider the sixth count. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, Pool)
McNeil Island Correctional Center is shown in this view from the water Wednesday, Feb. 14, 2007. Wai Chiu "Tony" Ng, who was acquitted of murder and convicted of 13 counts of first-degree robbery and one count of second-degree assault for his role in the Feb. 19, 1983, killings of 13 people at the Wah Mee gambling club in Seattle is being held here. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren, Pool)

Aurora, Colo. movie theater, 12 killed

Police are pictured outside of a Century 16 movie theatre where as many as 14 people were killed and many injured at a shooting during the showing of a movie at the in Aurora, Colo., Friday, July 20, 2012. (AP Photo/Ed Andrieski)

Tom Sullivan, center, embraces family members outside Gateway High School where he has been searching franticly for his son Alex Sullivan who celebrated his 27th birthday by going to see "The Dark Knight Rises," movie where a gunman opened fire Friday, July 20, 2012, in Aurora, Colo. (AP Photo/Barry Gutierrez)
A man walks on a hill near crosses set up at the memorial to victims of the Aurora, Colo., movie theater shooting, early Friday, July 27, 2012. It was a week ago Friday that a gunman opened fire during a late-night showing of "The Dark Knight Rises" Batman movie, killing 12 and injuring dozens of others. Police have identified the suspected shooter as James Holmes, 24. (AP Photo/Ted S. Warren)

Washington Navy Yard, 12 killed

People hold their hands to their heads as they are escorted out of the building where a deadly shooting rampage occurred at the Washington Navy Yard in Washington, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013. One shooter was killed, but police said they were looking for two other possible gunmen wearing military-style uniforms. (AP Photo/Jacquelyn Martin)

Emergency personnel respond to a reported shooting at the Washington Navy Yard, Monday, Sept. 16, 2013 in Washington. Police and federal agents from multiple law enforcement agencies responded to the scene. Ambulances were parked outside, streets in the area were closed and departures from Reagan National Airport were temporarily halted for security reasons. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
Police who responded to shooting at the Washington Navy Yard Monday, Sept. 16, 2013, leave the facility. At least one gunman launched an attack inside the Washington Navy Yard, spraying gunfire on office workers in the cafeteria and in the hallways at the heavily secured military installation in the heart of the nation's capital, authorities said. (AP Photo/Manuel Balce Ceneta)
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But in the early 1990s, three-quarters of Americans backed the proposal, which was passed into law in 1994 but expired ten years later.

What's more, asked now how they would describe a proposal to ban the sale, voters are split on whether the ban would be worthwhile.

Forty-five percent said an assault weapons ban would be "worth it because it is one more step that could be done to try to reduce the number of casualties and save lives." Forty-nine percent said such a policy is "NOT worth it because it will not stop the attackers from getting the weapons they need."

The National Rifle Association, the gun lobby that has been pilloried by Democrats throughout the political debate over access to guns, continues to enjoy more positive than negative sentiments from voters. Forty-two percent reported a positive view of the NRA, while 36 percent gave the organization a thumbs down.

Sixty-seven percent of Republicans, 63 percent of rural voters and 50 percent of men offered a positive opinion of the NRA, while only 20 percent of Democrats, 32 percent of urban voters and 34 percent of women said the same.

The poll of 1000 registered voters was conducted June 19-23. The margin of error is +/- 3.1 percent.

Related: Take a look back at last year's NRA convention:

18 PHOTOS
NRA convention 2015
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NRA convention 2015
A convention goers aims a Tavor SAR IDF model semi-automatic weapon at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee on April 11, 2015. This is the civilian version of the Tavor Tar-21, issued to Israeli Defense Forces. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
An exhibitor holds up a Bond Arms Ranger II derringer at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee on April 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Wayne LaPierre, left, executive vice president of the National Rifle Association, speaks during the annual meeting of members at the NRA convention Saturday, April 11, 2015, in Nashville, Tenn. At right is Jim Porter, NRA president. (AP Photo/Mark Humphrey)
Pat Kirchner, of Kankakee, Ill., looks through a pair of binoculars at the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Friday, April 25, 2014 in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Jerry Miller, of Georgetown, Texas, looks over a rifle at the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Friday, April 25, 2014 in Indianapolis. Several potential Republican contenders for president will court gun-rights supporters at the NRA's annual convention Friday. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
Attendees look over a pistol display at the National Rifle Association's annual convention in Friday, April 25, 2014 in Indianapolis. (AP Photo/AJ Mast)
A convention goer looks at rifle scopes at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee on April 11, 2015. This is the civilian version of the Tavor Tar-21, issued to Israeli Defense Forces. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
An exhibitor holds up an Armscor/Rock Island Armory titanium 1911 series prototype handgun at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee on April 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
An exhibitor holds up a Bond Arms Ranger II derringer at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee on April 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
A convention goer checks out a rifle scope April 11, 2015 at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
A girl looks at Sig Sauer P320 handguns April 11, 2015 at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Convention goers look at old west handguns at the A. Uberti booth April 11, 2015 at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Uberti firearms are exacting replicas, down to the finest detail. Many are improvements over the originals, with the advancement of materials and the use of modern machinery. Today, A. Uberti produces black powder revolvers, cartridge revolvers and cartridge rifles. The firearms set the standard by which Cowboy Action Shooting competitors and big game hunters judge other vintage firearms. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
A woman aims a shotgun April 11, 2015 at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
A boy under his parents' supervision, aims a shotgun April 11, 2015 at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Convention goers on the floor April 11, 2015 at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee.AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Convention goers look at weapons April 11, 2015 at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
An exhibitor holds up a Bond Arms Ranger II derringer at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee on April 11, 2015. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
Convention goers look at old west handguns at the A. Uberti booth April 11, 2015 at the 2015 NRA Annual Convention in Nashville, Tennessee. Uberti firearms are exacting replicas, down to the finest detail. Many are improvements over the originals, with the advancement of materials and the use of modern machinery. Today, A. Uberti produces black powder revolvers, cartridge revolvers and cartridge rifles. The firearms set the standard by which Cowboy Action Shooting competitors and big game hunters judge other vintage firearms. AFP PHOTO / KAREN BLEIER (Photo credit should read KAREN BLEIER/AFP/Getty Images)
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