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:

7 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)
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)
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)

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)

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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:

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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)
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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