California voters support a wide range of gun-control measures and say it’s more important to protect people from gun violence than to protect Second Amendment rights, according to a new statewide poll.
When asked whether they felt it is more important to protect people from gun violence than protect American’s right to own guns, a majority of California voters — 51 percent — said that they felt it is more important to protect people from gun violence; 46 percent agreed “strongly” with that statement. In comparison, 37 percent of voters said it’s more important to protect the right to own guns, with 32 percent agreeing “strongly.”
The University of Southern California Dornsife/Los Angeles Times poll of 1,501 registered voters, conducted March 11-17 by two polling firms – one Democratic, one Republican – has a 2.9-point margin of error.
The poll found about a quarter of Californians own a firearm, compared to about 34 percent of American households as estimated by a recent General Social Survey.
“Politics is a natural outgrowth of culture,” poll director Dan Schnur, a former Republican strategist who directs USC’s Unruh Institute of Politics, said in a news release. “And because the percentage of Californians who own guns is so much lower than the ownership rates of guns in other parts of the country, it shouldn’t surprise us that Californian’s attitudes toward gun control are much stronger than places where people are more likely to own or maintain a firearm.”
The gap between those emphasizing gun-violence reduction and protection of gun rights in this poll isn’t as large as that reported by the Field Poll last month; that earlier poll found 61 percent preferred imposing greater controls while 34 percent preferred protecting gun rights.
Asked about potential ways to curb gun violence, 92 percent of California voters told the USC/Times poll that they support background checks for all gun sales, which the state already requires; only 6 percent were opposed.
On other proposed gun-control measures:
89 percent favor updating the national database used for background checks by improving the reporting of mental health records, while 8 percent oppose;
87 percent favor increasing penalties for those who commit crimes with guns, while 9 percent oppose;
85 percent favor increasing penalties for those who illegally buy, while 12 percent oppose;
79 percent favor requiring ammunition buyers to provide a thumbprint and ID for background checks, while 19 percent oppose; and
71 percent favor requiring all gun owners to be registered, licensed and insured, while 26 percent oppose.
Lots more, after the jump…
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