QU Poll: 93% Want Background Checks for All Gun Buyers

Connecticut voters support most gun-control measures, by a margin of 2 to 1 or more, according to a poll Quinnipiac University released on Wednesday morning.

The people Quinnipiac pollsters spoke with said most support universal background checks, 93 percent to 6 percent, including 89 percent to 9 percent among voters in households where there are guns.

Voters said they support stricter statewide gun-control laws, 66 percent to 30 percent.

Most support expanding the statewide ban on the sale of assault weapons, 68 percent to 28 percent, while gun owners oppose is 49 percent to 44 percent;

Sixty eight percent back a ban on the sale of ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds, while 28 percent oppose it.

Gun owners are divided, 49 percent to 48 percent;

Most, at 72 percent, support registration of all handguns, with annual renewal, while 27 percent oppose it.

Gun owners are divided with 48 percent in favor and 50 percent opposed.

Sixty-three percent favor limiting handgun purchases to one per month, including 50 percent of gun owners.

Eighty-five percent back a permit requirement to purchase and carry all guns, including 71 percent of gun owners. Fourteen percent oppose it, including 28 percent of gun owners.

Support is high for a gun offender registry for those convicted of gun crimes, with 86 percent in favor and 11 percent opposed. Eighty-five percent of gun owners favor the registry, while 12 percent are against it.

Support was also high for stricter gun storage requirements, with 76 percent in favor and 19 percent opposed. Sixty-five percent of gun owners are in favor, while 32 percent are against it, 

Fifty - 43 percent back mandatory liability insurance for gun owners, who oppose this measure 71 - 26 percent.

"In the wake of the Newtown tragedy, there is overwhelming support among Connecticut voters for strengthening the state's gun laws. It is remarkable how bipartisan the support is for some of the most talked-about gun-control measures. Universal background checks tops the list with 93 percent support, higher than we've ever seen for any issue in 20 years of Connecticut surveys," Douglas Schwartz, director of the Quinnipiac University poll, said. "Interestingly, Republican voters are divided 45 - 48 percent on the general question, 'Do you support or oppose stricter gun-control laws in Connecticut.' They support, however, most of the specific measures."

The Newtown tragedy makes them more likely to support gun-control, 54 percent of Connecticut voters said, while 43 percent said it makes no difference.

Voters are divided on a proposal to prohibit people convicted of drunken driving from owning guns, with 45 percent in favor and 48 percent opposed.

Voters also are divided on a proposed ban on children under 18 playing violent point- and-shoot video games in public arcades, with 46 percent in favor and 48 percent opposed.

Voters do support placing armed police officers in public schools in the state, at 54 percent to 41 percent.

Connecticut voters are divided on the way Gov. Dannel Malloy is handling gun policy, with 41 percent approving and 38 percent disapproving. Approval is 58 percent to 19 percent among Democrats, while disapproval is 55 percent to 30 percent among Republicans and 43 percent to 35 percent among independent voters.

Malloy is moving too quickly on gun-control, 33 percent of voters said, while 17 percent said he is not moving quickly enough and 42 percent say his pace is about right.

Voters also said, 54 percent to 39 percent, that Democrats and Republicans in the State Legislature will not be able to work together to reduce gun violence in Connecticut.

By a 42 percent to 20 percent margin, voters are more likely rather than less likely to back a state legislator who votes for stricter gun control. Another 35 percent say this won't affect their vote.

"Connecticut voters are not optimistic that Democratic and Republican elected officials can or will act together to reduce gun violence," Schwartz said. "Democrats are optimistic 50 - 43 percent, but Republicans are not, 64 - 32 percent, and independent voters are pessimistic, 58 - 35 percent."

Quinnipiac conducted the poll from March 4 to 5 and surveyed 1,009 registered voters.

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