MIAMI (CBSMiami) – As state leaders try to come up some sort of gun reform in the wake of the mass shooting at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High, the people of Florida have spoken.
Or have at least they’ve spoken to representatives of Quinnipiac University about what reforms they’d like to see.
By a margin of nearly two-to-one (62 – 33 percent), Florida voters say they would support a nationwide ban on the sale of “assault weapons.” In a separate question with different wording, voters support 53 – 42 percent a nationwide ban on the sale of all “semi-automatic rifles.”
When asked if they would support a nationwide ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines that hold more than 10 rounds, 62 percent did while 34 percent didn’t.
Seventy-eight percent of poll respondents said the minimum age for the purchase of any gun should be 21-years-old (20 percent disagreed) and 89 percent said police or family members should be allowed to petition a judge to remove guns from a person who may be at risk of violent behavior;
An overwhelming 92 percent said they would support a ban on gun ownership by anyone who has had a restraining order for stalking, domestic abuse or other reasons. And 96 percent said background checks should be required for all gun buyers.
“Floridians are strongly united that more needs to be done to reign in guns, especially the type of gun used this month to massacre 17 people in Parkland,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll. “Depending on how questions are asked, large majorities support efforts to restrict gun purchases; to require background checks for buyers and to ban certain types of guns.”
It is “too easy” to buy a gun in Florida today, 63 percent of voters say, while 28 percent say it is “about right” and 1 percent say it is “too difficult.”
When it came to arming teachers at schools, the percentages got a lot closer.
Florida voters oppose 56 percent to 40 percent allowing teachers and school officials to carry guns on school grounds. Voters with children under 18 years old in public schools oppose arming school personnel 53 – 43 percent.
But 51 percent of voters say “increased security at school entrances” would do more to reduce gun violence in schools, compared to 32 percent who say stricter gun laws would do more and 12 percent who say armed teachers would do more to keep schools safe.
Florida’s state government must do more to reduce gun violence, 75 percent of voters say, while 18 percent say the government is doing enough.
Voters give Gov. Rick Scott a split 42 – 45 percent approval rating for his handling of the issue of gun violence.
While 54 percent disapproved of President Donald Trump’s handling of gun violence, 40 percent approved. Trump had similar numbers for his response to the Parkland school massacre – 50 percent disapproved of his handling of it while 39 percent approved of it.