In wake of Parkland, Fla. school shooting, New Yorkers strongly support new round of gun control measures

Five years later, Siena Poll shows strong support for NY SAFE Act

As Congress and state legislatures nationwide consider a new round of gun control laws following the Valentine’s Day school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a new poll of New York voters shows strong support for laws that would ban bump stocks, take guns away from dangerous individuals and place armed officers inside schools, among other measures.

The poll also shows that, five years after its passage, the New York SAFE Act remains popular with voters who now support it 61-to-28 percent, including 48 percent of upstaters and 42 percent of gun owners in New York.

The greatest opposition to the SAFE Act was voiced by Republicans (42 percent oppose it), Conservatives (50 percent oppose it), and gun owners (49 percent oppose it).

“The SAFE Act continues to enjoy overwhelming support among Democrats, independents and downstaters. A small plurality of upstate voters supports it, while Republicans are virtually evenly divided,” said Siena College pollster Steven Greenberg. “Voters who claim to have a gun or rifle in their home — about one in five voters statewide — oppose the SAFE Act by a relatively narrow 49-42 percent. More than two-thirds of voters in households with no gun support the SAFE Act.”

New York voters strongly to overwhelmingly support six measures to address guns and/or school safety — three passed by the state Senate and three passed by the state Assembly — though none have yet passed both houses.

By a 65-to-32 percent margin, voters support a ban on the sale of assault weapons nationally. And voters oppose, 69-to-28 percent, allowing teachers to be licensed to carry concealed firearms in school, according to a new Siena College poll of New York State registered voters.
“Banning assault weapon sales nationally is supported by more than three-quarters of Democrats and small majorities of Republicans and independents. It is supported by more than two-thirds of downstaters and 57 percent of upstaters. Gun owners are evenly divided,”

Greenberg said. “While by 11 points Republicans support allowing teachers to be armed, Democrats, independents and downstaters overwhelmingly oppose it, as do a majority of upstaters and a narrow majority of gun owners.”

The Assembly passed three gun control bills so far this session — increasing the waiting period to up to 10 days for background checks; prohibiting the sale of guns to people convicted of domestic violence crimes; and banning the sale of bump stocks. These all enjoy strong bipartisan support of between 78 and 90 percent.

The Senate so far has passed three school safety measures — half of school lock down drills must be “active shooter” drills; providing funding for school resource officers to be stationed in schools outside New York City; and requiring NYPD officers in all New York City schools. These all enjoy strong bipartisan support of between 69 and 78 percent.

“Voters clearly support all six of these bills,” Greenberg said.

Of the 772 New York state registered voters polled between March 11 and March 16, the following groups replied yes when presented with the question “In 2013, the governor and Legislature enacted what some have called the toughest gun control law in the country that was named the SAFE Act by Governor Cuomo. Now, five years later, do you support or oppose the SAFE Act, the gun control law
passed in 2013?”

  • 61 percent of all voters
  • 74 percent of Democrats
  • 41 percent of Republicans
  • 56 percent of independent voters
  • 56 percent of males
  • 65 percent of females
  • 80 percent of liberals
  • 66 percent of moderates
  • 37 percent of conservatives
  • 65 percent of union households
  • 60 percent of non-union households
  • 72 percent of New York City voters
  • 61 percent of those in New York City suburbs
  • 48 percent of upstaters
  • 58 percent of white voters
  • 65 percent of black voters
  • 81 percent of Latino voters
  • 66 percent of18-to-34 year olds
  • 61 percent of 35-to-54 year olds
  • 59 percent of those 55 and older
  • 62 percent of Catholics
  • 69 percent of Jewish voters
  • 52 percent of Protestants
  • 67 percent of “other” religions
  • 64 percent of those making less than $50,000
  • 59 percent of those making $50,000-$100,000
  • 65 percent of those who make more than $100,000
  • 42 percent of gun owners
  • 68 percent of voters who don’t own guns

The margin of error for these results is 4 percentage points.

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