Thursday, January 18, 2018
Politics

Poll: Floridians disagree with Tampa's bid to ban guns at RNC

Floridians disagree with Tampa Mayor Bob Buckhorn's proposal to ban guns outside the Republican National Convention, a Quinnipiac University poll shows.

But opinions vary by region, political party and gender.

For the ban: women, Democrats and residents of South Florida and the greater Tampa Bay area.

Against it: Republicans, men and people who live in North Florida and the Panhandle.

Florida law will allow gun owners with concealed weapons permits to carry their firearms outside the convention, and it prohibits local authorities from enacting any rules regulating guns or ammunition. (The Secret Service has said only police on duty will be allowed to carry guns inside the convention.)

Buckhorn this month asked Gov. Rick Scott for an executive order allowing the city to ban carrying firearms in the city's convention "Event Zone," which will cover downtown, Ybor City, the northern part of Harbour Island and the area around the University of Tampa.

Scott refused, saying a ban would be an unconstitutional violation of the Second Amendment.

Statewide, those polled said 49 to 46 percent that there should be no ban during the convention, which will run from Aug. 27 to 30 at the Tampa Bay Times Forum. The poll of 1,722 registered Florida voters has a 2.4 percentage point margin of error.

But in the seven counties around Tampa Bay, those polled took Buckhorn's position 52 to 46 percent. A majority of South Florida residents also supported a ban.

Opposition was strongest in North Florida and the Panhandle, where 57 percent backed Scott. Central Florida residents also supported the governor's decision, though by a narrower margin.

Republicans supported Scott's position by 64 to 31 percent, while Democrats sided with Buckhorn by the same margin. Independents opposed the ban 51 to 46 percent.

Men opposed the ban 59 to 38 percent. Women supported it 54 to 41 percent.

Richard Danielson can be reached at d[email protected] or (813) 226-3403.

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