Poll: ‘Vast majority’ of Florida voters support stricter gun laws

7 out of 10 in a FAU poll released Wednesday.
Published Feb. 28, 2018|Updated Feb. 28, 2018

Two polls released Wednesday show broad support for stricter gun laws among Florida voters, reflecting a national trend after the Parkland shooting left 17 dead.

Seven out of 10 Floridians support stricter guns laws, according to a Florida Atlantic University poll released two weeks after the massacre. Only 11 percent of Florida voters said gun restrictions should be loosened.

A Quinnipiac University poll found 65 percent of voters support "stricter gun laws." A whopping 96 percent support requiring background checks for all gun buyers.

Florida voters support 62–33 percent a nationwide ban on the sale of "assault weapons," the Q poll found.

In a separate question with different wording, voters support 53–42 percent a nationwide ban on the sale of all "semi automatic rifles."

And the idea of arming teachers is opposed 56 percent to 40 percent.

In the FAU poll, a majority of voters of every party affiliation want stricter gun laws, with Democrats most in support at 84 percent, followed by Independents at 69 percent and Republicans at 55 percent, according to the poll.

Read more: Despite Parkland's opposition, Florida House panel votes to arm teachers

From the FAU specific issues:

Universal background checks for all gun buyers are supported by 87 percent of voters, and there is no statistical difference based on party affiliation.

Nearly 4 of 5 voters (78 percent) support raising the minimum age to purchase a gun from 18 to 21, while 69 percent support a ban on assault-style rifles, with 23 percent opposed.

A proposal to arm teachers is opposed by 56 percent of voters and supported by only 31 percent, with Democrats opposing by a 74 to 16 percent margin, Independents opposing 57 to 26 percent and Republicans supporting the proposal 53 to 37 percent.

"Gun control may turn out to be a pivotal issue in the midterm elections and could well be the difference in a close race for the Senate between Rick Scott and Bill Nelson," said Kevin Wagner, a political science professor involved in the poll. "While large majorities of Floridians support background checks and an increase in the age requirement, it is not at all clear that there is sufficient support for these measures in the Florida legislature. As we are already late in the session, it will take a serious push by Gov. Scott to pass any of these reforms this year."

The survey, which polled 800 Florida registered voters Feb. 23-25, was conducted using an online sample supplied by Survey Sampling International using online questionnaires and via an automated telephone platform using registered voter lists supplied by Aristotle, Inc.

The survey has a margin of error of +/- 3.6 percentage points. Responses for the entire sample were weighted to reflect the statewide distribution of the Florida population. More detail here.

Read more: Here's what's missing in Florida Legislature's gun proposals

Read more: Senate panel moves to raise Florida gun age, rejects ban on semi-automatic rifles