Poll: NJ Residents Support Gun Control Measures Christie Vetoed

73 percent favored reporting information on lost, stolen and discarded guns to federal databases. Patch File Photo
73 percent favored reporting information on lost, stolen and discarded guns to federal databases. Patch File Photo
Written by Anthony Bellano

New Jersey residents are in favor of three pieces of gun legislation recently vetoed in some way by Gov. Chris Christie, and they favor two of them by a large majority, according to a Rutgers-Eagleton poll conducted prior to Monday’s mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard.

According to the poll, 73 percent of residents polled favor a measure that would require state enforcement agencies to report information on lost, stolen and discarded guns to federal databases.

Another measure that would require that firearms purchase permits be recorded on driver licenses, create instant background checks and mandate gun safety training is favored by 70 percent of New Jersey residents, the poll found.

A ban on the .50-caliber rifle is favored by 64 percent of residents, with 54 percent showing strong support for it. Initially, Christie was in favor of the measure, but he later vetoed it.

However, when informed that Christie vetoed the bills, some residents changed their minds. Half of those polled were told Christie vetoed the legislation, and residents changed their minds on two bills: the federal reporting requirement for lost guns, and the mandate for driver’s license notations, background checks and training.

Of those who knew about the veto, 67 percent offer strong support 
background checks and training. Those who were not told about the veto support the measure by 73 percent.

Seventy-seven percent of those who don’t know about the veto strongly support the federal database bill, while 69 percent of those who were informed of the veto strongly support the bill.

His veto had no impact on opinions concerning the ban of .50 caliber guns.

Seven in 10 residents remain “very concerned” about gun violence, while another 22 percent are “somewhat concerned.” Seven percent are not concerned at all, the poll found.

Nearly 60 percent of gun owners are “very concerned” with gun violence, while another 25 percent told pollsters they are “somewhat concerned.”

Concern among Democrats showed a dip of eight points since the Newtown, Connecticut shooting in December, but concern has increased by 10 points among Republicans, according to pollsters. The biggest swing came among independent voters, where concern dropped by 11 points, pollsters said.

More than 60 percent of Christie supporters told pollsters they are very concerned about gun violence, as did 81 percent of Democratic gubernatorial candidate Barbara Buono’s supporters and 76 percent of Christie’s critics.

Eighty-one percent of women are “very concerned,” while 59 percent of men feel the same way.

The overall results from this poll remain in line with a poll Rutgers-Eagleton conducted in February, when President Barack Obama announced multiple gun related executive orders, according to pollsters.

However, 63 percent now favor gun control over the rights of the gun owner while 31 percent still favor the gun owners. That’s a shift of six points from the last poll, according to pollsters.

Along party lines, 75 percent of Democrats favored gun control, while 54 percent of Republicans favored the rights of the gun owner. Sixty percent of independents favor gun control.

Statewide, 925 adults were surveyed via landline and cell phones from Sept. 3-9. The poll has a margin of error of plus or minus 3.2 percentage points.

Robert Yates September 19, 2013 at 04:56 PM
If this poll is actually indicative of the way people in NJ think, their gun violence problem is not going away anytime soon. See Vermont; see NH; see low gun crime. See DC; see Chicago: see high gun crime. What's the common denominator? But don't let logic and stats stand in the way!
Joey Joe September 19, 2013 at 07:21 PM
@Robert - I don't think you can compare the "demographics" in Vermont and New Hampshire to that of Chicago & DC... I would venture a guess that there are more drug crimes just in DC than in ALL of New England...and typically the weapon of choice in these crimes is a gun.
Robert Yates September 20, 2013 at 09:01 AM
@Joey Joe: People are the same everywhere. There are folks that live in urban areas and rural areas. There are good people and criminals; rich and poor. I don't see how stats do not apply simply because there may be more people in one area and less in another. Where there are population disparities, we should just use proportions rather than outright numbers to make comparisons. When I said gun crime, I should have said gun crime rates as a proportion of the population. My apologies for the oversight.


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