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.