A majority of Florida voters oppose allowing teachers and staffers to carry guns on school grounds and want the sale of assault weapons prohibited, according to a Quinnipiac University Poll released Wednesday.
"The notion that we are bitterly divided on political matters — the case for past decades — has found an exception to that rule. Florida voters — be they young or old, white or black, man or woman — have a common enemy," said Peter Brown, the poll's assistant director.
"Floridians are strongly united that more needs to be done to reign in guns, especially the type of gun used this month to massacre 17 people in Parkland."
The poll of 1,156 voters conducted from Feb. 23-26 found:
- 56 to 40 percent overall oppose allowing teachers and school officials to carry guns on school grounds.
- 53 to 43 percent with children under 18 in public schools oppose arming school personnel.
- 62 to 33 percent support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons.
- 51 percent say increased security at school entrances would do more to reduce gun violence; 32 percent say stricter gun laws would do more and 12 percent say armed teachers would do more.
- 65 to 29 percent support stricter gun laws.
- 96 to 3 percent favor background checks for all gun buyers.
- 62 to 34 percent favor a nationwide ban on sales of high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds.
- 87 to 10 percent want a mandatory waiting period on all gun purchases.
- 78 to 20 percent support requiring all gun buyers be at least 21 years old.
- 89 to 8 percent favor allowing police or family to petition a judge to remove guns from a person at risk of violent behavior.
- 92 to 6 percent approve of banning gun ownership by anyone who has had a restraining order for stalking, domestic abuse or other reasons.
"Depending on how questions are asked, large majorities support efforts to restrict gun purchases; to require background checks for buyers and to ban certain types of guns," Brown said. "These numbers show remarkable agreement across the electorate, the kind not seen very often these days."
In other findings, Florida voters oppose 56 to 36 percent allowing local governments to adopt gun laws that are stricter than state law.
And if more people carried guns, Florida would be "less safe," 56 percent of voters said, while 34 percent said the state would be "safer."
And Sunshine State lawmakers must do more to reduce gun violence, 75 percent of voters say, while 18 percent said the government is doing enough.
Voters give Gov. Rick Scott a split 42 to 45 percent approval rating for his handling of the gun violence issue.
The independent nationwide opinion poll has a margin of error of 3.6 percentage points.
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