DENVER
01/23/2013 10:38 am ET | Updated Jan 23, 2013

Coloradans Favor Stricter Gun Control Laws, New Polls Show

Recent polling from Project New America/Chris Keating and The Denver Post found that a majority of Coloradans' favor stricter gun control.

Fox31 first reported on a survey from PNA/Chris Keating which asked 905 Colorado voters, in general, if they favor stricter gun control -- 55 percent of Colorado voters said they favor of stricter gun control, while only 40 percent were opposed.

The same poll also asked Colorado voters about specific gun law proposals and the margin of support was wide for nearly all the measures in question, according to PNA/Chris Keating:

  • 95 percent of voters agree that people with "serious mental health problems" should be prevented from owning a gun.
  • 80 percent of voters agree that judges should be able to order someone who is "convicted of domestic violence or given a restraining order" to surrender their guns to the court.
  • 80 percent of voters agree that all private gun sales should go through a licensed dealer and be subject to a background check.
  • 65 percent of voters agree that guns should be banned on college and university campuses.
  • 61 percent of voters agree that the sale and possession of semi-automatic guns and assault rifles should be banned.
  • 61 percent of voters agree that the sale and possession of high-capacity ammunition clips, which allow some guns to shoot more than 10 bullets before reloading, should be banned.

The PNA/Keating poll echoes similar sentiments found in a recent Denver Post poll which found greater support for gun control measures than for gun-owner rights. According to The Denver Post, 60 percent of Colorado voters support proposals that would: ban assault-style rifles, limit high-capacity magazines and require universal background checks on all gun sales.

Although the Post poll found that 50 percent of those who responded say it is more important to protect gun ownership to 45 percent who say it is more important to control gun ownership, those percentages have shifted significantly since the last time the Post conducted the same poll in September. Last September, the breakdown was 56 percent saying it was more important to protect gun rights to only 39 percent saying it was more important to control guns.

Similar numbers are appearing in national polls as well. Universal background checks on gun buyers are favored by 92 percent of Americans, according to a CBS News/New York Times poll released last week. And support for the plan crosses demographics, with those in favor including 93 percent of gun households, 89 percent of Republicans, and 85 percent of households with NRA members.

Also last week, an Associated Press-GfK poll found that 6 in 10 Americans favor stricter gun laws, in general. The poll also found that Americans were angrier about December's horrific school shooting in Connecticut than they were about the September 11 terrorist attacks.

According to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, more Americans support than oppose President Barack Obama's suite of proposals to reduce gun violence, but many are skeptical that they would be effective at preventing future mass shootings.

Forty-six percent of respondents to the survey said they either strongly or somewhat favor the proposals, while 40 percent were strongly or somewhat opposed. Support for the proposals was deeply divided along party lines: Democrats favored the proposals 77 percent to 11 percent, while Republicans opposed 77 percent to 12 percent. Independents were more likely to oppose than to favor the proposals, 47 percent to 34 percent:

The Huffpost/YouGov survey found divided opinions as to whether the proposals would effectively prevent shootings like the one in Newtown, Conn., that instigated the proposals. Only 10 percent of respondents said that the proposals would be very effective at preventing future mass shootings if enacted, while 29 percent said they would be somewhat effective, 15 percent said they would be not very effective and 32 percent said they would be not at all effective. (The survey only asked whether the proposals would be effective at preventing mass shootings, not other types of gun violence.)

But the survey questions did not delve into the details of Obama's proposals, so responses were based on what respondents had already read or heard about the proposals or the respondents' preconceptions. Americans are following the issue fairly closely, according to the new poll: 48 percent say they've heard a lot about the proposals, 39 percent have heard a little, and 8 percent have heard nothing at all, while another 5 percent say they're not sure. Asked to rate how well they understand the proposals, 29 percent said very well, 38 percent said fairly well, 15 percent said not too well, 9 percent said not at all well, and another 9 percent weren't sure.

The survey also found that support for stricter gun laws has remained high since the Sandy Hook Elementary shooting, with 53 percent now saying gun laws should be more strict, 30 percent saying there should be no change, and 12 percent saying gun laws should be less strict. Two prior HuffPost/YouGov polls conducted since the shooting also found support for stricter gun laws above 50 percent, and other recent polls have likewise found more support for stricter gun laws since the shooting.


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