A statewide poll of New York voter attitudes about gun safety reveals robust support across the state for strong gun safety laws.

The poll, commissioned by NYAGV and conducted independently in April by Kiley & Company, an independent opinion research firm, found that gun regulations are popular with voters throughout the state and across demographic groups, including gun owners and upstate residents.

Even gun owners support most gun safety measures, according to a recent survey of New York voters

Even gun owners support most gun safety measures, according to this recent survey

The Kiley & Company phone survey questioned 604 registered voters in New York State between April 14 and 16. The survey data was statistically adjusted by age, region and race to ensure representativeness.

“This survey unequivocally confirms that New Yorkers strongly support common sense gun laws,” said Leah Gunn Barrett, NYAGV Executive Director. “And of particular significance, it shows that most New York gun owners are reasonable and responsible and don’t share the extremist attitudes of the gun lobby,” she added.

Clear Voter Acceptance of Gun Regulations

A majority of New York voters consider gun crime to be a serious problem and favor a broad range of measures to protect the public from gun-related injuries and death.

  • A majority of voters (61%) believes the problem of gun violence and gun crime is serious.
  • Almost two-out-of-three voters (64%) believe that the easy availability of guns in the U.S. is why our country has high gun death rates.
  • Three-out-of-four voters (75%) and 67% of gun owners believe the public has a right to set reasonable regulations on gun ownership and gun use.
  • Close to 2/3 of voters (64%) believe strengthening the state’s gun laws will improve public safety.

Strong Support for New Gun Safety Proposals

Widespread majorities of voters favor all seven pieces of proposed gun safety legislation tested, including the safe storage of firearms, the surrender of firearms by domestic abusers, and enhanced inspections of gun dealers.

  • An overwhelming majority of voters (91%) and 77% of gun owners support a law requiring gun owners to safely store their guns to prevent children from accessing them.
  • More than three-out-of-four voters (78%) and 67% of gun owners support the surrender of guns by those convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence.
  • Over 2/3 of voters (70%) and 61% of gun owners support authorizing the New York State Police to conduct inspections of firearm dealers, to supplement infrequent federal inspections.
  • An overwhelming majority of voters (87%) and 71% of gun owners support requiring the microstamping of guns sold in New York State to help law enforcement trace weapons used in crimes.
  • Two-thirds of voters (67%) support the banning of .50 caliber sniper rifles, which can penetrate light armored vehicles and taxiing airplanes; and 64% of voters support limiting New Yorkers to one gun purchase per month. Only a minority of gun owners, 48% and 38% respectively, support these measures.
  • More than half of the voters (53%) say they’d be more inclined to re-elect their state legislator if that person voted in favor of stronger gun laws.

The New York State Legislature is currently considering legislation on gun safety measures including safe gun storage (Nicholas’s Law, A.53/S.2291), keeping guns from domestic abusers (A.5257 and A.249), and mandating additional inspections of the nearly 2,000 New York federally licensed firearm dealers (A.2217/S.1302).

Pollster Matthew Shelter of Kiley & Company commented, “I think the voters of the state are sending a clear message to their elected representatives– that it is not only gun owners who have rights, but the public as a whole also has rights, and one of those rights is to be protected from gun crime and gun violence. If their own state legislators won’t support reasonable safeguards on firearms, a majority of voters say they are inclined to take action at the ballot box.”

“New Yorkers Against Gun Violence urges state policymakers to pass common sense bills, such as Nicholas’s Law for safe storage, proposals to keep guns out of the hands of domestic abusers, and measures that give law enforcement the tools they need to reduce gun crime. This poll is proof positive that these measures are incredibly popular with our residents and that voters are demanding a safer New York from their legislators,” said Barrett.

Details of Survey Results

Press release (pdf)