Nearly half of Floridians think assault weapons ban is step in right direction

Assault Weapon

Floridians think banning the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons would be a step in the right direction.

Almost half (49 percent) of Floridians view a ban of the sale of semi-automatic assault weapons as a move in the right direction, according to the 2016 USF-Nielsen Sunshine State Survey. Thirty-seven percent said they thought a ban would be a step in the wrong direction, while 13 percent did not give an opinion.

Gun control has been on the minds of many in the Sunshine State since the June attack on the Pulse nightclub in Orlando. Rep. Alan Grayson said in June he was going to introduce legislation banning assault weapons; and state Sen. Darren Soto called on the state Legislature to pursue legislation prohibiting people on watch lists from buying a weapon.

The Sunshine State Survey found 60 percent of women think banning semi-automatic assault weapons is a step in the right direction, compared to 39 percent of men. The survey also found 56 percent of college graduates, 56 percent of retired Floridians, and 61 percent of African-American Floridians, thought a ban was a step in the right direction.

The survey also looked at whether Floridians thought it should be easier or harder for felons to regain gun rights. The survey found 57 percent of Floridians thought it should be harder and 3 percent said it should be impossible for convicted felons to have their gun rights restored.

Convicted felons can currently have their rights restored, but need to wait eight years before they can apply and the governor must approve their request.

One-third of Floridians said they supported the current policy.

Sixty percent of females said it should be harder for felons to have their rights restored, compared to 53 percent of men. Among those Floridians with children still in their homes, 59 percent said it should be more difficult for felons to get guns.

The Sunshine State Survey was conducted by The Nielsen Company from Sept. 1 through Sept. 9. The company surveyed 1,248 Floridians, and the survey has a margin of error of 2.7 percent.


Jenna Buzzacco-Foerster


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