New poll shows support exists to (just barely) pass assault weapons ban

AR-15 rifles line a shelf in the gun library at the ATF National Tracing Center in Martinsburg, West Virginia
More than 60 percent of voters would pass measure today.

A constitutional amendment imposing a statewide assault weapons ban would narrowly pass, according to a new survey by St. Pete Polls.

The poll, conducted from Oct. 7 to Oct. 9, asked 3,283 voters if they would support a state Constitutional Amendment that “would ban the possession of semiautomatic rifles and shotguns capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition at once.”

The survey found 61 percent of voters said yes, while just 34 percent said no. Another 6 percent remain unsure.

Pollsters report a 1.7 percent margin of error on the survey.

That’s significant here as Florida requires 60 percent of voters to support a Constitutional Amendment in a statewide vote before the measure gets enshrined in the constitution. With the poll showing support levels at 61 percent, the puts the potential amendment just past the threshold to pass, with the potential of falling just short.

As one might expect, the poll finds differing opinions between Democrats, Republicans and independents.

Among Democrats, almost 80 percent support a weapons ban, while just over 16 percent oppose it. Among Republicans, almost 53 percent would vote no, but almost 41 percent would vote yes.

Among the critical independent voters, more than 62 percent favor a measure, while 31 percent remain opposed. That means that group of voters would pass the amendment absent partisan input.

With respondents broken down by race, black voters showed the strongest support for the measure (80 percent). Whites and Hispanics were the only groups where less than 60 percent favor the amendment, though 57 percent of voters in both demographics would vote yes.

Among men, just 59 percent support the amendment, with 36 percent opposed. But 62 percent of women would pass the measure, and just 32 percent would definitely vote no.

The poll surely provides a likely boost for supporters for the proposed Ban Assault Weapons NOW amendment.

The group behind the ballot initiative already gathered 112,485 valid petitions out of the 766,200 required to get on a statewide ballot.

That’s enough to have already triggered judicial review by the state Supreme Court.

Attorney General Ashley Moody has filed a petition asking justices to stop the measure from making the ballot. She calls the ballot language “clearly and conclusively defective.”


Jacob Ogles

Jacob Ogles has covered politics in Florida since 2000 for regional outlets including SRQ Magazine in Sarasota, The News-Press in Fort Myers and The Daily Commercial in Leesburg. His work has appeared nationally in The Advocate, Wired and other publications. Events like SRQ’s Where The Votes Are workshops made Ogles one of Southwest Florida’s most respected political analysts, and outlets like WWSB ABC 7 and WSRQ Sarasota have featured his insights. He can be reached at [email protected].


  • mgm

    October 11, 2019 at 10:09 am

    BAWN is an outright lie. And these so-called polls are slanted to aggrandize BOTH the Lie and the Promoters. They are selling it as a ban on assault weapons (there is No legal definition of assault weapons), but, if you read the text, this amendment bans 99% of ALL rifles and shotguns, thats correct, ALL.
    If you doubt it, Search ‘Florida Assault Weapons Ban Amendment 2020 FULL TEXT’ and read for yourself.
    Your favorite hunting rifle/shotgun? BANNED! Your mini 14? BANNED; Your lever action Henry? BANNED! Your little savage 22lr tube fed that you take your kid out shooting with? BANNED! ANYTHING with a magazine, BANNED! any rifle that can hold 10 rounds or more, BANNED! If you don’t surrender it in, you will then be a criminal, a FELON, and you will be gone! The groups sponsoring this want you to only have ‘Muskets and Bayonets’, as has been repeatedly touted on the floor of the Florida House of Representatives (You Tube or the Florida Channel Archives, search Marjorie Stoneman Douglas act DEBATES).
    Before you get sucked into this lie, read the actual text, and be very glad that AG Moody is taking it to court. The people that wrote this and are trying to sell it know it is a lie, but they really just want to take all guns away from law abiding citizens.
    This will NOT stop one single gun death. I reiterate, it would not have stopped ANY of these so-called “mass-shootings”, and it will not stop any future shootings,
    But it WILL make Millions of Floridians into Criminals.
    Please Read it.

    • Kevin Avera

      October 21, 2019 at 4:40 pm

      Agreed. This is a gun grab on a massive scale by the progressive left , and a measure to criminalize law abiding gun owners for not yielding to extremism.

      Half of the supporters aren’t even Floridians. They are illegals down South and folks from places like NY or CT. Its BS.


  • Don Boyd

    October 11, 2019 at 9:20 pm

    “Already gathered 112,485 signatures? Really? Let’s break that down. Since this group started collecting signatures in February of this year, they have collected about 450 signatures per day. To get to 766,300 they need about 5,800 per day through the deadline of 1 February 2020. They are broke. Fundraising dropped 65 percent last month compared to the previous month. Simply put, it wont get the signatures. Any ballot that really has 61 percent support would be doing much better. Nice try.

  • D Conrad

    October 12, 2019 at 1:32 pm

    Big difference in 3283 polled here and a statewide vote. Media really trying hard to pass their agenda.
    Wake up people, their was a reason for the second amendment!!!

  • Buddy Nelson

    October 12, 2019 at 2:26 pm

    Bull shit there is no such thing as a assault weapon . ASSAULT is a action not a weapon dumbass

    • Bella

      October 13, 2019 at 9:55 am

      Most people are to stupid to understand that!

  • Q

    October 12, 2019 at 6:24 pm

    Good thing we have a Second Amendment that guarantees every citizen a RTBA.

  • Shall not be infringed

    October 12, 2019 at 6:44 pm

    Maybe it could go through the house but there isn’t farts chance in the wind, in the Senate, regardless of “popular vote”. Then again, this is a (media) controlled environment, rather than the real world. I’d be ecstatic to see the real numbers. Then the truth as to the saying in WW2 will be known, as to awaken a sleeping giant.

    • Troll Model

      October 12, 2019 at 7:07 pm

      Its not murder defending your rights…. Its revolution. I will kill any who try. People falling out of beds kill more than all rifle murders combined no matter what year you look at. Beds are more dangerous than rifles…. From my cold dead hand america.

    • Brian H

      October 12, 2019 at 10:46 pm

      Read the text of the ballot itself. Third paragraph called “constitutional changes” rewrites the citizens rights of gun ownership. It eliminates citizens right to own ANY gun. It is reworded to say only Law Enforcement and National Guard members have a constitutional right for gun ownership. It does not outright ban civilian gun ownership itself. But it opens the door for future legislation to ban civilian gun ownership. So even if your a Fudd who only hunts with a bolt action rifle as your only gun you better be against this law. They will come after your bolt action rifle with “sniper” rifle legislation. So Florida citizens. Wake up. This ballot is after all gun ownership. Not just an AR15

  • Ralph

    October 12, 2019 at 10:11 pm

    Make Florida a territory again

  • Blue

    October 12, 2019 at 11:03 pm

    These neoBolshevik clowns should stick to poles. They may know something about those.

  • Roger Gampp

    October 12, 2019 at 11:34 pm

    I see 100% of the comments on here saying bullshit to your 60% claim. It’s all lies trying to get people to jump on the bandwagon. Take your lies and shove them straight up your ass.

  • James Aquino

    October 13, 2019 at 12:18 am

    Democrats, please stop falsifying numbers. This only hurts the law abiding citizens and you are not making it better for anyone, as guns will always be accessible regardless of how many gun control measures are placed-criminals will always find a way to acquire them. So please stop demonizing us.

  • Rick

    October 13, 2019 at 1:58 am

    It’s unconditional therefore if these traitors pass it no citizen is bound to abide by it.
    They are in clear violation of title 18 u.s.c. section 241 conspiracy against rights and title 18 u.s.c. section 242 deprivation of rights under color of law,they are also in violation of title 5 u.s.c. sections 3331,3333,7311 and title 18 u.s.c. section 1918 which is perjury in violation of oath of office perjury is treason and a felony under state and federal law.

  • Rob

    October 13, 2019 at 5:53 am

    Are these poles taken by the same pollsters who said Hillary was going to win in 2016 ? LOL Skewed results and a false numbers to forward their bullshit agenda.What is a assault rifle?

  • Bella

    October 13, 2019 at 10:01 am

    With all gun control talk no one has said how they plan to take away guns that some people (aka felon’s) shouldn’t have. Just saying. Oh and more thing I never got that survey so my vote is a resounding Hell No!!!!

  • Dr. Blue

    October 14, 2019 at 10:04 am

    So the gun ban lobby went out and conducted a biased poll and then spun it up. Given there are 2 million ccw license holders in Florida along with the number of NFA items etc., this just doesn’t seem possible.

  • Capt. TOM

    October 14, 2019 at 9:07 pm

    The wording of the Amendment is horrendous, it basically makes even the .22s used by Boy Scouts at summer camp an “assault weapon” and many of the hunting rifles that have been available to civilians since the early 1900s! Out of about 10,000 murders a year in this country only fewer than 400 a year are committed with a rifle of any kind, including the evil AR15. The fear mongering of the left and the media can’t be allowed to deprive us of our Constitutionally guaranteed rights. Especially using misleading information and wording on a ballot initiative backed by out of state billionaires like Bloomberg.

  • Capt. Tom

    October 14, 2019 at 9:15 pm

    Unfortunately a ballot Ammendment doesn’t get voted on by the house or the Senate and the Governor can’t veto it. That’s why the anti 2nd Amendment groups are trying this end run.

  • Kevin Avera

    October 21, 2019 at 4:44 pm

    Try writing a pro gun article for just about ANY paper in FL. Chances are it’ll NEVER see print.

    Can we say leftist agenda anyone ??

  • George Rutledge

    October 24, 2019 at 12:22 pm

    Read the text. These worthless libturds have a severability clause built in, which means they are throwing crao against the wall. As per Florida statute, there cannot be a new fee or tax with a 65% majority. That means if it passes with less,the registration part would be removed. These worthless lying scumbags are pathetic

Comments are closed.


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