Thu January 17, 2013
Poll: 73 percent of NYers support assault weapon ban
The ban on assault weapons and large ammunition clips passed by state lawmakers and signed into law earlier this week has the support of 73 percent of New York voters, according to the latest poll by the Siena Research Institute.
"It has support downstate and upstate. Even 58 percent of Republican voters support the toughest assault weapon ban in the nation," Siena pollster Steve Greenberg said.
The survey finds 91 percent of those polled support tougher penalties for buying guns illegally and using weapons on school grounds, while only eight percent oppose.
Greenberg says voters are solidly opposed to a proposal to train and arm teachers: 69 percent oppose the idea, while 30 percent support it. But the National Rifle Association's idea of putting armed security guards in schools drew a mixed reaction from registered voters.
"That issue divides New Yorkers. Forty-six percent of New York voters support that, 52 percent, a bare majority, oppose it. But there we do see differences. Democrats oppose it, Republicans support it. Downstate New Yorkers oppose it, Upstaters support it," Greenberg said.
Upstate New Yorkers hold a more favorable view of the National Rifle Association than their downstate counterparts. Fifty percent of upstaters view the NRA favorably compared to 45 percent unfavorable. Statewide, only 36 percent of New York voters have a favorable opinion of the organization, compared to 57 percent unfavorable.
Gun enthusiasts will gather in downtown Buffalo's Niagara Square at noon this Saturday for a "gun appreciation" rally.
The poll finds along with the gun control measures, voters strongly support Cuomo's recent proposals to raise the state's minimum wage, enact campaign finance reform, and institute a new bar-like exam for teacher certification.
Governor Cuomo says he's not surprised by the poll's showing of strong support for tighter gun control.
"All the polls say that New Yorkers overwhelmingly favor common-sense gun control," Cuomo told The Capitol Pressroom Thursday. "I wish we all had done this much, much earlier. I think we would have saved lives."
Cuomo told program host Susan Arbetter that making New York the first state to pass tougher restrictions following the shootings at Newtown, Connecticut, was not important. He says passing the "right law" was.
Interview segments courtesy of WBFO Albany correspondent Karen Dewitt.