New UNF poll finds Florida voters support sale of assault weapons

Even 47% of Democratic voters support sales; most voters oppose open carry

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JACKSONVILLE, Fla. - A majority of registered Florida voters oppose prohibiting the sale of assault weapons and large capacity ammunitions magazines, a new poll by the University of North Florida's Public Opinion Research Laboratory found.

While 52 percent of the 611 polled support the sales of these weapons and magazines, 42 percent would support restricting their sales.

While registered Republicans in Florida have slightly higher support of the sale (55 percent) nearly half of registered Democrats (47 percent) also support sales of weapon sales.

These results are similar to the numbers from a PORL poll conducted earlier this spring

“Even in the wake of the Las Vegas shootings, Floridians are not supportive of restricting access to assault weapons,” said Dr. Michael Binder, UNF's faculty director of PORL. “With all of the political polarization in America about guns, I’m actually a little surprised that more Democrats are not supportive of more restrictions.”

When asked if licensed individuals should be able to openly carry, 54 percent oppose and only 40 percent support. Support is down from this spring, when 44 percent supported the open carry of handguns.

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The parties are more divided on open carry as 69 percent of registered Democrats are opposed, but registered Republicans in the sample support open carry legislation at 57 percent.

In regards to the concealed carry of handguns on college campuses, opposition is high at 59 percent, with 37 percent in support. Overall opposition has decreased slightly since the spring results, in which 64 percent opposed and 35 percent supported concealed carry at colleges and universities.

Large portions of registered Democrats (78 percent) oppose this policy, while a slight majority (54 percent) of registered Republicans support concealed carry at colleges and universities.

 “Even though registered voters are opposed to open carry and campus carry here in Florida, Republicans remain supportive of these issues, which could influence policy in Tallahassee during the upcoming legislative session,” Binder said.

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