STORRS, Conn. – Nearly two-thirds of Connecticut residents support stricter gun regulations, with larger majorities favoring specific measures like background checks on all gun sales and policies to prevent people with mental illness from buying guns, according to a poll released Thursday by The University of Connecticut and the Hartford Courant.

The survey shows that 64 percent of state residents say they favor more stringent gun laws, with support particularly strong among women, Democrats, and residents 65 or older.

That’s notably higher than the percentage of U.S. residents who favor stricter gun laws, which stands at roughly 50 percent, according to a national UConn/Courant survey released on the same day as the state poll.

One of the key factors for Connecticut residents is the Dec. 14, 2012 massacre at Sandy Hook School in Newtown, the poll found. Fifty-seven percent of Connecticut residents said the killings made them more likely to support gun control than before, compared to 44 percent nationally.

When it comes to specific proposals on guns, majorities exist both nationally and in Connecticut, but in Connecticut the support is notably greater:

  • 90 percent of Connecticut residents support background checks before gun purchases at gun shows
  • 87 percent support a law preventing people with mental illness from buying guns
  • 73 percent support a federal database to track gun sale
  • 68 percent support a renewed ban on assault-style weapons like the one used in the Sandy Hook massacre
  • 64 percent support a ban on ammunition clips that can hold more than 10 rounds.

On school safety, though, there’s less consensus both in Connecticut and nationally. When asked to rate the effectiveness of several measures to promote school safety that have been discussed in recent weeks, Connecticut residents were more divided than on the question of gun control:

  • 51 percent think restricting public access to school buildings during the day would be very effective at reducing violence
  • 42 percent think increasing police presence at schools would be very effective
  • 36 percent think making physical changes to school buildings, like bulletproof glass, would be very effective
  • 12 percent think arming teachers or other school officials would be very effective

These findings are based on The University of Connecticut/Hartford Courant Poll.  The national sample of 1,002 randomly selected adults were interviewed by landline and cellular telephone between Jan. 22 and Jan. 28, 2013. The margin of sampling error for the survey is +/- 3 percentage points for the entire sample, and larger for subgroups. The Connecticut sample of 511 randomly selected adults were interviewed by landline and cellular telephone between Jan. 24 and Jan. 28, 2013. The margin of sampling error for the Connecticut survey is +/- 4 percentage points for the entire sample, and larger for subgroups.

 

Download the Connecticut polling data (PDF).

Download the national polling data (PDF).