Illinois voters overwhelmingly support the strong enforcement of gun laws and the freedom to choose how to protect themselves. Print
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Written by Christie Strunga   
Wednesday, 06 March 2013 12:48
Recent poll examines gun laws/gun violence solutions

Recent poll data shows that there is an overwhelming belief among Illinois voters that the best way to reduce gun violence in the state is to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them, and strictly enforce Federal gun laws.

The poll conducted by the Freedom to Choose PAC on February 27, which surveyed 804 registered Illinois voters, found that 95% of respondents would be likely to vote for a candidate who supported reforming mental health laws to keep firearms from the mentally ill.

88% want to charge people accused of violating gun laws under Federal statutes, which require mandatory prison terms if convicted. 

87% agreed the court systems should be monitored to make sure that people charged with gun violations are prosecuted for the violation, and not allowed to plea bargain out of the charges.

Also, 74% said they would be likely to vote for someone who supported conceal and carry legislation for legal gun owners.

“The poll clearly shows that while the people of Illinois want actions to reduce gun violence, it should be not be accomplished by limiting their choices of how they protect themselves, their loved ones and their property,” said Josh Powell, chairman, Freedom to Choose PAC. “Action needs to be taken to work with legislators in passing the conceal and carry law mandated by the Supreme Court. This legislation should include the same limitations applied equally for both citizens and lawmakers themselves. It’s time Illinoisans have The Choice to protect themselves shared by the other 49 states in the country.”

Specifically, the poll indicated that 61% voters would support conceal and carry legislation that contains the same language for private citizens as public officials, but would exclude law enforcement.

Pollsters also delved deeper to determine solutions for curbing gun violence.

Less than a majority, 41 %, believed that banning the sale of fire arms between private citizens would reduce gun violence.

Only 22% believed that economic sanctions, or discouraging banks and investors from investing in Illinois companies that manufacture or distribute assault weapons, were an adequate route to preventing gun violence. Such economic restrictions could force those companies to close, costing Illinois over 5,000 jobs.

87% were for background checks for those buying guns at gun shows.

25% of those polled believe that the current debate is being driven by public safety concerns, versus 45% who believe it’s political in nature.

Of those polled, 43% came from households that own a gun, but 54% felt a gun would be the best form of protection against acts of violence like assault, robbery, rape or home invasion, rather than 35% who preferred just calling the police.
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“The Freedom to Choose” poll was conducted by McKeon and Associates, February 27, 2013. The poll surveyed a sample of 804 registered voters in Illinois. Full cross-tabs and additional information can be found by loading the image below, or on www.freedomtochoose.us.