California has some of the strictest gun control laws in the nation. Asked if they’d like some more, Californians are telling pollsters, “Bring it on.”

A narrow majority, 51 percent, said it’s more important to protect people from guns than to protect the rights of gun owners, according to a poll released on Friday by the University of Southern California and the Los Angeles Times. Only 37 percent took the opposite position.

“In one question after another Californians made it very clear to us that they felt that there needed to be more stringent limitations on the ability of the state’s residents to access, to purchase and to maintain ownership of a firearm,” said Dan Schnur, director of the USC Jesse M. Unruh Institute of Politics, in an accompanying video.

Among the other points:

  • 92 percent favor background checks for all gun sales; 6 percent oppose such measures
  • 89 percent favor of improving mental health records in background checks; 9 percent oppose such measures
  • 87 percent favor increasing penalties for gun crimes, 9 percent oppose such measures
  • 85 percent favor increased penalties for illegally buying, selling or possessing guns; 12 percent oppose such measures
  • 79 percent favor requiring ammunition buyers to provide thumbprints and identification; 19 percent oppose such measures
  • 71 percent favor requiring all gun owners to be licensed and insured; 26 percent oppose such measures
  • 66 percent oppose arming teachers and other school staff; 31 percent favor  such measures

The results don’t come as much of a surprise, since a Field Poll came to similar conclusions Feb. 26. And gun ownership is lower in California than in the rest of the nation, said Seema Mehta of the Los Angeles Times.

But the Field Poll did show a shift in opinion, the Bay Area News Group reported:

The 61 percent of California voters favoring more gun controls to the 34 percent more concerned with Second Amendment rights is a wider margin than the Field Poll has found in three previous surveys dating back to 1999.

Pollsters for both surveys speculated that the shift has resulted from widely reported incidents of gun violence such as the Dec. 14 massacre of 26 people at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.

Poll Finds Strong Gun Control Support in California 22 March,2013Laird Harrison

  • Josh Apple

    So it took a bit of searching but I found the numbers I was looking for. The random phone survey called on 1,501 registered voters to pass judgement on the issue of gun control in California. That is 1,501 people out of a state of 38,041,430 (Google’s numbers). I guess that is it; when .00395% of the people of spoken then I would say that we have heard the definitive voice and felt the true spirit and desires of the people.

    • Justin

      If you’re going to attack a sample size without a mathematical explanation of why it was insufficient then you’re just making more noise.

      I don’t know if 1500 isn’t large enough to draw conclusions, but I’m not a statistician. Then again, most of the splits from the poll are in the 80/20 or 90/10 range. Seems rather significant to me.

      • Josh Apple

        “If you’re going to attack a sample size without a mathematical explanation of why it was insufficient then you’re just making more noise.”

        Why was it an insufficient number? You’re telling me that the voice of .00395% of the people should dictate the laws and regulation proposals for a state of over 38,000,000 people. Polls are meaningless and are merely used to sway the minds of the ignorant public. I’m curious if you were one of those that were calling out the 1% during the whole Occupy Movement?

      • John of the Korrupt California

        You are not a very smart person.

  • bill o’rights

    Diving, headfirst, into the empty pool of tyranny.

    Well done, sheep.

  • If the poll is from the LA Times, it’s more rigged then a mafia race track. All they will do is drive gun owners out of the state. For many it will be the proverbial last straw. California is already overt-axed, over-crowded, over-regulated and has nothing to offer except good weather…well the price for good weather is way too high. 100,000 more people leave california every year then move in,, expect that to double and triple in the future.

Sponsored by

Become a KQED sponsor