After Parkland shooting, NC poll shows wide support for common-sense gun safety solutions

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Nearly three-quarters of NC voters say school shootings could be reduced through meaningful action by elected officials

RALEIGH -- In the wake of the most recent deadly school shooting in Parkland, Florida, a new poll commissioned by Progress NC Action shows wide support among North Carolina voters for a range of common-sense gun safety solutions.

According to the poll, which was conducted between February 23-25, 76 percent of North Carolina voters are either somewhat worried or very worried about a mass shooting taking place at a school in their community. 73 percent of voters believe mass shootings in schools can be reduced through meaningful actions by elected officials, and 60 percent of voters (including 49 percent of Independents) said a candidate’s position on gun issues is very important when deciding their vote.

Poll respondents were asked about a number of gun safety proposals, and whether each one would make schools more safe, less safe, or have no impact on school safety. The most popular solution was the proposal to strengthen background check requirements to prevent people with a history of domestic violence or mental illness from buying a gun, which 84 percent of voters (including 84 percent of Independents and 79 percent of Republicans) said would make schools more safe.

71 percent of voters said giving judges the power to impose a “gun violence restraining order” and confiscate weapons from someone who is threatening violence or demonstrates violent behavior would make schools more safe, including 73 percent of Independents and 66 percent of Republicans.

62 percent said a ban on “bump stocks” -- the device used during the recent Las Vegas mass shooting which can make a semi-automatic gun fire more quickly like a fully automatic weapon -- would make schools more safe, including 64 percent of Independents and 52 percent of Republicans.

Only one proposal was widely panned by voters -- Rep. Larry Pittman’s proposal to let teachers carry guns in the classroom, which was recently endorsed by Donald Trump. 57 percent of voters (including 64 percent of Independents) said Pittman and Trump’s “more guns in schools” proposal would either make schools less safe or have no impact on school safety.

But will any of these proposals ever become law in North Carolina? In recent years, the NRA has given nearly $12 million to North Carolina politicians through campaign contributions and independent spending. 53 percent of voters (including 61 percent of Independents) believe politicians who accept large contributions from the NRA are more focused on protecting the interests of gun lobby groups which finance their campaigns instead of protecting the safety of their constituents. And 49 percent of voters (including 52 percent of Independents) said they are less likely to vote for a candidate for office that received campaign contributions from the NRA.

“North Carolinians are tired of politicians offering ‘thoughts and prayers’ after every mass shooting but refusing to do anything about it,” said Gerrick Brenner, executive director of Progress NC Action. “They’re tired of politicians who have been bought and paid for by the gun lobby looking out for the interests of their campaign donors instead of the safety of our children. Lawmakers have enough blood on their hands already -- the time for meaningful action is now.”

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