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New poll says Washingtonians want more done to prevent gun violence

SEATTLE — When it comes to guns and gun control in Washington State, there’s more that unites us than divides us. That’s from a new poll from EMC Research sponsored by the liberal policy organization Civic Action. The poll comes just a couple of weeks after the shooting in Las Vegas that killed 58 and wounded more than 500 people.

“What we found here was overwhelming support for stronger gun laws,” said Civic Action president, Zack Silk during a teleconference. “In fact a stronger range of issues, things that have not yet been considered by the legislature or things that haven’t been taken up by the legislature.”

Taking a look at the numbers, you can see the common ground, including between homeowners with guns, and homeowners without.

  • 87 percent of gun-owners asked said they believe there should be mandatory gun safety training for anyone before they can buy a gun.
  • A strong majority, 79 percent, say they agree with a ban on bump stocks. That’s the device used by the shooter in Las Vegas. The device attaches to the back of a semi-automatic weapon rifle and can greatly increase the number of rounds fired per minute. Among households with gun owners, 74 percent agreed there should be a ban.
  • Three-quarters of voters believe any gun buyer in the state should have that firearm licensed.
  • And 65 percent of those surveyed say lawmakers should make new laws that heavily restrict access to semi-automatics.

Here’s a full breakdown of the poll:

There’s also agreement among all but one group that elected officials should do more to help stop gun violence.

  • Seven-in-ten likely November 2018 voters agreed that there’s more that lawmakers can and should be doing.
  • Every sub-group agreed except one, and that was Republicans, who split on the question. 46 percent agreed, the same amount disagreed.

The breakdown among men and women also show common ground on this issue.

“In general, women voters have been more supportive of these issues.” said Silk. ”Although what we found in the supermajorities here, the split is much less indicative of outcome than other identifications.”

Civic Action writes that this is not a partisan issue, saying that more than 62 percent of Republican likely voters support the idea of safety training, the bump stock ban and the idea of licensing firearms.

Half of the GOP voters asked said they support restrictions on semi-automatics.

Civic Action, which is a liberal-leaning organization, believes this is an issue Washington lawmakers, as well as lawmakers across the country, shouldn’t ignore.

Match this state poll with a poll earlier this month from Quinnipiac University that shows, by a 60-to-36 percent gap, that American voters support stricter gun laws. Like the Washington State poll, both men and women support it (Men 52%, Women 68%) and that support is there in Northeast (72%), Midwest (61%), South (58%), and West (52%).

That latest survey shows a whopping 94 percent support requiring a background check for anyone buying a gun. That idea gets support from 93 percent of voters in gun households.

How these numbers from both polls will turn into change in Washington State or Washington, D.C. is yet to be seen. We’d like to hear how you would change gun laws or if they should stay as is.