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Another NH Poll Shows Support for Gun Safety

A new survey confirms a previous one - New Hampshire citizens clearly support new gun safety measures.

A second survey of New Hampshire residents shows continuing support for new gun safety measures in the Granite State.

The first poll of 656 registered voters was conducted by New England College on January 21 and 22, 2013. The margin of error in this poll was 3.82 percent.

Respondents favored universal background checks on gun purchasers by an overwhelming 88 percent to 10 percent margin. When asked if they supported a ban on the purchase of military-style assault weapons in New Hampshire, 72 percent of those contacted agreed, while only 24 percent disagreed.

Those were the only two questions included in the New England College survey. The findings of the second poll conducted by the University of New Hampshire are in line with those reported by New England College. In the UNH survey, 581 randomly selected New Hampshire adults were interviewed over landline and cellular telephones between January 30 and February 5, 2013. The margin of sampling error for the survey was 4.1 percent.

A total of six questions regarding gun safety were included in the UNH survey. The first asked if the respondent favored universal background checks to determine if prospective gun buyers had been convicted of a felony. Fully 94 percent supported background checks, while only 5 percent opposed the idea.

This finding of widespread support for background checks matched that reported in the New England College survey.

A second question dealt with the so-called "gun show loophole." Federally-licensed gun dealers are required to do background checks on purchasers. Private sellers at gun shows are not required to make these checks. It is estimated that 40 percent of gun purchases slip through this private-seller loophole.

When asked if background checks should be run on all gun purchases at gun shows, 91 percent of those interviewed agreed, while only 7 percent disagreed.

A third question inquired whether people with mental illnesses should be prevented from buying guns. Fully 84 percent agreed, while only 10 percent disagreed.

The fourth question asked if private citizens should not be allowed to purchase military-style assault weapons. Rapid fire from assault weapons allows many people to be shot in a short period of time. They were used in the Aurora, Colorado, and Newtown, Connecticut, massacres.

Here, 64 percent favored the ban on assault weapons and 31 percent opposed it. This finding of majority support for banning assault weapons agreed with the New England College poll result.

The fifth question asked if a federal government database should be created to track all gun sales. Sixty-three percent agreed with a federal database and 31 percent disagreed.

Finally, the last question asked whether ammunition clips holding more than 10 bullets should be outlawed. Large capacity magazines permit many shots to be fired before an assailant has to re-load, increasing deaths and injuries to innocent bystanders.

In this case, 61 percent supported limiting the size of magazines and 34 percent opposed it.

Please note that in both surveys, large majorities of respondents supported every proposed gun safety measure. Why then is there a general belief that in New Hampshire residents oppose gun laws?

Because nobody ever bothered to check. In addition, the slaughters at places like Newtown and Aurora have made clear the price we pay for allowing unrestricted gun use. Reasonable restrictions are placed on other areas of our lives, such as the operation of motor vehicles, where dangerous practices might jeodardize the lives of others. Why not guns?

Also, a vocal minority favoring virtually unrestricted gun use sets up such a hue and cry at any mention of gun regulation that they appear to be greater in number than they really are.

The facts are clear, however. A substantial majority of Granite Staters believe that new gun safety measures are needed to reduce the appalling number of gun deaths.

This post is contributed by a community member. The views expressed in this blog are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect those of Patch Media Corporation. Everyone is welcome to submit a post to Patch. If you'd like to post a blog, go here to get started.

Apljak February 28, 2013 at 12:00 AM
Sonia, You are so presumptuous every time you respond to me! I actually offer a heavily subsidized insurance plan to my 20+ employees. I think it is utterly important and believe that Obamacare is going to lessen the quality of healthcare. Here's my thoughts on Government programs. The bigger the government involvement, the more waste involved...however, things like defense, interstate commerce, Interstate highways, etc... need to be dealt with federally. Things like education, Healthcare, drinking age, state roads, etc.. are better handled with less waste at the State level. Cities and towns, likewise with local issues. Mass healthcare that was designed by Romney is far from Obamacare, in fact, it is far better and was managed fine by MA...even though my employees were covered in-house and we still didn't participate in it. Gun Control should remain a State right as the governors and police know the local needs far better than some bureaucrat sitting in Washington DC
Apljak February 28, 2013 at 12:08 AM
Sonia, You need to learn how to read instead of just having kneejerk responses based on what you think people say. I repeat, the link that you sent about CA going after illegal guns possessed by prohibited people who have been mandated to turn in their guns IS A GOOD LAW AND I FULLY SUPPORT IT. In fact, I wish more people would do it! We should employ these laws as well as those currently on the books! Unfortunately, Liberal Judges are consistently letting accused felons who have used a gun while committing a crime plea bargain and they are not prosecuting the gun felonies.
Sonia Prince March 01, 2013 at 05:11 AM
Applejack: Canada/France/England offers great care! The few horros stories that were told were paid by Fox news to scare Americas so insurance companies could keep making record profits. Canada and France are very happy with their healthcare system! I'm glad that you give your workers insurance. You will get a good tax break and finally be able to compete with corporations who got away with no taxes and the better employees because they could offer better benefits for their employees. It doesn't matter if it's a state run program or government program, sickness doesn't care in which state you live in. Another ridiculous Republican rhetoric. If the government is good enough to run things like you mentioned: "things like defense, interstate commerce, Interstate highways, etc... need to be dealt with federally" Then they are good enough to run other things like "education, Healthcare, drinking age, state roads, etc.. are better handled with less waste at the State level." There is no difference. Many governments in other countries run the education system and beat our system by a mile; that is just another Republican fed line!
Apljak March 01, 2013 at 08:45 PM
Sonia, This was one of your most well thought out responses and I appreciate it, as it wasn't filled with a bunch of talking points. I think that if the States run the healthcare, it would be better than Federal. As far as nationalized healthcare though, it will never be of the same quality as private. While I can't speak firsthand about other countries programs, I can tell you that I have many doctor friends and they speak of other nationals (Canadian, European, etc...) who make it a point to come to our doctors in the US and personally pay for the treatments as it is far superior to what's available for them in their own country. Unfortunately, there will be two types of medical treatment, those that are available under the National Plan and another, more improved version for those that can afford to pay for it out of pocket. This is truly the unintended circumstance of Affordable Health. Regarding the tax break, there is no real tax break. I just get to deduct the cost from my gross revenues. Unfortunately, employer subsidized healthcare is another source of untaxed benefits that the government is going to try and tax. While I (the employer) get to still write off the expense,we are having to report those benefits on employees' W-2's...which, the next logical step is now the employees are going to have to pay a tax on the benefit to help shoulder the increased burden of AHC.
GWATT March 02, 2013 at 02:56 AM
Just to be clear - there were no rapid fire assault weapons used in the Connecticut incident. Let's also be clear that the weapons were not the criminals in any of these cases. It was the people that were wielding them that were the criminals. Taking guns our of the hands of the innocent, and law abiding citizen will not change what criminals will do. It is pure common sense. Sadly sheep don't have common sense, they just follow.

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