Rutgers-Eagleton poll: N.J. residents backed gun bills that drew vetoes

NEW BRUNSWICK – Regarding one of the more controversial issues of the day – gun control – a new poll shows that voters support three bills that recently were turned aside by the governor.

The bills would have required reporting of information on lost or stolen guns to federal databases, embedding of license information on drivers’ licenses, and banned .50-caliber weapons.

Regarding the bill that would have had law enforcement agencies report data to the federal databases, 73 percent “strongly” supported it.  Gov. Chris Christie vetoed the bill over concerns that some of the provisions violated law.

According to the new Rutgers-Eagleton Poll released Thursday, 70 percent strongly backed the omnibus bill that would have embedded license data in drivers’ licenses as well as creating instant background checks.

And 54 percent strongly backed the effort to ban the .50-caliber rifle.

According to the poll, seven in 10 remain “very concerned” about the amount of gun violence in America, and another 22 percent say they are “somewhat concerned.”

Only 7 percent are not concerned at all.

But fewer residents now believe controlling gun ownership is more important than protecting the right to own guns: 63 percent now favor gun control over gun owners’ rights, down six points, while 31 percent side with gun owners.

Much of the change is driven by those in households with

guns who have become much more concerned about gun owner rights, the poll shows.

“After numerous very public shooting tragedies in recent years, it is clear New Jerseyans want more and stricter gun control measures adopted,” said David Redlawsk, director of the Rutgers-Eagleton Poll and professor of political science at Rutgers University, in a release.

“This is true even though New Jersey already has some of the toughest gun laws in the nation.”

Results are from a poll of 925 New Jersey adults conducted statewide among both landline and cell phone households from Sept 3-9. The poll has a margin of error of +/- 3.2 percentage points.

Rutgers-Eagleton poll: N.J. residents backed gun bills that drew vetoes