A majority of registered voters in New Jersey, New York and Virginia support a national gun registry, according to a poll released on Tuesday.
In data from a poll (pdf) conducted simultaneously by Roanoke College, Rutgers-Eagleton and Siena Research Institute, between 63 and 74 percent of those surveyed would be in favor of “establishing a national gun registry.”
“Given a huge disparity in gun ownership rates – half in Virginia compared to one in seven in the two northern states – the much smaller differences on support for a national gun registry are surprising,” said Harry Wilson, Director of Roanoke’s Institute for Policy and Opinion Research about the results.
“Virginians are less supportive of stricter gun laws, but those differences are relatively small,” Wilson continued. “New York and New Jersey have tougher restrictions on guns and gun owners; perhaps those differences are a factor in shaping opinion.”
Conducted Feb. 22-28, the researchers spoke with 707 registered voters in Virginia, 729 in New Jersey and 720 in New York, all of which were reached through random dialing of cell and landline phones. The margin of error was placed at between 3-4 percent by the pollsters.
Besides a gun registry, the poll also found positive results when asking respondents about legalizing same sex marriage, legalizing medical marijuana, and approving a path to citizenship for people who are in the U.S. illegally.
With respect to politicians and lawmakers, the poll found favorable opinions of President Obama, Hillary Clinton and Gov. Cuomo of New York, and less favorable opinions of both Rand Paul and Paul Ryan — which has some calling the veracity of the poll into question.
“Given the exceptionally high numbers of support for President Obama and Hillary Clinton in this poll, it isn’t surprising that there would be equally high numbers of support for draconian gun control proposals,” said NRA Spokesperson Andrew Arulanandam in a statement to Guns.com.
“The 5 million NRA members, along with every reasonable law-abiding American, oppose gun registries and want law enforcement resources used to ensure existing gun laws are enforced and those who break these laws are arrested, prosecuted and punished,” Arulanandam elaborated.
In a poll conducted last year, 93 percent of NRA members opposed a law requiring gun owners to register with the federal government. Currently just 6 states and the District of Columbia have registration statutes. Further, recent efforts to register gun owners in Connecticut has led to much public debate and backlash.
“Polling also consistently shows that the American public does not support gun control,” Lawrence G. Keane, Senior Vice President, Assistant Secretary & General Counsel of the National Shooting Sports Foundation told Guns.com when asked about the survey.
Keane added, “Registration of law abiding gun owners does nothing to reduce crime.”