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Quinnipiac poll finds majority support stricter gun laws, expanding mail-in ballots

50% say police are tougher on people of color; but most approve of how police do their job

HAMDEN, Conn. — A Quinnipiac University Poll released Thursday found that a majority of people surveyed support stricter gun laws.

According to the same poll, half the respondents were in favor of expanding mail-in ballots, while 50% say police are tougher on people of color. Most approve of how police do their job.

The poll follows mass shootings in Atlanta, Georgia and Boulder, Colorado. People said they supported stricter gun laws. But that support varies widely depending on the measure. 

Pollsters said: 

  • 89 – 8 percent support requiring background checks for all gun buyers;
  • 74 – 21 percent support a so-called “red flag” law, which would allow the police or family members to petition a judge to remove guns from a person that may be at risk for violent behavior;
  • 52 – 43 percent support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons;
  • 51 – 44 percent support a nationwide ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines that hold more than 10 bullets;
  • 49 – 43 percent oppose repealing a law that gives gun manufacturers broad immunity from being sued by victims of gun violence and their relatives.

“There are mixed feelings on whether gun violence has reached a true crisis point, but a clear consensus on reporting 'the threat next door' before it is too late,” said Quinnipiac University Polling Analyst Tim Malloy.

The poll also delved into questions of policing and race.

"Half of Americans (50%) say police in the United States are tougher on Black people than on white people, while roughly 4 in 10 Americans (41%) say police generally treat Black and white people the same, and 1% say police are generally tougher on white people."

Pollsters went on to say, "More than half of Americans, 55 – 34 percent, say they approve of the way police in the United States are doing their job. That is down slightly from a 60 – 29 percent job approval rating in October of 2016. Nearly three-quarters of Americans (73 – 21 percent) approve of the way police in their community are doing their job. This is lower than a 2016 survey, when Americans approved 81 – 14 percent of the way police in their communities were doing their job."

When it came to expanding mail-in ballots access that were put in place during the 2020 elections because of the pandemic and if they should become permanent, 54 percent of Americans say they support it while 42 percent oppose.

Nearly 7 in 10 Americans (69 – 25 percent) think the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States.

The poll found that nearly 7 in 10 respondents (69 – 25 percent) think the use of marijuana should be made legal in the United States. That is a record number of people who support making recreational marijuana legal. 

1,237 U.S. adults nationwide were surveyed from April 8th - 12th with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percentage points.

RELATED: Quinnipiac Poll: Biden approval rating at 48%; good marks for handling of pandemic

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