A new poll has revealed an overwhelming belief among Illinois voters that the best way to reduce gun violence in the state is to keep guns out of the hands of people who should not have them, and strictly enforce Federal gun laws.
The poll, conducted by the Freedom to Choose PAC, surveyed 804 registered Illinois voters. It found that 95% of respondents would be likely to vote for a candidate who supported reforming mental health laws to keep firearms from the mentally ill. 88% want to charge people accused of violating gun laws under Federal statutes, which require mandatory prison terms if convicted. And 87% agreed the court systems should be monitored to make sure that people charged with gun violations are prosecuted for the violation, and not allowed to plea bargain out of the charges.
Also, 74% said they would be likely to vote for someone who supported conceal and carry legislation for legal gun owners. Specifically, 61% of voters support conceal and carry legislation that contains the same language for private citizens as public officials, excluding law enforcement.
“The poll clearly shows that while the people of Illinois want actions to reduce gun violence, it should not be accomplished by limiting their choices of how they protect themselves, their loved ones and their property,” said Josh Powell, chairman, Freedom to Choose PAC. We need “to work with legislators in passing the conceal and carry law mandated by the Supreme Court," said Powell. "This legislation should include the same limitations applied equally for both citizens and lawmakers. It’s time Illinoisans had the choice to protect themselves" that the citizens of the other 49 states
The poll also revealed that a majority, 41%, believe that banning the sale of fire arms between private citizens would reduce gun violence. Only 22% believed that economic sanctions, or discouraging banks and investors from investing in Illinois companies that manufacture or distribute assault weapons, were an adequate routes to preventing gun violence. Such economic restrictions could force those companies to close, costing Illinois over 5,000 jobs.
87% were for background checks for those buying guns at gun shows. 25% of those polled believe that the current debate is being driven by public safety concerns, versus 45% who believe it’s political in nature.
Of those polled, 43% came from households that own a gun, but 54% felt a gun would be the best form of protection against acts of violence like assault, robbery, rape or home invasion, rather than 35% who preferred just calling the police.