Floridians support gun-control measures that Legislature isn't backing

On a number of other gun-control measures, a majority of Floridians support them:

Florida voters support 51 - 44 percent stricter statewide gun-control laws, with gun owners opposed 61 - 33 percent. Attitudes on specific gun measures are:

56 - 41 percent support a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons, with gun- owners opposed 57 - 41 percent;
53 - 43 percent support a nationwide ban on the sale of high-capacity magazines holding more than 10 rounds, with gun-owners opposed 56 - 40 percent;
59 - 36 percent support placing armed police officers in schools;
57 - 33 percent that gun ownership in Florida does more to protect people from crime than to put them at risk;
60 - 31 percent say allowing people to own assault weapons makes the country more dangerous rather than safer, with gun owners divided 44 - 44 percent.

"Floridians' views on guns are pretty much in line with results seen in other states surveyed by Quinnipiac University," Quinnipiac's Peter Brown said. "Women are more likely to support restricting guns than men; blacks more than whites and Democrats more than Republicans. The idea of requiring background checks on those who want to buy guns has overwhelming support, 91 - 8 percent, in a country where getting a majority to agree on anything is often difficult."

Based on the lack of movement surrounding the gun-control measures introduced by Democrats this session, it's not hard to gather that the Legislature disagrees with the public.

Three of the bills deal with the state's controversial Stand Your Ground Law. One of them, proposed by Senate Minority Leader Chris Smith, would repeal the 2005 law.

But the Legislature weighed in on the law last month when the task force assigned by Gov. Rick Scott to review the law — in the wake of the Trayvon Martin shooting death — came out with its final report. The legislators said not only is there nothing wrong with Stand Your Ground, but with some tweaks, it could be made easier to claim self-defense after killing someone.

Democrats cried foul from the jump regarding the task force, saying it was composed almost exclusively with known supporters of the law, including its authors.

This spring, Democrats in Tallahassee have proposed no fewer than nine bills that address some form of gun regulation; however, none of them seem to be going anywhere in the GOP-led Legislature.

While the Legislature may not be so supportive, the Florida public is, at least according to a new poll published on Thursday morning by Quinnipiac University.

How about background checks? By a 91-8 percent margin, Florida voters support universal background checks for gun purchase, and Rep. Lori Berman, D-Lantana, has filed a bill that requires those checks before all gun sales.

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