Marylanders To Prevent Gun Violence Releases New Polling Data;
Maryland Voters Overwhelmingly Support Licensing the Purchase of Handguns;
Sarah Brady in Annapolis to Visit Top Lawmakers
Annapolis, MD (February 20, 2013) – Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence (MPGV) released new polling data today showing that an overwhelming majority of Maryland registered voters support licensing handgun purchasers. According to the new poll conducted by Opinion Works, 81% of Maryland voters statewide, including 89% of Democrats, 78% of Independents, and 64% of Republicans, said yes to the following question, “Would you support requiring a license to purchase a handgun in Maryland that would require a fingerprint, criminal background check, and safety training.” (The Memo from Opinion Works pollster Steve Raabe along with the poll crosstabs are posted at the bottom of this page.)
“This is a profound level of support for a major public policy proposal, and as close as you can find to consensus today.” said OpinionWorks Pollster Steve Raabe. “Across party lines, Maryland’s voters view this as an important, common sense measure.”
The new polling data was released on the same day that Sarah Brady, a national leader for effective gun violence prevention laws, will be in Annapolis to meet with key lawmakers on the governor's Firearms Safety Act. Sarah Brady will meet with Governor Martin O'Malley, Lt. Governor Anthony Brown, Senate President Mike Miller and House Speaker Mike Busch. She'll also meet with the Chair of the Senate Judicial Proceedings Committee, Senator Brian Frosh.
"Marylanders to Prevent Gun Violence is honored to have Sarah Brady in Annapolis today to meet with key lawmakers about responsible measures to prevent gun violence," said Vincent DeMarco, MPGV Board President. "The people of Maryland know that licensing handgun purchasers saves lives and its time for the Maryland General Assembly to enact common sense legislation to reduce straw purchases and save lives."
Since 1981, when her husband Jim Brady was shot during the assassination attempt of President Ronald Reagan, Sarah Brady and her husband have been tireless champions of sensible gun laws, helping to the secure the passage of the "Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act" signed into law in 1993. Since that time 1.7 million prohibited purchasers have been stopped from buying guns.
Strong Voter Support for Gun Measures in Maryland
A Divided Public on Repealing the Death Penalty
(January 13, 2013) Large majorities of Maryland voters support a ban on assault weapons and limitations on ammunition magazines, while the public remains divided on the question of repealing the death penalty, according to a new poll by the independent firm OpinionWorks of Annapolis, Maryland.
The poll of 800 voters was conducted Dec. 28, 2012 – Jan. 2, 2013, and carries a margin of sampling error of ± 3.5%.
The poll found:
· A nearly three-to-one majority of Marylanders support limiting the capacity for ammunition in detachable magazines from 20 to 10, with 71% in favor and 24% opposed.
· 62% of Maryland voters would ban the sale of assault weapons, while 35% are opposed.
· A plurality of 48% oppose repealing the state’s death penalty, while 42% favor repeal – a result that indicates a possible 2014 referendum on this question could be closely contested.
“If these gun control proposals went to a referendum, they would pass easily. Repeal of the death penalty is another matter, as the public is deeply conflicted,” said OpinionWorks President and the poll’s author Steve Raabe. “Like the State Senate, which is nearly equally divided and considering its decision carefully, attitudes about the death penalty do not follow easily predictable fault lines in the public.”
Detailed crosstabs are attached for all three questions. An assault weapons ban is supported in all parts of the state except Western Maryland, and politically is opposed only by Republicans, and narrowly at that. A limit on high-capacity magazines is supported in all regions of the state and by partisans of all stripes. Meanwhile, the death penalty repeal sees its strongest opposition in the rural parts of the state and Baltimore City. But generally-speaking there are not large differences among voter groups on the death penalty as the public wrestles with this difficult issue.
800 Maryland registered voters were interviewed by telephone Dec. 28, 2012 – Jan. 2, 2013. Interviews were not conducted Dec. 31 and Jan. 1. Voters were selected randomly from the database provided by the Maryland State Board of Elections. These interviews were conducted by supervised and trained live interviewers, and were paid for by the independent polling firm OpinionWorks, based in Annapolis. Statewide results have a maximum possible sampling error of ± 3.5% at a 95% confidence level.
Baltimore Sun: "Marylanders strongly support gun control proposals, poll finds," January 13, 2013.