September 18, 2017 — Today, following remarks by former Congresswoman Gabrielle Giffords at the CD2 Fall Classic Fundraiser, in which she urged Minnesota’s leaders to help save lives from gun violence, her gun safety organization, Americans for Responsible Solutions, is releasing the results of a public opinion survey gauging Minnesotan’s views on gun laws. The survey finds that Minnesota voters are overwhelming opposed to gun lobby-backed proposals, such as deregulating the sale of gun silencers and weakening state concealed carry standards. The new poll, also shows the majority of Minnesota voters are more likely to support candidates who favor responsible gun laws.
The poll comes as the House of Representatives prepares to vote on H.R. 3668, a dangerous new bill that includes a dangerous provision to roll back an 80-year-old law that carefully regulates the sale of gun silencers. Silencers give shooters a strategic advantage by disguising the sound of gunfire and masking the muzzle flash. They make it more difficult for people – including law enforcement officers – to recognize the sound of gunfire and locate an active shooter.
“These poll results show that the overwhelming majority of Minnesota voters support the existing requirements for obtaining silencers and carrying concealed firearms, and oppose the gun lobby’s misguided efforts to eliminate the existing system that protects law enforcement, and the communities they serve, from harm,” said Peter Ambler, Executive Director, Americans for Responsible Solutions. “At a time when more police are being assassinated in ambush-killings than in any time during the past two decades, Minnesota voters want leaders who will make their communities and law enforcement safer. We urge Minnesota’s leaders to listen to their constituents, support responsible gun safety measures, and reject any attempts to deregulate silencers and mandate concealed carry.”
Key findings from the survey include:
Voters strongly support the existing system that regulates the sale of firearm silencers. For more than eight decades, the government has required anyone purchasing a firearm silencer to pass a background check, pay a small fee, and to register the silencer. These reasonable regulations have resulted in very few silencers being used in crimes. If passed, H.R. 3668, The Sportsmen’s Heritage and Recreational Enhancement (SHARE) Act, would have a negative impact on public safety, putting more than 1.3 million silencers up for grabs, making it easier for people – including domestic abusers and criminals – to obtain them. It would also impact the safety of law enforcement officers and make it more difficult for them to do their jobs and keep our communities safe. 81 percent of Minnesota voters, support maintaining the current system that regulates the sale of firearm silencers.
Voters strongly support the existing concealed carry permitting system. Currently, Minnesota law requires a permit to carry a handgun in a public place. To get a permit, a person must fill out an application, complete a firearms training and not be listed in the state’s Criminal Gang Investigative Data System. If passed, The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act would force Minnesota to honor the weak or nonexistent concealed carry standards of other states, like Wisconsin, making Minnesota less safe and putting law enforcement at risk. 86 percent of Minnesota voters, support maintaining Minnesota’s permitting system for carrying concealed.
The poll was conducted by Public Policy Polling on behalf of Americans for Responsible Solutions. The survey, which was commissioned from July 6-9, consists of telephone interviews with 645 Minnesota voters across the state. The margin of error for the survey is +/- 3.9 percent.
The survey’s findings are just the latest example of Minnesotans support for stronger gun laws. Last year, a similar survey of Minnesota voters conducted on behalf of Americans for Responsible Solutions found that 86 percent of Minnesota voters – including 77 percent of Republican voters – support closing the loopholes in current law that allow dangerous people like felons and domestic abusers buy guns without a background check.
Today, Americans for Responsible Solutions also released a new fact sheet demonstrating the dangers of The Concealed Carry Reciprocity Act, which would force Minnesota to allow unvetted people from out of state to carry loaded, hidden guns in public spaces. It’s important to note that this bill would not create a consistent national requirement across states for who is able to get a concealed carry permit, but instead forces states to recognize the concealed carry laws from other states, including states that have weaker standards for what it takes to carry a loaded, hidden gun in public.
To illustrate the devastating impact this bill would have on Minnesota’s public safety, the fact sheet, compares the requirements to carry concealed in Minnesota to the requirements to carry concealed in Wisconsin state, illustrating how this bill would drastically weaken Minnesota’s laws if enacted.
To arrange a time to speak with a gun violence prevention expert, contact Sean Simons at firstname.lastname@example.org.