California voters are opposed to the idea of allowing trained teachers, administrators and other personnel to carry firearms in public schools, according to a new poll.
UC Berkeley's Institute of Governmental Studies found wide support for tougher firearms restrictions among voters in a state with some of the toughest gun laws in the country. The poll surveyed the opinions of 4,038 Golden State voters in the aftermath of a Florida high school shooting that left 17 students dead and returned the issue of gun control to the national spotlight.
An attack at a Nashville Waffle House, which has drawn additional attention to the issue of gun ownership and mental health, took place on April 22, the last day of six days of polling.
The Trump administration detailed a school safety plan in March that included a proposal to provide firearms training to teachers, a controversial concept opposed by some of the largest teachers' groups in the country.
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California voters rejected the idea of training and arming school personnel 61 percent to 37 percent. Eighty-three percent of Democrats opposed the concept, while 75 percent of Republicans were in favor.
A nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons earned 67 percent support. Fifty-eight percent of GOP voters oppose the ban, while 85 percent of Democrats were in favor.
The federal government last approved an assault weapons ban in 1994, marking one of U.S. Sen. Dianne Feinstein's most notable achievements. The ban expired in 2004, and Feinstein is pushing to bring it back in legislation introduced this year. It's been illegal to sell assault weapons in California since 1992.
Voters favored tightening restrictions on gun ownership over protecting Second Amendment rights, 64 percent to 32 percent, marking the highest support since the question was asked in a statewide survey in 1999.
Democrats (89 percent), voters in coastal communities (69 percent) and non-partisans (62 percent) favored gun ownership controls more strongly than Republicans (22 percent) and inland residents (52 percent).
Approximately 60 percent of respondents believed stronger laws restricting the sale and possession of guns would reduce violent crime in their communities. Eighty-three percent of Democrats said strong laws would be effective, compared to 82 percent of Republicans who disagreed.