October 17, 2017
Media Contact: Amanda Dawson, Specialist
Department of Public Relations
Methodology Results Contact: Dr. Michael Binder
Public Opinion Research Lab Director
New UNF Poll Finds Florida Voters Oppose Prohibiting the Sale of Assault Weapons
JACKSONVILLE, Fla. – A new poll of registered voters in the State of Florida by the Public Opinion Research Laboratory (PORL) at the University of North Florida finds that of Florida registered voters, 52 percent oppose prohibiting the sale of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines, with 42 percent in support of the prohibition. Registered Republicans in Florida have 55 percent opposition, and even a little under half of registered Democrats oppose prohibiting assault weapon sales at 47 percent. These results are similar to the numbers from a PORL poll conducted earlier this spring; view those results here.
“Even in the wake of the Las Vegas shootings, Floridians are not supportive of restricting access to assault weapons,” said Dr. Michael Binder, UNF Public Opinion Research Laboratory faculty director. “With all of the political polarization in America about guns, I’m actually a little surprised that more Democrats are not supportive of more restrictions.”
When asked about allowing licensed individuals to openly carry, 54 percent oppose and only 40 percent support. Support is down from this spring, when 44 percent supported the open carry of handguns. The parties are more divided on open carry as 69 percent of registered Democrats are opposed, but registered Republicans in the sample support open carry legislation at 57 percent. In regards to the concealed carry of handguns on college campuses, opposition is high at 59 percent, with 37 percent in support. Overall opposition has decreased slightly since the spring results, in which 64 percent opposed and 35 percent supported concealed carry at colleges and universities. Large portions of registered Democrats (78 percent) oppose this policy, while a slight majority (54 percent) of registered Republicans support concealed carry at colleges and universities.
“Even though registered voters are opposed to open carry and campus carry here in Florida, Republicans remain supportive of these issues, which could influence policy in Tallahassee during the upcoming legislative session,” Binder said.
Click here to view the crosstabs by partisanship, sex, age, race and education.
The Florida Omnibus Fall Survey was conducted by live callers at the UNF PORL, via the telephone, from 5 p.m. to 9 p.m. daily, October 5, through October 11. The sample of phone numbers was created through the voter file provided by Florida’s Division of Elections’ September 2017 update and selected through the use of probability sampling among registered voters in the state of Florida in the Florida voter file. Interviews were conducted in English and Spanish by UNF undergraduate and graduate students. Overall, there were 619 completed surveys of Florida registered voters, 18 years of age or older. Of those, 611 had enough demographic data needed for weighting.
The margin of sampling error for the total sample is +/- 3.96 percentage points. The breakdown of completed responses on a landline phone to a cell phone was 27 to 71 percent, with 1 percent refusal. A single interviewer, through hand dialing, upon reaching the specific registered voter as identified in the Florida voter file, asked the respondent to participate, regardless of landline telephone or cell phone. The total sample was then weighted by partisan registration, sex, race, age, and education. Education weights were created from the 2016 American Community Survey (ACS). Partisan registration, sex, race, and age weights were created from the September 2017 update of the Florida voter file to match the active registered voters in Florida. These demographic characteristics were pulled from the voter file list. All weighted demographic variables were applied using the SPSS version 23 rake weighting function. There were no statistical adjustments made due to design effects. This survey was sponsored by the UNF PORL and directed by Dr. Michael Binder, UNF associate professor of political science.
The PORL is a full-service survey research facility that provides tailored research to fulfill each client’s individual needs from political, economic, social and cultural projects. The PORL opened in 2001 and is an independent, non-partisan center, a charter member of the American Association for Public Opinion Research Transparency Initiative and a member of the Association of Academic Survey Research Organization. For more information about methodology, contact Dr. Binder at email@example.com or at (904) 620-2784.
In the next couple months, Florida’s Legislative session will begin. Please tell me whether you support or oppose the following policy changes in Florida:
Prohibiting the sale of assault weapons and large capacity ammunition magazines.
Fall 2017 Florida
Registered Voters n=611
Spring 2017 Florida Registered Voters n=965
Allowing licensed individuals to OPENLY carry a handgun in Florida except in police stations, prisons, courthouses, schools, athletic events, and establishments that dispense alcohol.
Spring 2017 Florida Registered Voters n=970
Allowing licensed individuals to carry concealed handguns into a college or university facility.
Fall 2017 Florida Registered Voters n=611
Spring 2017 Florida Registered Voters n=969
Florida Registered Voters n=611
NPA and other
18 to 24
25 to 34
35 to 44
45 to 55
56 to 64
65 and older
Less than high school
High school graduate
Post graduate degree
White (not Hispanic)
Black (not Hispanic)
*2% of respondents did not have their sex listed in the voter file
Survey language completed in…
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