A new poll from a campaign to cut gun deaths in the U.S. in half by 2025 found that many voters in the 19th Congressional District support certain gun controls such as background checks.
The Brady Campaign, an organization seeking to reduce gun deaths nationwide by half in seven years, put out the new poll Sept. 28, a little more than four weeks before Election Day, that shows voters living in the 19th Congressional District support gun control policies, including assault weapon bans.
The 19th Congressional District is a swing district that is an important district in the strategies of national campaign organizations. The race is between Republican incumbent U.S. Rep. John Faso, Democratic challenger Antonio Delgado, of Rhinebeck, independent candidate and “Law and Order:SVU” star Diane Neal and Green Party Candidate Steven Greenfield.
“John Faso is a defender of Second Amendment rights for the hundreds of thousands of law-abiding citizens in upstate New York who safely utilize firearms for hunting, sport and self-protection,” said Joe Gierut, a spokesman for Faso’s campaign. “He does not support bans on semi-automatic firearms, which is consistent with positions taken by both Republican and Democratic members of congress who represented NY-19 in the past.”
In the 19th Congressional District, a majority of voters supported certain gun restrictions and regulations, according to the poll.
“The majority of people in the district are pragmatic people,” Neal said Monday. “So it doesn’t surprise me that people support common sense gun control legislation.”
Eighty-seven percent of voters supported background checks before the sale of any gun, while 6 percent of voters opposed background checks.
In addition, 68 percent of voters were more likely to vote for a candidate who supports background checks and 11 percent were less likely to vote for such a candidate, while 18 percent of voters said it would not affect their vote.
“I bought a rifle a while back and it took 15 minutes, and that is not a huge burden for people who know it is for something that could be dangerous,” Neal said. “Most people know that background checks are not so the government is coming to take our guns away. I think it is a false narrative that people put on others.”
Numbers were closer on the subject of a national ban on the sale of assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines, with 57 percent of voters in support of such a ban and 32 percent opposing a ban. As a result, 51 percent of voters are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports a national ban on assault weapons and high-capacity ammunition magazines and 33 percent of voters are less likely to vote for such a candidate, while 14 percent of voters said it would not affect how they vote.
Neal has shot guns that fall under the assault-weapons category under extreme supervision, she said.
“They are fun to shoot, but there is no reason to have those kind of guns or high-capacity magazines,” Neal said. “Unless you are in the military, or need them for work, but most military bases have safe places for you to shoot them.”
Some states are moving forward with legislation that will allow police and family to ask the court to remove firearms from and ban the sale of firearms to an individual believed to be a danger to themselves and others, and the poll gauged voters’ support of the legislation, with 61 percent of voters in support and 19 percent opposed. Voters would more likely vote for a candidate who supports the legislation, 65 to 19 percent.
More voters, 63 percent, favor legislating increased gun safety measures over arming teachers and staff in schools, and allowing private citizens to have concealed weapons in schools, at 26 percent.
Sixty-one percent of voters would be more likely to vote for a candidate who supports certain gun bans as a solution to gun violence, while 24 percent of voters would be less likely to vote for such a candidate.
“Notably, he (Faso) has been a leader in Congress in ensuring that mental health and school safety programs helping our children are robustly funded,” Gierut said. “In addition, he supported measures to improve background checks and the Trump administration’s regulation to ban bump stocks.”
Seventy-two percent of voters said the better use for federal school funding is through mental health programs, drug and violence prevention services, and health and physical education, while 17 percent of voters said giving federal money to gun manufacturers to give schools the opportunity to arm teachers is better. More voters would vote for a candidate who supports using federal school funding for health programs, 63 percent, than the 19 percent of voters who are less likely to vote for such a candidate.
Delgado’s campaign referred voters to his website to see his views on gun control.
Greenfield’s campaign did not respond to a request for comment.
The full poll can be found at www.bradycampaign.org.
Reporter Richard Moody can be reached at email@example.com or at 518-828-1616 ext. 2418.