CHAPEL HILL-: As the state General Assembly continues to face several heated conversations about gun control, a recent poll shows that most North Carolinians of both major parties aren’t pleased about one particularly controversial proposal on the table.
The piece of legislation, formally known as House Bill 937, would allow concealed carry permit holders to carry guns into a variety of different environments, including college campuses, parks, and bars. But according to one Public Policy Polling survey, many local residents don’t believe firearms should be allowed in any of those places.
“We find that 73 percent of voters don’t believe there should be concealed weapons in bars, 69 percent don’t believe they belong on college campuses, and 65 percent think they should be kept out of parks,” says PPP Director Tom Jensen.
Still, earlier this month, the bill managed to pass the GOP-dominated state House by a margin of 76 to 38. But according to the poll, even Republican voters in North Carolina are against the legislation.
“What’s interesting about this issue is, elected officials have really gotten to the right of even their voters,” he says. “Because on all three of these things, we find that Republican voters are opposed.”
The survey shows that Republican North Carolinians are against guns in bars by a 25-54 margin; they’re also against guns on college campuses 40-50, Forty-six percent of Republican voters also don’t believe guns belong in parks, compared to just 42 percent who say they do.
UNC System President Tom Ross has publically spoken out against House Bill 937, saying it would increase the threat of violence on UNC System campuses. Several gun-rights advocacy radio advertisements have denounced Ross’s remarks.
This isn’t the first time in recent memory that a Public Policy Polling survey has indicated favoritism toward gun control; earlier this month, one survey showed improved popularity for Senator Kay Hagan after she voted in favor of background checks for gun sales. On April 17, the U.S. Senate members, including Hagan, cast ballots on a piece of legislation that would have required background checks for anyone purchasing a firearm at a gun show or over the Internet. That bill, which was formally called the Manchin-Toomey Amendment, ultimately failed 54-46.