JACKSON, MS: March 5, 2018 - - Mississippi voters agree with a majority of Americans on a number of proposed gun law reforms. A recent statewide poll confirms that opinions are changing in the wake of another school mass shooting. The survey conducted February 23–27 of 410 likely voters with mobile phones (margin of error of +/-4.84%) revealed the following:
- 88% of respondents say they would support federal legislation to prevent people on the government’s terrorist watch list from buying guns, while just 7% oppose the rule change.
- 94% would support new laws to make it harder for people with mental illnesses to buy guns (2% oppose).
- 89% would support requiring background checks for private gun sales, including those bought at gun shows (8% oppose).
- 64% would support banning military style assault rifles—including 81% of African-American respondents and a plurality (47%) of white respondents (25% of respondents overall oppose such a measure).
When asked about a bill under consideration in the Mississippi legislature to allow concealed carry permit holders to bring handguns into college football stadiums, a slight majority of respondents (52%) were opposed while 33% said they supported the legislation.
These findings should be considered in light of the initial question in the survey about whether Mississippi gun laws are too strict, too lenient or about right. A majority of respondents initially said the state’s gun laws are “just about right.” Chism Strategies President Brad Chism explained the paradox, “Mississippi is a rural state with a rich hunting tradition and the NRA has a healthy membership and considerable political muscle here. Guns are part of the cultural heritage. So this initial, reflexive response that the state’s gun laws strike the right balance is understandable.”
Chism noted, “Much more surprising are the responses when voters are asked about specific changes in current law. Mississippians are looking for a better balance between gun rights and common sense reforms in the wake of the Florida school shootings.”
About the Survey
The survey interviewed 410 likely Mississippi voters with mobile phones. We weighted the results by age based on 2014 general election turnout. Education levels were self-reported by respondents. The racial breakdown of responses was as follows: African Americans: 31%; Caucasians: 67%; Mixed Race/Other: 2%. The gender breakdown was 46% Male, 52% Female, 2% other. Age distribution was: 13% age 18 to 34; 20% age 35 to 44; 23% age 45 to 54; 21% age 55 to 64; and 23% age 65+.
About Chism Strategies
Chism Strategies is a political communications firm that uses a range of tools to help elect Democrats and advance progressive causes across the United States from offices in Washington, DC, Atlanta, GA and Jackson, MS. The survey was conducted with no input nor funding from any candidate committee, party organization or issue advocacy group.