New Poll: Majority of California Dems, Independents Worry About Being Victims of Gun Violence

Sixty-three percent of California voters said they worry that gun violence will affect them or someone close to them according to results released from a survey by UC Berkeley and the LA Times in the wake of high-profile shootings in the state. Another 30% claimed to be “very concerned,” as well. 

The survey also revealed a disproportional concern among women, city residents and people of color in the state in terms of the fear of gun violence. 

Democrats ranked the highest in fear, with 78% expressing concern compared to 61% of unaffiliated independent voters and 36% of Republicans.

Tense political polarization on the 2A “is evident everywhere in this poll,” said Mark DiCamillo, director of the Institute of Governmental Studies.

Poll results. (Photo: David Lauter/LA Times)

“What was most striking to me had to do with the fears of gun violence affecting their own personal lives. I wouldn’t have expected there to be a huge partisan divide on that,” DiCamillo said. “But the perception is very different. Republicans are not expressing nearly as much concern about it as Democrats. And that really ties into their views on guns more generally.”

SEE ALSO: LA Times Op-Ed: ‘Thinking of Buying a Gun for Self-Defense. Don’t Do It’

White, male and rural voters were less likely to report a fear of being personally affected by gun violence than black, Asian, Latino and female voters who lived in urban and suburban areas, the poll reported.

Vice president of policy and programs at Brady: United Against Gun Violence, Christian Heyne, referred to the results as “jarring.”

“I don’t think there are people in other industrialized countries throughout the world that would have a similar percentage of fear by population. And I think that’s because we stand uniquely in a position where gun violence is a reality, that our laws and access to weapons mean that no community can feel safe from gun violence,” said Heyne.

Forty-Five percent of those surveyed said stricter gun control laws would help a great deal in preventing mass shootings, and 18% said they would help some, while 34% said they would not help much making the partisan divide evident.

Eighty-Eight percent of registered Democrats said stricter laws would be somewhat or strongly effective, it dropped to 61% among non-party voters and dove to 20% for registered Republicans. Among the Republicans surveyed, 78% said stricter laws would not be very effective.

Fifty-eight percent said that creating more mental health services and expanding existing ones would help a great deal to reduce mass shootings, compared with 10% who said it would not help much. The partisan divide in this category was much smaller than on gun regulation.

SEE ALSO: New Gallup Poll Shows Diminished Support for Gun Control

The poll also revealed a widespread lack of information on whether or not the state’s so-called red-flag law is effective. Forty-one percent of voters reported believing the law was not being used enough, as opposed to just 6% who said it was being used too much. But 47% said they didn’t know enough about it to have an opinion.

Tighter rules on firearm possession was favored by 60% of voters surveyed compared to 34% who believe preserving the right to bear arms was more important when asked if it was better to impose restrictions on gun ownership or to protect 2nd Amendment rights

Eighty-six percent of Democrats said limiting gun ownership is more important than protecting gun rights. 57% of unaffiliated voters agreed as well, compared with 12% of Republicans surveyed. 

The report follows a deadly stream of gun violence in the state including the back-to-back mass shootings in Monterey Park and Half Moon Bay. These fatal shootings renewed calls among Democrats for greater restrictions on who can legally possess a firearm in California and initiated several new pieces of gun-control legislation.

SEE ALSO: Poll in Gun Control Friendly-D.C. Doesn’t Go Gun Control’s Way

One of the bills would ban gun giveaways, raffles, and lotteries. Others impose an excise tax on firearms and ammunition and a ban on body armor. 

Firearm homicide and suicide rates per the CDC. Black males between the ages of 10 and 24 suffered the most in 2020. According to the report, they were 21 times more likely than their white counterparts to die from gun homicides. Put another way, young black males make up two percent of the U.S. population but accounted for nearly 38 percent of all gun homicides in 2020, as a Johns Hopkins Center for Gun Violence analysis explained.

Second amendment activists in California believe the sweeping SCOTUS ruling against restrictive gun laws will stop these efforts. Currently, courts all over California are trying to figure out how to apply the Bruen decision to current and future laws.

Sam Paredes, executive director of Gun Owners of California, wasn’t too surprised by the numbers in the poll that highlighted the partisan divide over firearms.

“But the reality is it doesn’t matter what anybody thinks about imposing more gun control or anything. We have the 2nd Amendment. It is clearly defined,” Paredes said.

Paredes further explained that the window for regulation is closing on their efforts.

“There’s no more hardcore gun control stuff that [Democrats] can do, because they’re already doing it all. And they are sad because they know that a lot of those laws are going to go away very, very soon.”

The Berkeley IGS poll surveyed 7,512 California registered voters online in English and Spanish from Feb. 14 to 20. The results are estimated to have a margin of error of 2 percentage points.

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About the author: Dante Graves Dante is a movie and comic book junkie who loves a good explosion. His passion for politics and journalism led him here. Dante’s only aim is to be truthful and factual with his reporting.

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  • Jason Slucher March 13, 2023, 9:27 am

    Here’s some crazy ideas…enforce laws already on the books, put criminals in jail, stop the woke nonsense.

  • STEVEN CHRISTENSEN March 11, 2023, 2:40 pm

    This poll and piece of journalism is such BS and misguided! Patriots should not take these polls, because they are lumped in with the majority being fed the premeditated narrarative. The majority of those Republicans whom checked the “concerned” box probably did so over the concern of 2nd Amend. rights being infrinfed upon, whereas yes we should be concerned, because disarming us puts us in harm’s way via the criminals whom still appear to have unwavering access to firearms. We should not be concerned about firearms, we should be concerned about criminals and criminal activity. Firearms don’t dreate crime scenes, criminals do. Not one single gun law anywhere has ever stopped any crime involving a firearm from occurring.

  • l1254 March 10, 2023, 1:19 pm

    Who believes any of these polls they are all skewed by how they ask the question skewed to show the desired results of the pollster. I would assume this poll was taken by a liberal group that hates guns and wants us all to know how badly they are scaring people and need to be outlawed and confiscated. But like the author said theres always the 2nd amendment that stands in there way. If the left wants to truly get rid of guns do it the way its supposed to be done by repealing the 2nd amendment. Repeal of the 2nd amendment must be passed by two-thirds of both houses of Congress, then ratified by the legislatures of three-fourths of the states. That is why the left will never be able to get rid of our rights to possess guns instead they continually infringe on our rights by chipping away at our second amendment rights until they hope it will be so hard jump through so many hoops to get a gun or own a gun that people will give up trying. INFRINGE on our right this is what the second amendment mentions and that the left is constantly doing.

  • Fred March 10, 2023, 12:45 pm

    Just goes to show that the people who need safe spaces also vote democrat.

  • john e booth March 10, 2023, 11:46 am

    Tom Petty wrote a great line in one of his songs. ” Most things I worry about ,never happen,anyway”. Worrying doesn’t help you in any fashion.

  • Gutsy63 March 10, 2023, 9:28 am

    This poll shows me that Democrats are believing the fear and that laws stop criminals. California has some of the most restrictive gun laws, yet some of the highest gun crimes. The idea to make more laws because the other ones aren’t working is so foolish. The law makers there are not trying to understand the Bruen ruling. They are trying to find ways to skirt around it and test what they can get away with.

  • Analog Man March 10, 2023, 8:07 am

    Eighty-Eight percent of registered Democrats said stricter laws would be somewhat or strongly effective, it dropped to 61% among non-party voters and dove to 20% for registered Republicans. Among the Republicans surveyed, 78% said stricter laws would not be very effective.

    88% have no reasonable excuse why the ~20+k existing laws are ineffective.

    Meanwhile, count how many people are contacts in your phone. Your other contacts, far back as you care to, tally up those. Where are all these Liberals?

  • Alan March 10, 2023, 6:53 am

    Sure. More gun control. How about, criminal control. If you enforce the existing laws and quit giving you criminals all the breaks. Things would be better. But. Nobody wants to hear this. Bring back the three strikes law Felons keep getting their hands on guns and they are not held responsible for it. Enforce existing laws and there would not be a need for more.

  • T.White March 10, 2023, 5:31 am

    Let me get this straight they polled 7,512 people out of roughly 25,000,000 and think they have the consensus of anything let alone gun control??
    That’s the most dishonest poll I’ve ever seen. They ask if the person thinks stricter gun control will help yet they never say exactly what that means. They ask if stricter gun control will help prevent mass shootings but they never say what specifically because there is nothing that can prevent a mass shooting. If there was don’t you think someone would’ve brought it up before now? I am ashamed of my home state for leading the charge against the constitution of this great country. You can’t pick and choose which parts to follow. It’s all or nothing. If Gavin Newsom has his way it’ll be nothing. Wake up Cali voters or soon we’ll be living in Commiefornia.

  • paul I'll call you what I want/1st Amendment March 7, 2023, 12:17 pm

    Well since most of the criminals are enabled democraps, they can’t feel safe knowing that good guys with guns are around!

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