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New Poll Of Pennsylvanians Reveals Mismatched Priorities In State Legislature; Voters Support Expanding Background Checks, Not Creating Special Rules For Gun Lobby

93 Percent of Pennsylvanians Support Criminal Background Checks on All Gun Sales – A Measure Currently Stalled, While Legislature Considers Preemption Bill that Most Pennsylvanians Oppose Once Informed

Everytown for Gun Safety today released the findings of a statewide survey of likely voters in Pennsylvania that reveals how the state legislature’s priorities on guns are out-of-step with what Pennsylvanians support.  In the final days of session, the legislature is attempting to push through a firearm preemption bill that would make it harder for local officials to enact and enforce public safety policies — which a majority of Pennsylvanians oppose once informed about it — while there are no plans to advance legislation to expand criminal background checks to all gun sales, which 93 percent of Pennsylvanians support.

The Pennsylvania House of Representatives could soon be voting on HB 2011 — a firearm preemption bill that would hamper local officials’ ability to ensure safety in their communities.  The bill would enact first-time-ever legal rules to allow groups like the NRA to sue municipalities across the state over local public safety laws like ordinances that require reporting lost or stolen guns to the police, directly overriding well-established judicial precedent that rejected the gun lobby’s attempt to bring such suits. HB 2011 would also force cities and boroughs to turn over taxpayer dollars to pay the gun lobby’s legal bills.

Key findings of the poll, which can be found here, include:

  • By two to one, Pennsylvania voters are not familiar with the state’s current firearms preemption law.  Even fewer voters (21%) are familiar with HB 2011, which would amend the state’s law to expand the preemption laws.
  • After establishing familiarity with existing firearm preemption law and HB 2011, a majority (60%) of likely voters have an unfavorable impression of HB 2011, and 55% of voters then say they oppose the measure.
  • In contrast to voter opposition to HB 2011, 93% of likely voters favor requiring criminal background checks on all gun sales in Pennsylvania — a public safety measure addressed in HB 1010.
  • Nearly all voters (96%) say that support for the Second Amendment goes hand in hand with keeping guns out of the hands of dangerous people, and background checks will keep guns out of the wrong hands.