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Exclusive: poll shows 55 percent of Coloradans favor stricter gun laws

DENVER — More than half of Coloradans, including 60 percent of unaffiliated voters, support stricter gun laws across the board, according to a new poll first reported by FOX31 Denver.

The survey from Project New America and pollster Chris Keating, based on 905 live telephone interviews conducted over the last few days, finds that 55 percent of Colorado voters support stricter gun laws, while 40 percent oppose them.

In a state that’s endured more than its share of mass shootings, this controversial issue continues to break along traditional partisan lines — 75 percent of registered Democrats and 59 percent of unaffiliated voters widely supporting gun control measures; among Republicans, meanwhile, just 33 percent favor gun control and 61 percent oppose.

In the five suburban “swing” counties around Denver, Adams, Arapahoe, Broomfield Douglas and Jefferson, 59 percent of respondents support gun control measures; but in Larimer, Weld, Pueblo and El Paso counties, only 34 percent of those surveyed support the measures.

Unaffiliated women in the 5 suburban counties, the demographic group that has tipped the balance in recent statewide elections, overwhelmingly favor stricter gun laws, by a margin of  68 percent to 27 percent.

“This poll shows that Colorado voters overwhelmingly want common sense solutions to the problem of gun violence,” said Jill Hanauer, Project New America’s president. “There is a long tradition of responsible gun ownership in the West, and that includes keeping guns away from people who shouldn’t have them, like criminals and the mentally unstable.”

Respondents also expressed support for specific gun control proposals.

Ninety-five percent support any measures to prevent people with serious mental health problems from owning a gun; and 84 percent support allowing judges to force those convicted of domestic violence or subject to restraining orders to surrender their guns to the court.

Of all the proposals being pursued during the current legislative session, the one Gov. John Hickenlooper singled out to support in his State of the State address, a measure to require all private gun sales to be subject to a background check, is supported by 80 percent of Coloradans.

Support for a number of bans on guns and ammunition is less overwhelming but still significant.

A proposal to ban guns from being carried on college campuses is supported by 65 percent of Coloradans.

And 61 percent of those polled favor proposals to ban the sale and possession of semi-automatic guns and assault rifles; a ban on the sale and possession of high-capacity or extended ammunition clips, which allow guns to fire more than 10 rounds before reloading, also has support from 61 percent of respondents.