Sen. President Donald Williams said the results of Wednesday’s Quinnipiac University poll show the depth and breadth of support for sweeping gun-control measures in Connecticut.
“A huge majority of people across this state, a majority of Democrats and a majority of Republicans, support the tough, common-sense reforms we need to pass,” Williams told reporters at the Capitol Wednesday morning.
The Q poll found Connecticut voters support most gun control measures by margins of more than 2-1. Sixty-eight percent of the state’s voters back an expansion of the statewide ban on the sale of assault weapons; 68 percent also back a ban on the sale of ammunition magazines with more than 10 rounds.
As reported by the Courant’s Jon Lender, Democrats and Republicans on a legislative sub-committee looking at the state’s gun laws released competing proposals on Tuesday. Leaders of the two caucuses are scheduled to meet at 3 p.m. today.
Williams said the need for action was greater than the need to reach consensus.
“If folks are saying we should have a consensus bill, then look at where the people in the state of Connecticut are,” Williams said. “I think it’s a case where the people in this state are leading and we ought to take note and draft that comprehensive bill that’s supported by the vast majority of the people of Connecticut.”
Senate Republican Leader John McKinney said he’s not surprised by the poll results. “I glanced at the bullet points of the poll without in-depth looking at questions they asked,” he said.
McKinney said there are a number of issues that lawmakers are looking at that are supported by the majority of gun owners and “that’s hopefully something all of us will reflect upon.”
Asked if he thought the poll results would shape the debate and help break the impasse on gun control legislation, McKinney said public opinion plays a role in most policy decisions.
But in the aftermath of the mass shooting in Newtown, “the public’s paying a lot more attention and that’s always a good thing…people want to make sure they’re responsive to their constituents.”