In the wake of the mass shooting at Robb Elementary School in Uvalde, Texas, a new poll commissioned by Newark-based nonprofit Project Ready finds that a majority of New Jersey parents are worried about a mass shooting at their children’s school and support additional gun safety measures.
“When it comes to school safety, many New Jersey parents are deeply concerned about mass shootings and want to see action from their leaders,” Project Ready CEO Shennell McCloud said in a news release posted on insidernj.com. “It’s not surprising that parents support a wide range of proposals related to gun safety.”
The survey of 854 New Jersey parents conducted June 20-27 found that a majority of parents support proposals included in Gov. Phil Murphy’s Gun Safety 3.0 legislative package, including:
- Requiring firearm safety training (89%-10%)
- Increasing funding for violence intervention and street outreach programs (86%-10%)
- Mandating safe storage of firearms (84%-15%)
- Raising the minimum age to purchase shotguns and rifles from 18 to 21 (69%-30%)
- Requiring electronic recordkeeping for all ammunition sales (67%-31%)
- Closing loopholes for importing firearms from out of New Jersey (65%-28%)
- Requiring all guns to implant a unique identifier on every bullet fired (63%-29%) and
- Banning military-style .50 caliber rifles (59%-38%).
In addition, a plurality (49%-44%) support allowing people in New Jersey to sue gun manufacturers when they fail to make their products safer or have engaged in deceptive marketing.
By a wide margin, Democrats (67%-3%) believe legislators should make New Jersey’s gun laws stricter than they are now as opposed to less strict, while Republicans (60%-9%) believe gun laws should be less strict.
By a wide margin (72%-15%), Democratic parents believe making it harder for people to get AR-15s is a more effective response to reduce school shootings than making sure all but one door are locked during the school day. A plurality of Republican parents (44%-14%) think making sure all but one door is locked is a more effective response than making it harder for people to get AR-15s.
While most parents (79%) believe their children’s schools are safe, 61% of parents are worried about a mass shooting at their child’s school, while 38% are not. Democratic parents (76%-23%) are much more likely than Republican parents (44%-55%) to be worried about a school shooting.
When asked what most worries them when it comes to school safety, 73% of parents identified bullying, while 56% said a mass shooting event and 24% said gang related violence. One in four parents believes drugs are a problem in their school, compared to 52% who say drugs are not a problem.
Among Democrats, bullying (75%) and mass shootings (72%) were nearly equal concerns, while Republicans were more likely to identify bullying (70%) than mass shootings (40%).
Polling was conducted online from June 20-27, 2022. Using its Dynamic Online Sampling technology and SMS text messaging to attain a sample reflective of parents of school-aged children, Change Research polled 854 parents in the state of New Jersey. This includes a small oversample in the city of Newark. Post-stratification weights were made on gender, political region, 2020 vote, and race and ethnicity to reflect the distribution of parents statewide. The survey has a margin of error of 4.1 percentage points.