New Poll of American Latinos Shows Broad Support for Stronger Gun Laws; Clear Opposition to Federal Mandate Overriding State Laws on Concealed Carry Permits

Nov 03, 2011, 13:26 ET from Mayors Against Illegal Guns

76 Percent of Latinos Believe Those Who Do Not Meet Their State's Legal Requirements Should Not Be Allowed to Carry a Loaded and Concealed Gun in Public

86 Percent Support Requiring a Background Check on All Gun Sales

76 Percent Support Obama Administration Program Requiring Firearms Dealers in Border States to Report Bulk Sales of Assault Rifles

NEW YORK, Nov. 3, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The bipartisan coalition of Mayors Against Illegal Guns today announced the results of a new public opinion survey showing overwhelming support among Latino voters for strong gun laws designed to keep guns out of the hands of dangerous people, tough enforcement practices, and state control over who can carry concealed, loaded guns in public places.

The survey by Lake Research Partners shows Latinos strongly believe laws governing gun sales should be made stronger and that states – not Congress – should have the authority to decide who can carry loaded, concealed guns within state borders. A measure headed quickly for a vote by the U.S. House would override state authority to set standards for who can obtain a concealed carry permit.

"Latinos clearly put a priority on gun safety and prefer measures that make laws governing gun sales stricter and that prioritize their individual state laws over laws originating in other states," said Joshua Ulibarri of Lake Research Partners.

Among the poll's key findings:

  • 69 percent of Latino voters believe laws governing the sale of guns should be stronger.  24 percent believe laws should be kept as they are now, and only five percent of Latinos believe gun laws should be less strict.
  • A large majority of Latinos, including more than 70 percent of Latino Republicans, Latino gun owners and Latinos over 50, believe that people from other states should  not be allowed to carry a loaded and concealed gun in their state unless they meet their state's legal requirements.
  • Nearly nine in 10 Latinos – 86 percent – support requiring all gun buyers to pass a criminal background check, no matter where they buy the gun and no matter who they buy it from.  Today, only federally licensed gun dealers are required to perform background checks, although 40 percent of U.S. gun sales are conducted through unlicensed sellers.
  • 76 percent of Latinos favor a new Obama Administration program requiring gun dealers in border states to report when someone attempts to buy more than one semi-automatic assault rifle within a five-day period.

"Elected officials at both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue need to start listening to their constituents instead of the Washington gun lobby," said Mayors Against Illegal Guns co-chair Mayor Michael Bloomberg.  "Hispanic voters support the same approach most other Americans say they want - strong gun laws that keep guns out of the wrong hands while respecting the rights of law-abiding gun owners." 

"The debate about gun laws has been drowned out by an extreme minority that makes a lot of noise, but is clearly out of step with the public," said Mayors Against Illegal Guns co-chair Mayor Tom Menino.  "Today's poll shows that yet another important constituency backs the moderate approach so many mayors are taking.  The message is particularly clear when it comes to Latino support for the Administration's new program to strop the trafficking of assault weapons at our border with Mexico.  Congress should take note."

On the concealed carry question, the Lake Research poll reinforces the results of a recent nationwide poll showing Americans overwhelmingly oppose pending legislation that would require states to recognize every other state's concealed carry permits. That poll showed 74 percent of Americans believe "each state should decide for themselves" what permitting requirements are appropriate.

A broad coalition of mayors, police organizations, domestic violence experts, prosecutors and more than 60,000 Americans have launched a national campaign – – to defeat H.R. 822, the National Right-to-Carry Reciprocity Act, which would override state concealed carry laws.

The Lake poll also shows strong support among Latino voters for requiring all gun sellers to conduct instant criminal background checks, a central element of the Fix Gun Checks Act of 2011.  The legislation was first proposed by the Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition after January's mass shooting in Tucson, Arizona and has been introduced in the House and Senate.  For more information on the bill, visit

About Lake Research Partners

Lake Research Partners is a national public opinion and political strategy research firm founded by Celinda Lake in 1995. The firm quickly expanded to become Lake Snell Perry Mermin and Associates, and in 2005 continued to grow through a merger with Decision Research. The firm's principals are leading information and political campaign strategists, serving as tacticians and senior advisors to a wide range of advocacy groups, labor unions, non-profits, government agencies, companies and foundations, as well as dozens of elected officials at all levels of the electoral process. The firm is national in scope, with offices in Washington, D.C., New York and California, and senior staff located in Washington, Oregon and Virginia.

About Mayors Against Illegal Guns

Since its inception in April 2006, bipartisan Mayors Against Illegal Guns coalition has grown from 15 mayors to more than 600. The coalition has united the nation's mayors around these common goals: protecting their communities by holding gun offenders and irresponsible gun dealers accountable, demanding access to trace data that is critical to law enforcement efforts to combat illegal gun trafficking, and working with legislators to fix gaps, weaknesses and loopholes in the law that make it far too easy for criminals and other prohibited purchasers to get guns.

SOURCE Mayors Against Illegal Guns