In Short

Survey: Majority of Oregonians say they’ll back candidates who support more gun control

By: - August 31, 2022 5:45 am

A recent survey indicated that a majority of Oregon voters would support a control for more gun regulations. (Alex Wong/Getty Images)

A majority of Oregon adults say they are more likely to vote for a candidate who supports gun control in the Nov. 8 general election, according to a recent survey.

The study by the Portland-based Oregon Values and Beliefs Center, a nonpartisan research group, found that 56% of respondents were more likely to support a candidate who favors strengthening gun laws, compared to 19% who said they’re more likely to back a candidate who favors less gun control.

The study, conducted between July 8 and 16 and released Aug. 25, follows one released earlier this summer, which found that a majority, or 60%, of respondents support stricter gun control measures.

The second survey was designed as a deeper dive, according to Amaury Vogel, associate director of the center. It added questions about how voters intended to vote in November. It also followed two high-profile mass shootings. On May 10, 10 Black people were fatally shot at a Tops supermarket in Buffalo, New York. On May 24, 19 elementary school students and two teachers were killed in Uvalde, Texas.

According to the recent survey, there was wide agreement among the nearly 1,600 respondents that some level of gun control is appropriate, with four in five people, or 83%, answering ‘yes’ to the question, “Do you feel there should be some gun control?” That finding was consistent across gender, education and income level.

Eighty-eight percent of respondents said they support background checks for all gun purchases, favor preventing the sale of firearms to those with certain mental health conditions and back expanding screening and treatment for people with mental illness diagnoses. Eighty-one percent said they support raising the minimum purchase eligibility age to 21.

Unlike the first gun survey, the second featured open-ended questions. Many respondents expressed support for measures to control guns and restrict access for people who have been deemed dangerous by mental health providers.

The survey also found a connection between distrust of the U.S. Supreme Court and support for stricter gun laws. Nearly 70% of those who said they have “little” or “no trust” in the Supreme Court favored stricter gun laws, while  30% who said they had a “great deal” or “fair amount” of confidence in the high court supported looser laws.

That surprised Vogel.

“Traditionally, people who have distrust in government institutions want less gun control,” she said.

Additional findings:

  • One in three respondents, or 33%, own a gun, compared to 57% who said they do not.
  • 66% of respondents support banning assault-style weapons, while 28% oppose this policy.
  • Respondents in urban areas are more likely to support stricter gun laws than those living in rural areas, or 65% compared to 43%.

 

 

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Garrett Andrews
Garrett Andrews

Garrett Andrews covers justice, health and social services. Before joining the Capital Chronicle, he worked for 14 years at newspapers in Colorado and Oregon, focused primarily on crime and courts. He has a master's degree in political science from the University of Colorado-Denver.

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