Polling issues: gun control, police relations, voter ID - MSNewsNow.com - Jackson, MS

JSU survey yields intriguing results about gun control, stop-and-frisk

Source: Dept. of University Communications Source: Dept. of University Communications
JACKSON, MS (Mississippi News Now) - The Jackson State University Polling Center has released national survey results on a number of issues, including: gun control, police relations, trust in the judicial system, and voter identification requirements. 

Gun Control: Nearly 50 percent of Americans feel that the government is encroaching on the Second Amendment rights to carry and own firearms. 

A significant majority of respondents (88.7 percent) feel they have a right to use a firearm in their home against an intruder. Nearly 30 percent nationally feel that tensions in places like Ferguson, Mo., would be lessened by more gun controls. 

However, while 7.2 percent believe there should be no controls on gun ownership, 79 percent support some licensing or restrictions on certain arms like assault rifles.

Police Relations: Just short of one-half of all respondents (47.6 percent) agreed with the statement: “Based on all that I know or have heard, African-Americans are justified when they report fearing the police.” 

Stop and frisk policies were supported by 68.1 percent of whites surveyed, but only 38.6 percent of African Americans. 

Younger respondents are significantly less likely to feel positively (57.4 percent) for local police than those 40-64 years of age (73 percent) and 65-plus (80.9 percent). 

Younger respondents are three to four times as likely to report being verbally abused or profiled by police than those 65-plus.

Trust in the Judiciary: While only 66 percent of Americans had strong trust in police departments, only 55.6 percent could say they had strong trust in the judicial system of courts, prosecutors and judges. 

Only 38.6 percent of African Americans had trust in the system (48.6 percent for Hispanics; 61.9 percent among whites).

Voter ID: Only 18.6 percent of respondents suggested voter fraud is very serious in the United States. Another 11.9 percent felt that it was not serious at all. Most fell between the extremes (57.8 percent) and suggested that voter fraud was somewhat serious or not very serious.

Voter ID is a top issue in Mississippi since this is the first general election where the state's law requiring ID will be in force.

The June 3rd primary election was the first requiring all Mississippians voting at the polls to show a photo ID card. 

According to the Mississippi secretary of state's office, a number of forms of identification are acceptable, including: driver's license, passport, state or federal government employee or military ID card, firearms license, tribal photo ID, voter ID card, or student ID card issued by an accredited Mississippi university, college, or community/junior college.

Since October is Domestic Violence Awareness Month, specific polling regarding trust in police in the judiciary may be of interest, including: females are less likely to trust police departments than males.

Regarding gun control, it's noteworthy regionally that a majority of Americans (nearly 53 percent) indicated that they own or would own a firearm for personal or family protection in the home. 

But that number rises to 70 percent in the South. Firearm ownership was 41.6 percent among rural respondents but only 26.6 in suburban areas and 17 percent in urban locations. Firearm ownership was higher among Republicans at 34.6 percent versus Democrats, 18.3 percent.

The poll was conducted by the Polling Center at Jackson State University's Institute of Government. It is a national survey conducted Sept. 1-9, 2014, among 900 respondents with a 3.5 plus or minus margin of error.

Polling by the center is conducted on a regular basis and also includes spontaneous polling on occurring events.

Full polling results and more information on methodology are available from the JSU Institute of Government at 1400 John R. Lynch Street, P.O. Box 18115, Jackson, MS 39217 (601.979.2339).

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