Despite the sentiments of this protester, the majority of new Yorkers told Siena pollsters they support the NY SAFE Act. Photo by Jess String.
March 11, 2013Despite three large protests at the Capitol, lawsuits, petitions and legislation focused on repealing and amending parts of the SAFE Act, a recent Siena Research Institute poll has found 61 percent of New Yorkers support the gun laws.
According to the poll released March 11, 76 percent of Democrats and 37 percent of Republicans across the state favor the legislation while 57 percent of upstate New Yorkers oppose the controversial law.
According to Steven Greenberg, spokesman for the Siena poll, the SRI pollsters define upstate New York as counties north of Putnam and Orange counties.
Public opinion regarding the Message of Necessity used to pass the bill quickly was almost even as 48 percent of respondents said "the law was rushed through without adequately considering public opinion and the effect the law would have," down from the 56 percent in Siena's February poll. Forty-nine percent agreed with the Message of Necessity use, which is up from 42 percent last month.
In recent weeks, more than 30 counties in the state have passed resolutions condemning the SAFE Act and some called for a full repeal of the laws. According to Monday's Siena poll, 40 percent of those surveyed said they would welcome a repeal of the laws, compared to 56 percent opposing repeal.
"Although the gun law has certainly created a stir across the state, particularly upstate, the majority of voters are with the governor on guns," Greenberg said. "So is it the gun law creating this mini-trend of three consecutive months of lower poll numbers? Or is it that nearly half of voters see recent decisions by the governor as being politically motivated?"
Despite 47 percent of respondents agreeing that Cuomo "makes decisions based on what he thinks is best for his political future," his approval rating is still an overwhelmingly positive 64 percent, though down from 67 percent a month ago. The percentage of respondents describing Cuomo as "liberal" hit 35 percent, its highest point to date.