A new poll from the Castleton Polling Institute finds Vermonters are overwhelmingly in favor of restricting access to guns and ammunition, and that's true even among gun owners.
Pollsters asked 620 Vermonters four questions about gun control, and the difference between what gun owners and non-gun owners thought might surprise you.
When people were asked if they would agree with requiring strict reporting for mental health professionals to the national instant background check system, 82 percent of gun owners and 88 percent of non-gun owners favored the move.
The poll found strong support for broader background checks by closing the gun show loophole, which allows people to buy guns without a background check-- 71 percent of gun owners and 81 percent of non-gun owners want background checks at gun shows.
The survey also found 55 percent of gun owners favor a ban on the sale of high-capacity ammunition magazines compared to 77 percent of non-gun owners.
And when it comes to a ban on assault weapons, 50 percent of gun owners and 75 percent of non-gun owners support a ban.
"I think it's encouraging there are a lot of Vermonters giving thought to this issue. I'm encouraged by the initial polls and we should listen to them very carefully," said Rep. Linda Waite-Simpson, D-Essex Junction.
"I think simply banning weapons doesn't work, but we don't want guns in the hands of the wrong people. But I'm just not sure how much weight to give this poll to be honest with you," said Rep. Kurt Wright, R-Burlington.
Castleton surveyed those 620 Vermonters between Feb. 6 and Feb. 17. The poll has a margin of error of 3.9 percent.
Democratic Senator Phillip Baruth initially wanted to ban assault weapons, but then withdrew the bill saying there was not enough support. We asked Baruth, who is the Senate majority leader, to speak with us about this issue, but he refused to talk on the record and on camera about the gun survey.
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