Illinoisans are much more supportive of gun control than the rest of America, according to a poll out Tuesday from the Paul Simon Public Policy Institute at Southern Illinois University.
Here in the Land of Lincoln, 59 percent of respondents think controlling gun ownership is more important than the right to own guns -- 10 points higher than the nation as a whole, according a recent Pew Research survey.
And 72 percent of Illinoisans think gun laws should be more strict, compared to 58 percent nationwide. Fifty-eight percent favor banning high capacity ammunition clips, while 62 percent want to ban assault weapons, and 92 percent want background checks at gun shows -- three cornerstones of President Obama’s gun control plan. However, only 33 percent would like to see a ban on handguns.
“It’s striking how much stronger the support for gun control measures is in Illinois compared to the nation as a whole,” said David Yepsen, the Institute’s director. “But it’s not surprising because on measurements of many social issues, the electorate in Illinois is more left of center than the American electorate.”
That’s because urban populations are more likely to favor gun control, and according to the U.S. Census Bureau, 87.8 percent of Illinoisans live in urban areas -- one of the highest proportions in the nation.