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Gun Control Poll Says Most Floridians Oppose Open Carry, But Pro-Gun Groups Disagree

February 21, 2017 - 5:30pm

A group of parents and activists opposed to a broad array of gun laws moving their way through the Florida Legislature say they’re part of the majority of Floridians who oppose open carry in Florida, and they’ve got a poll to prove it -- but pro-gun groups vehemently disagree.

On Tuesday, gun control group Everytown for Gun Safety and the Florida Chapter of Moms Demand Action on Gun Sense released a poll showing the majority of Floridians opposed to nearly every controversial gun bill making its way through the legislature this year.

According to the poll, which was conducted by political analyst, Mike Bloomberg adviser and Clinton pollster Douglas Schoen, more than half of Floridians are against a variety of provisions under SB 140, which would legalize open carry in the Sunshine State.

The poll found 76 percent of respondents oppose allowing guns on college campuses while 69 percent oppose allowing guns on elementary and secondary school campuses. Seventy-five percent of Floridians oppose allowing guns in airport terminals.

Moms Demand Action said the survey was evidence most Floridians weren’t onboard with gun bills currently making their way through the Legislature.

“This poll serves as further evidence that Floridians find the idea of carrying handguns, either openly or concealed, in sensitive areas like our children’s grade school classrooms entirely inappropriate,” said Michelle Gajda, a volunteer with the Florida chapter of Moms Demand Action. “It is time for our lawmakers to listen to our concerns and ensure that our schools remain educational safe havens.”

The survey polled 600 Floridians and the margin of error of the poll was +/- 4 percent.

Previous poll numbers showed more than half of Floridians opposed campus carry, but not at as high of a level as Everytown’s poll indicated. 

A 2015 survey found 56 percent of Floridians were against allowing college students 21 and older to carry concealed weapons on all of Florida’s 12 public university campuses.

Thirty-two percent said they supported the legislation, while 12 percent said they didn't know what the correct position was or they weren’t sure.

Sunshine State News contacted Moms Demand Action for more information, but had not received a response at the time of this article’s release.

Groups supporting open carry legislation disagreed with Everytown and with Moms Demand Action, saying the legislation is widely popular with gun owners in Florida, who comprise around 1.7 million of the state’s population.

“The overwhelming majority of Florida citizens support the constitutional right of self-defense,” said National Rifle Association past president and current lobbyist Marion Hammer. “That's what these issues are about. Legislators know that.”

Hammer told Sunshine State News the NRA doesn’t just represent the typical gun-toting type -- gun owners, she explained, have all sorts of backgrounds but are united in their support of the Second Amendment.

“The NRA represents a wide range of gun owners from all walks of life -- all professions, religions, nationalities, both men and women who trust NRA to stand up for them and their constitutional rights,” she said.

Hammer wasn’t alone in her criticisms. Other groups in Florida, like Florida Carry, rejected the idea that heavyweight gun groups like the NRA were the only ones who wanted gun legislation passed.

“Florida Carry is truly grassroots organization that was founded in 2011 by everyday Floridians,” said Florida Carry president Sean Caranna.  “Unlike these non-Florida based gun control groups, we have no paid staff, no out of state billionaire board members, no grants from the likes of the Joyce Foundation...our members donate their time and money to allow us to speak with one voice in the legislature, the courts, and to our fellow Floridians about their individual right to keep and bear arms for the necessary defense of themselves and their loved ones.”

Caranna told Sunshine State News the group’s assertion that the gun lobby has “run roughshod” over Florida because they haven’t been countered by the grassroots was totally false.

“Bloomberg's huge interlinked, social foundation funded, gun control organizations calling Florida Carry anything but a true Florida Grassroots movement while attempting to assume the mantle of a grassroots organization themselves takes hypocrisy to new heights,” said Caranna.

Hammer agreed.

“They are overlooking 1.7 million law-abiding firearms owners who are licensed by the state to carry firearms for lawful self-defense and defense of their families,” she said.



Reach reporter Allison Nielsen by email at or follow her on Twitter: @AllisonNielsen.



Open carry means that if someone is standing on the side of the road in front of your house holding an assault rifle, looking at your house, the police can do nothing.

Fake news, shame on you for reporting skewed polls as fact. This is why you are failing. Very dishonest.

The poll was conducted by political analyst, Mike Bloomberg adviser and Clinton pollster Douglas Schoen. Political analyst and advisor to Mike I hate guns except when my security detail has them Bloomberg. Really? It would be more believable if the Easter Bunny or Santa Claus had conducted the poll.

Given the results of repeated Florida elections, those against the NRA agenda either don't vote for what they claim to support or they don't vote at all. As for me, I choose to live in a state with more restrictive gun laws. I wouldn't live or vacation in Florida. But if Floridians really wanted to NOT be a leader in the area of allowing their citizens to kill each other if they are afraid, they'd vote these folks out. The only poll that counts is the one that happens when you vote for your representatives. The rest is irrelevant. It's clear that Florida voters don't mind these laws, and may well support them.

I moved from PA, a state that feels strongly in open carry.... With that said.. You could walk down the middl of town and see no one with a gun on their hips.. In PA we beiieve in the element of surprise, so I really dont think that the gun community in FL will be any different. Its all the liberals here in FL that want their greedy out of towners money for their business rather than the safety of everyone.

There is no info here about the sampling or how the poll was taken or how the info was analyzed. With that being said, I'd speculate that it's probably split close to the middle. I fully support open carry even though I won't personally open carry in most circumstances. All the arguments being used to fight open carry in Florida are the same arguments that were used to stop Florida from allowing concealed carry back in the 80's. You hear things like cops not being able to tell good guys from the bad and they said the same thing when it came to concealed carry. Not to mention 45 other states already allow it in some form or another. I don't think the poll is legit, but it doesn't matter because the Constitution is not subject to a mere poll anyway.

600 cherry-picked subjects speak for a "majority" of Floridians. A prime example of the Lyin' Left. Oh, it's a Bloomberg poll; figures.

If gun-free zones work to keep ALL guns out of certain areas, including criminals with guns, then we should probably pass some laws making crime illegal. Oh, wait... If the Pulse night club was a gun free zone, there wouldn't have been a shooting there. Except it WAS ALREADY a gun free zone. If the Ft. Lauderdale airport baggage area was a gun free zone, there wouldn't have been a shooting there. Except it WAS ALREADY a gun free zone. San Bernardino... gun free zone. Fort Hood... gun free zone. Washington Navy Yard... gun free zone. Newtown shoot shooting... gun free zone. Aurora theater... gun free zone. Virgina Tech... gun free zone. Capital Hill shooting... gun free zone. Columbine... gun free zone.

I guess people think a gun is safer if you can't see it ...

Exactly; if open carry is bad why don't they be consistent and outlaw open carry by police?

Because pools are SO accurate. I wonder what president Clinton has to say about the about the matter? It is time once and for all to reject this idea that government knows best and that our rights are somehow a debatable mater

Looks like a Bloomberg poll

Down with polls - go to the voters and, fortunately, every vote would be counted! No need for open carry - no need for guns on campus - they are really already there even down into elementary and high school! Now, even those with mental illness can purchase and carry. We don't need to beef up our military - just let the citizens take each other out. The NRA has one purpose - make $$$$$ from sales.

Our Military is not for "taking out" our citizenry. I see where the mental illness is.

Easy to tell gun nuts from parents here.

I'm a gun owner and a parent. What's your point?

Ignorance will get you nowhere.

Keep being an insulting ass. It lost you the White House, both chambers of Congress, and a number of governorships. It will cost you dearly on this issue as well.

Typical liberal tactic is to create a 'poll' as their 'factual' basis to spew whatever pabulum that fits their agenda. Who in their right mind would believe the results from any poll these days. They're either skewed or outright corrupt. This insanity of disarming the citizenry but not pursuing the bad hombres via stop & frisk and other policing tactics shows just how shallow the Dems are. Sad.

We should begin by allowing open carry in the Florida legislature. If our senators and representatives really believe in open carry, it should start with their own area first. Otherwise they are just hipocrites

Open carry and removal of meetings of the legislature are separate bills. If both are enacted unamended, that would be legal, as it is in Texas.

You Deplorables really have a hard time with real facts!

Better to be deplorable than deportable :)

Look who's talking! Trump won; get used to it, or leave the country(I prefer the latter).

When you have one, post it.

Fool! What criminals obey laws?

Polls show what pollsters get paid to show. That's why Hillary Clinton isn't president -- they believed their own polling. So go right ahead and hold press conferences to tout fake polls -- we don't believe you for one minute.

Doug Schoen???..He's the liberal "talking head" on FOX News channel who has been a longtime "Clinton supporter" (until it began to look CERTAIN that Trump was going to be our new President...). Besides Allison, you KNOW how we feel about "polls"... and St. Leo...and Quinipiac...and the rest of them; They ALL 'stayed' with Hillary right to the end, and it was pretty to see them all "choke" !

Isn't it interesting that Everytown, and Mom's Demand, are listed as two separate organizations when they both in fact have all the same board of directors and supporters? That would be because both organizations are controlled and financially funded by Michael Bloomberg and Warren Buffet. Since past polls conducted by these two organizations have been found to be "staged" and piloted toward a populace that will answer polled questions in the favor they're seeking, this reported poll is anything but factual . But then again, you can refer to the remarks made by Michael Bloomberg at the Aspen Institute, where he stated that guns need to be kept out of the hands of minorities but not Caucasians. So I guess we can trust both he and Buffet.

Doug Schoen, worked for Bill Clinton supported Hillary and was one of the pollsters that said Hillary was going to trounce President Trump by a huge margin so his polls are worse that useless Lets find how many Democrats he polled ?


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