2/3rds of Utah voters back a mandatory waiting period for all gun purchases

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Two-thirds of Utah voters favor a three-day waiting period from purchase to delivery for all gun sales in the state, a new UtahPolicy.com/Y2 analytics poll finds.

It is yet another indication by the series of polls by the online political newsletter and public survey firm that show most Utahns are interested in some kind of gun control coming out of the upcoming 2020 state Legislature.

Waiting periods have been talked about before, giving some time to allow emotional responses to daily trials — like a bad divorce or job firing — for disturbed people to regain some balance in their lives.

And nine states and the District of Columbia have some kind of gun-purchase waiting period currently.

Utah has no waiting period to buy or possess a gun. Anyone eligible can buy a gun, ammunition, and take them home immediately, having to pass a criminal background check at the store to finalize the purchase and delivery.

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The Utah Political Trends poll finds:

— 66 percent of Utah voters either “strongly support” or “support” that three days pass between buying a gun and picking up the gun from the seller.

— 21 percent “strongly oppose” or “oppose” such a waiting period.

— 14 percent have no preference on the question.

Once again, we see a big difference between men and women on this issue:

— 54 percent of men support a three-day waiting period, but 79 percent of women do. A significant 25 percentage point difference.

By far, most gun ownership is by men, and men do most gun violence.

Partisanship, again, plays a significant role in the different opinions on a gun possession waiting period:

— Just under a majority — 48 percent — of “strong” Republicans are in favor of a 3-day waiting period.

— 34 percent of “strong” Republicans are against it.

— Likewise, those who said they “lean” Republican are divided — 45-29 percent in favor of the waiting period.

— But all other groups show large majorities in support of a 3-day waiting period: “not very strong” Republicans (70-13 percent); independents (59-27 percent); “lean” Democrats (90-5 percent); “not very strong” Democrats (80-8 percent); and “strong” Democrats (95-2 percent).

The only demographic group that is against the waiting period are those who said they are “strong” conservatives:

— 44 percent of those said they are “strongly opposed” or “opposed” to a 3-day waiting period.

— 37 percent said they support the waiting period, and 19 percent were neither in favor nor opposed.

Finally, as has been pointed out before in UtahPolicy.com’s gun polling, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints bans all guns from their meeting houses and other public properties.

Y2 finds that 62 percent of “very active” LDS members support the three-day waiting period, 21 percent oppose, and 17 percent don’t have an opinion one way or the other.

GOP legislative leaders tell UtahPolicy.com that they anticipate various bills dealing with gun control will be introduced in the 2020 general session, which starts the end of January.

Republican Gov. Gary Herbert is not running again next year, and so may feel freer to sign some kind of gun control measures.

Although Lt. Gov. Spencer Cox is in the race, and anything Herbert does on controversial measures, and gun control is clearly in that category, may reflect on Cox’s gubernatorial chances.

All 75 seats in the Utah House and half of the 29-member state Senate are up next year.