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In WA, governor, guns and GOP need better PR, Elway Poll suggests

A new Elway/Crosscut poll of Washington residents shows 47 percent think it should be harder to own a gun.

Washington Gov. Jay Inslee, a third-term Democrat, is probably not as popular with constituents as he would like to be but neither is the Republican Party, and when it comes to guns, nearly half of the people think they should be harder to get, even though their possession is a protected right under the state and federal constitutions.

Those are the findings of a new Elway/Crosscut poll that suggests Inslee, the GOP and gun rights activists all need to step up their game.

The survey asked 20 questions covering issues all over the political and social landscape. Inslee, who may be lucky the survey was done prior to Wednesday’s announcement that he is recommending once again masking up even for those who have been vaccinated and that students and staff at K-12 schools must wear masks. Forty-five percent of survey respondents think Inslee is doing a good job while 54 percent say he is doing poorly or only “fair.”

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The split is even on whether people think they are represented in state government or they are not, 49 to 49 percent. State government has been dominated by Democrats for several years.

While Republicans may think that’s great, another Elway question throws cold water on that impression. When asked how they would register if they were required to register by party, 36 percent said Democrat, 33 percent said Independent and only 18 percent said Republican. Thirteen percent declined to answer, however.

It’s when the subject turns to guns that the responses get a bit confusing.

Asked whether anyone in the household owns a firearm, 42 percent said ‘yes’ while 44 percent said ‘no,’ but a significant 14 percent didn’t answer. Many gun owners today habitually refuse to answer whether they have guns as a matter of privacy, and the most recent data available from the state Department of Licensing shows there are more than 625,000 active concealed pistol licenses in the state.

A separate question asked whether laws should be made stricter, more lenient or stay the same, and 47 percent said it should be harder to own a gun in Washington. Thirty-one percent said the law should stay the same and 18 percent want it to be easier to own a gun. Five percent had no opinion.

But gun ownership is protected by both the federal and state constitutions. It is a right, not a privilege, to own a firearm in the state.

Another question revealed that 66 percent of Washington residents think political correctness “too often is used to keep people from speaking their minds.” Apparently, that doesn’t apply when they are responding to an Elway poll.

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