Poll shows opinions on gun laws in Georgia are changing

Poll shows opinions on gun laws in Georgia are changing

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President Barack Obama has proposed sweeping new gun laws in the wake of the tragic school shooting in Newtown, Conn. An exclusive FOX 5/Insider Advantage poll shows that opinions about gun laws in the strongly conservative Georgia could be changing.

"We are seeing some lessening with regards to these hard positions with regard to gun control in Georgia," said Insider Advantage CEO Matt Towery.

According to the poll, an overwhelming 61 percent of Georgians now support universal background checks.

Some women FOX 5's Justin Gray talked to a gun range said they weren't against the background checks.

"I don't know a lot about the gun laws, but I do think that the background check would not be something unreasonable. That would be fine," Melissa Shepherd said.

But the poll – and the group of women at the gun range – said people are skeptical about laws that would ban certain weapons.

"I do not think having more gun laws or even really stricter gun laws will solve any problems," Carrie Bailey said.

Overall, when we asked about President Obama's gun control proposals, 52 percent of Georgians said they opposed them.

"They're saying they don't favor all of what President Obama is proposing, but they do favor some of the changes that could make things to what they consider more reasonable," said Towery.

Towery says that is a significant shift.

According to the poll, more Georgians said they opposed one state lawmaker's plan to arm school administrators than supported it.

"Here we're seeing a shift – it's not massive, but it's enough to tell legislators that  they need to be very careful in terms of proposing things like arming schools," Towery said.

Looking deeper at the numbers, it appears women are really driving this issue; some of the changes in numbers we are seeing are among females.

"Women are not as much in favor and women are, and they make up, a large part of the independent vote in Georgia. They are the swing vote in this state and they are being heard in these polls," Towery said.

The poll results run very close to what FOX 5 heard from the group of women at the gun range.

So what does this mean for the gun law debate in Washington? Nobody expects the Georgia delegation to support all of the president's proposals, and the poll shows most Georgians don't want them to.

But on certain issues --especially universal background checks -- there is support even here in Georgia, not only among Democrats and independents, but also the majority of Republicans.

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