A majority of Tennesseans support allowing handgun permit holders to stow guns in their locked vehicle trunks while at work, according to a Middle Tennessee State University poll.
On Thursday, the state House of Representatives passed legislation by a 72-22 vote  that would make it legal for permitted gun owners to do just that, but the MTSU poll indicates the public’s opinions about other firearm restrictions remain mixed.
“Of the gun control measures the poll asked about, allowing handgun permit holders to store guns in cars parked at work stood out as the only one that attracted majority support among Tennesseans,” said Dr. Ken Blake, director of the MTSU poll.
The poll results show a 58 percent majority of Tennesseans favor such a law, 33 percent oppose it, and the rest don’t know or refused to answer.
Blake added, “The poll found an even divide between those who want to toughen gun laws or keep them as they are, and between those who favor and oppose banning high-capacity ammunition magazines.”
Also, more Tennesseans favor banning so-called “assault-style weapons” than oppose such a ban, and more oppose increasing the number of teachers and school officials carrying guns in schools than favor such a measure.
A large majority, however, does support requiring background checks on those who buy guns at private sales or gun shows.
A more specific breakdown of the poll, conducted from Feb. 11–19, is as follows:
• Tennesseans were deadlocked on banning high-capacity ammunition magazines, with 45 percent in favor, 45 percent opposed, 9 percent undecided, and the rest declining to answer.
• 48 percent oppose more teachers and school officials having guns in schools, while 40 percent are in favor, 11 percent don’t know, and the rest refuse to answer.
• 50 percent of Tennesseans support banning so-called “assault-style weapons,” while 41 percent oppose such a ban, 8 percent are undecided, and the rest decline to answer.
• 85 percent support making private gun sales and sales at gun shows subject to background checks, 11 percent are opposed, 3 percent are unsure, and the rest decline to answer.
Issues and Answers Network Inc. conducted the poll via telephone interviews of 650 Tennessee adults using random samples of Tennessee landline and cell phones. The data were weighted to match the latest available Census estimates of gender and race proportions in Tennessee, according to MTSU.