State’s Largest Police Group Polls Wisconsin Residents About Stricter Gun Laws

Results signal a deep divide in the state

Tuesday, March 5, 2013

(MADISON, Wis.) – The Wisconsin Professional Police Association was curious about state residents’ opinion on stricter gun laws, so it asked the question in a recent poll conducted by St. Norbert College Strategic Research Institute. The statewide survey found nearly half (47%) of the public thinks that laws covering the sale of firearms should be “More Strict”, 43% say the laws should be kept the “Same,” and 8% say the laws should be “Less Strict”.

“This is fascinating and illustrates the challenging nature of the issue,” said Jim Palmer, executive director of the WPPA. “The state is clearly divided over how best to combat gun violence.”

The WPPA does not have an official policy position on proposed changes to current gun control laws.

The St. Norbert survey also found:

  • Older residents support stricter gun laws…younger, not so much – 63% of those age 55 and over say the laws should be More Strict compared with 37% of those 34 years of age or younger saying the same
  • Concerned with quality of police protection? You probably want stricter gun laws – Those who say police protection has gotten “Worse” in their community the past two years are more likely to want stricter laws (83%)

“The WPPA has garnered some valuable information from our statewide survey, and gauging the public’s perceptions in this manner helps us implement our dedication to professional integrity, protecting the safety of residents and our officers, and expanding our commitments to the communities we serve,” said Palmer.

Polling Specifics

  • Telephone Interviewing dates were January 16 to 22, 2013
  • 400 members of the general public completed the telephone survey
    • 320 landline interviews
    • 80 Cell Phone Only interviews
  • Margin of Error = +/-­‐ 5%
  • Sampling strategy was a Random Digit Dial (RDD) sample with random selection of the respondent at the household level
  • The survey represents a scientific random sample of individuals who live in Wisconsin


The Wisconsin Professional Police Association is the state’s largest law enforcement group. Representing nearly 10,000 members from more than 300 local association affiliates, the WPPA has evolved into a full-­‐service professional labor organization, advocating for its members in the workplace, before administrative agencies, in the state legislature, in the community and in the courts. Our mission is to protect and promote public safety, as well as the interests of the dedicated men and women who serve to provide it.

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