Knight won’t release full results from gun-policy survey

Congressman Steve Knight answers questions at a town hall at the Rancho Santa Susana Community Center in Simi Valley on Tuesday, April 18, 2017. Knight announced he was considering a run in the special election for the seat Katie Hill is expected to vacate shortly. Katharine Lotze/The Signal

Congressman Steve Knight, R-Palmdale, released a portion of the data gathered as part of a gun-violence survey he performed through his congressional website, but has chosen not to release the full data, his office said Thursday.

The six-question survey asks people’s thoughts on gun issues facing the country, as well as some ways the issue can be solved. The full question list can be seen at the bottom of the story.

Only data from the last question was revealed in conjunction with a private law enforcement roundtable Knight held Thursday in Santa Clarita. The information Knight shared from respondents noted 65 percent “supported better enforcement of existing laws”; and that 75 percent of respondents desired “more community engagement to report suspected individuals and inform appropriate parties.”

About 2,600 voluntary respondents commented on a variety of issues related to gun violence and safety, according to the press release in which the chosen data was released.

The survey was released after Knight spoke privately to local law enforcement about school safety. The roundtable discussion was held in order to foster open and honest dialogue for the purpose of sharing information and ideas to craft legislation that Knight intends to introduce.

When asked why only some of the data was released, a representative for Knight issued the following statement:

The survey was a voluntary survey conducted unscientifically and without parameters for number of times each person responded and with no controls for geography, demographics, and other important standards for a public poll. The survey was more to gauge general interest in the issue. Publishing the data would be misleading as many people would view it as a poll conducted by professional pollsters, when it is not.”

As to why they choose to release the data they did, the statement given was: “Because those topics were specifically related to the topics of the round table, as the conversation was mostly about law enforcement and community engagement.”

Here are all six survey questions asked of the public through

  • Do you believe national gun violence rates have increased or decreased in recent years?
  • In general, do you believe regulations on the purchase and ownership of firearms should be tightened, loosened, or remain the same?
  • Do you believe semi-automatic firearms (one bullet is fired per trigger pull) should be banned for civilian ownership?
  • Under existing federal law, federally licensed firearm sellers must perform an instant criminal background check on all purchasers of firearms. Do you believe this background check system should be expanded, retracted, or remain the same?
  • Several proposals have been introduced to ban specific modifications or attachments for firearms. Which of the below do you believe should be banned from civilian use? (Check all that apply)
  • What other measures would you support to help prevent gun-related violence in America? (Check all that apply)

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