Power Poll Shows Support for Most but Not All of San Jose’s New Gun Law

While more than 62 percent of San Jose Inside Power Poll voters approve of the city’s new insurance mandate and registration fee for gun owners, most also object to some part of the law, with many wishing the measure was stronger and covered more people.

Meanwhile, more than 72 percent of the participants believe that reforms are needed to the 2014 California ballot proposition that reclassified various felonies as misdemeanors, which critics now argue has led to increases in certain offenses.

And an almost comparable number of panelists said they agree with political consultant James Carville that “wokeness is a problem” that threatens to alienate middle-of-the-road and independent voters from the Democratic Party.

Not surprisingly, a majority of respondents support the state’s decision to lift the mask mandates for restaurants and grocery stores while keeping it in place for public schools.

Finally, a slight majority of respondents believe that Valley Water should mandate tougher usage restrictions than the 15 percent reduction it ordered last June.

Here are the specific questions and responses to our March poll:

Question 1

The San Jose city council recently adopted Mayor Sam Liccardo’s ordinance requiring gun owners to pay an annual fee and obtain liability insurance covering negligent or accidental weapon use. A gun rights group sued immediately, claiming the law is unconstitutional and violates city and state laws. Select all the statements you agree with:

The law should not have exempted concealed weapon permit holders and the low-income — Score 4.7843

The law is clearly permitted by that amendment’s reference to “a well-regulated militia” — Score 3.5294

This is perhaps Sam Liccardo’s greatest legacy — Score 3.2157

The fee should be much higher than $25

-35 per year — Score 3.1176

The whole thing violates the Second Amendment — Score 2.7255

I like the fee, but the city should administer it, not a nonprofit group — Score 2.5882

I don’t know if it’s constitutional, but I don’t like the ordinance — Score 2.4118

I like the insurance but not the fee — Score 2.3333

I like the fee but not the insurance — Score 1.4706

Question 2

A recent California poll found broad support for revisiting the 2014 ballot proposition that reclassified various felonies as misdemeanors, which some observers have blamed for increases in certain crimes, such as auto break-ins, smash and grab burglaries, and catalytic converter thefts. Do you agree that Proposition 47 needs reform?

Yes — 72%No — 20%

No opinion/don’t care — 8%

Question 3

The recall of three San Francisco school board members has ignited a nationwide discussion about progressive politics.

Last summer, Democratic consultant James Carville said “wokeness is a problem and everyone knows it.” His concern was that “woke” urban progressives are talking about race, gender, law enforcement and other topics in ways that will alienate moderate voters essential to political victory. Do you agree?

Yes — 70%

No — 21%

No opinion/don’t care — 8%

Question 4

State officials recently lifted California’s mask mandate for restaurants and grocery stores, but left in place the requirement for schools. Do you support the state’s caution?

Yes — 58%

No — 33%

No opinion/don’t care — 8%


Question 5

Given recent news coverage of California’s historic drought, should Valley Water mandate new usage restrictions beyond the 15 percent reduction it ordered last June?

Yes; the agency should get ahead of this issue — 54%

No; they should not do so unless it’s clearly necessary — 44%

No opinion/don’t care — 2%


Analysis of Question 1

Panelists displayed a multitude of opinions regarding the gun insurance and permit fees that Liccardo championed in the wake of the tragic murder of nine Santa Clara Valley Transportation Authority employees by a disgruntled employee who then killed himself.

Voters said they believe the measure is constitutional by a 54 to 46 percent margin. But an even greater number of respondents said they wished that the measure did not exclude low-income gun owners or people who have obtained a permit to possess a concealed weapon.

Almost half of all participants said they regard the measure as perhaps the mayor’s greatest political legacy. Almost half also indicated that they believe the fee should be much greater than the $25 to $35 per year envisioned by the measure’s supporters.

But virtually every respondent raised some objection to the measure. Many voters liked the insurance but not the fee, while others held the opposite position. Even more voters objected to the city’s plan to have the program administered by a still-to-be-created nonprofit organization instead of the City of San Jose.

Given these broad suggestions for improvement and the almost-instant court challenge against the measure, it would not surprise if the council eventually ended up revisiting its landmark ordinance.

Analysis of Questions 2, 3

In the wake of Black Lives Matter and the birth of a nationwide movement to reform police practices, much has been made of U.S. voters’ recent rejection of measures to cut police funding, and the election of crime-focused candidates such as New York Mayor Eric Adams, a former police officer. Our question regarding 2014’s California Proposition 47 demonstrated similar dynamics.

Almost 60 percent of California voters originally supported the measure, which reduced a number of separate offenses including shoplifting, grand theft, and receiving stolen property from felonies to misdemeanors when the value of the property did not exceed $950. Eight years later, amid a surge of auto break-ins and coordinated mass burglaries involving multiple thefts below the law’s current economic threshold, 72 percent of our respondents believe the measure should be revisited.

This suggests that Power Poll panelists — and more broadly, American voters — are capable of simultaneously desiring effective law enforcement while also desiring police reform.

The results of our question about “wokeness” suggest a similar dynamic, with seven out of 10 respondents worried that extreme progressive rhetoric — “Defund the Police” being one such example — threatens to alienate the moderate voters necessary for liberals to enact their agenda.

Analysis of Question 4

Although 58 percent of respondents continue to support the state’s school mask mandate, that number is considerably lower than voters’ past support for such health measures. It’s yet another sign that panelists increasingly view Covid-19 as an endemic virus with which we must now learn to coexist.

Analysis of Question 5

Although 54 percent of respondents believe that Valley Water should impose additional water-usage restrictions — not San Jose Water as stated in an early version of this question — such lukewarm support is likely insufficient to compel further cuts. Additional consensus probably depends upon the skies and the snowpack.

San Jose Inside Power Poll is not a scientific poll. Rather, we ask questions of influential people with a wide range of viewpoints to help advance informed dialogue about the city. Power Poll is studiously non-partisan.



  1. Give a bunch of Bay Area Progressives, who live in at bell chamber of ideology, a loaded poll and you get expected answers. The only answers that are dispositive of any shift, however slight, in the Dem’s Doga was the support for the obvious need to reverse the effects of Prop 47, the resistance to a free ride for the “low income” (whatever that means) gun owners, and the obvious “non profit” scam component of the gun insurance ordinance.

    As to the over fifty percent of the respondents believing that this will be the Mayor’s greatest legacy, what else could they point to as a legacy item? I too believe it will be his legacy. Once it is chewed up in the courts (assuming that the council even continues the folly) his legacy will be a failed policy attempt. It will be a failed gun grab attempt that would have the effect of hurting black and brown people more than whites.

    These jackasses maintain that providing ID, completing applications, paying fees, and applying for insurance, and paying for insurance won’t be an obstacle for POC but firmly cling to the catechism that showing a CDL or CA ID is racists and a bar to voting — VOTER SUPPRESSION? Pish! What a classic disconnect from reality.

  2. I don’t care if 62% support requiring liability insurance for gun owners. You have a RIGHT to own a firearm in the United States of America.

  3. The whole gun insurance issue is a fiasco that will ultimately be shot down in court vs Heller v DC: you can’t license/tax a fundamental right. [Hey, howzbout a jury fee or a religous registration fee?]

    But what is most laughable is one of the choices on the survey:
    “Law is clearly permitted by that amendment’s reference to “a well-regulated militia”.

    The term ‘well-regulated’ in the parlance of the time the 2A was written meant “well maintained, well organized, properly stocked” etc. Even today we speak of a fine timepiece as being ‘in good regulation’ after service and repair. In no way does ‘well regulated’ term in the 2A mean some bureaucrat standing over your shoulder asking if you have a wedge-shape pistol grip or not on your rifle.

    Bill Wiese
    San Jose CA

  4. GIGO – Garbage In, Gospel Out

    This type of article diminishes SJI’s credibility + journalistic integrity principles. The ‘not a scientific poll’ disclaimer is irrelevant.

    Based on responses, looks like 100% believe Stephen Buel may have a promising career at Pravda, but few other opportunities. If Dan Pulcrano wants to drive readership and ad revenue, then this sort of tripe is harming those objectives.

  5. If insurance is mandated, how about requiring proof of insurance if a crime is committed with a firearm? That way, this wouldn’t look like what it is: an underhanded attempt to compile the names of all residents who rightfully possess a firearm.

    Every insured name will be collected and shared. And oncea name is a computer, it can never be entirely erased. Then, when the public’s emotions get out of hand as they periodically do, the Authorities will conduct the sweep that they’ve been dreaming and salivating about.

    And what is in “shall not be infringed” that confuses the author of this article?

    We should get back to our original founding laws, which provided the framework that made this country great. To the extent the Constitution and Bill of Rights have been watered down, the country has become less great, less free, and less prosperous — and if the author simply opened his eyes, he’d see the only viable remedy.

    The Constitution provides a straightforward method if someone wants to change or eliminate any language in it. But they always avoid that simple remedy like Dracula avoids the sunrise.

    If they want to alter or eliminate language in the Constitution, the amendment process is right there. It’s very easy to understand and implement. And it is the only honest way to change something in the Constitution that they don’t like or agree with. Why don’t they do it the right way?

    The answer is also simple: they know the American people would defenestrate their silly idea.

    The only answer consistent with freedom is to severely punish anyone who misuses a firearm. That works with every other law that has severe consequences, and it would work equally well regarding the misuse of firearms. Interestingly, the Left doesn’t suggest punishing the person who misuses a firearm. To them, it is the inanimate firearm that’s evil, not the person who pulls the trigger.

    Laws work when properly enforced. Then why do they keep pushing for these ineffective remedies? The answer should be obvious: they’re not really interested in firearms. What they crave is power over their fellow citizens. Since they can’t get that power going by the rules, they play devious games, such as this poll.

    The heavily biased poll here is intended to get certain answers, and it does. Notice that only the Democrat Party is repeatedly mentioned and portrayed in a favorable light. I could write a poll on the same subjects, and get completely opposite answers. Thus, this poll is nothing but propaganda.

    Finally, it should be kept in mind that the social problems endemic to our current society are all the result of failed liberal experiments and nutty ideas. The same politicians that caused these problems now present themselves as our saviors, telling us they know how to fix the problems that they caused.

    The question is: how many more times will voters believe their lies?

  6. As everyone has already commented:
    a better name is ‘Propaganda Poll’.

    Pass a Law that criminals CANNOT Plea Down Firearms charges and +
    are Held without Bail Options – if you want some results.

    DAs and Judges that are Soft-on-Crime,
    allowing Felony Firearm charges to plea down,
    and Do Not File illegal firearms or gang enhancements are
    already in office, ensuring crime returns back to the streets.

    These ‘Progressive” DAs forget that they ARE NOT Public Defenders –
    they are elected to put Offenders behind Bars.
    A quick search shows how frequently Criminals with Gun Charges are Released,
    only to Commit Future Gun Crimes.

    Take Chicago Headlines for example:

    —— “3 men, 3 guns, but Prosecutors ONLY FILE Misdemeanor Charges”

    #1: 16-year-old charged with shooting man during robbery while awaiting trial for firearm felony.
    #21: Man’s accused of shooting up another car in traffic – while on bond for gun case.
    #38: Man killed one, shot another while on bond for being a felon in possession of a firearm, prosecutors say.
    The list of 38 criminals who were released by
    Weak Progressive DAs, Prosecutors and Judges
    just to commit further crimes in 2021 can be reviewed below.


  7. Yes, those with little morals (at home in the South Bay among tech types and many a South Bay politician, both types likely among those polled) don’t mind being subversive like this. The Constitution is only a legal thing in the way, after all.

    So the Insider Clique Poll supports Mayor Sam as he heads for his next job — or will the term for Mayor be extended first, perhaps?

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *