More than half the nation’s voters support “stand your ground” state laws authorizing citizens to use deadly force if they are threatened, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Friday.

By a margin of 53 percent to 40 percent, respondents to the survey said they favor having a law in their home state allowing people to use deadly force – even if they could retreat instead. Seven percent were undecided.

The poll found that the public is deeply divided on the question, along both racial and gender lines.

White voters, for instance, support Stand Your Ground laws 57 percent to 37 percent, while the numbers are exactly reversed for black voters, who oppose the laws by a 57 percent to 37 percent margin.

Sixty-two percent of men, meanwhile, back the laws, while 34 percent oppose them. Women are more divided, with 44 percent in favor and 47 percent opposed.

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