Poll finds 95 percent in Pa. support background checks for gun-buyers
January 30, 2013By Emma Jacobs
A majority of Pennsylvanians say they support stricter gun control regulations.
A Quinnipiac University found that 95 percent of likely Pennsylvania voters would support a federal requirement for universal background checks for all gun buyers.
That's just a few points higher than the national average of 89 percent found by Dr. Colleen Barry and colleagues at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School of Public Health in a study published in the New England Journal of Medicine.
"It's worth noting," Barry says, "gun owners, and even gun owners that are NRA members, we find at the national level 74 percent of NRA members support the universal background check."
In all states, Americans are more divided on other proposals -- such as ending the sale of assault weapons. However, the Quinnipiac poll found that a majority of Pennsylvanians would support a ban on those sales.
Barry says a spike in support for gun control is typical after a high-profile shooting such as the massacre last month of 20 children and six adults at the Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn.
"Those windows of opportunity close relatively quickly," she said. "That suggests to me that if there are going to be policy changes they will need to occur on a relatively fast timeline."
On the specific question of preventing school violence, a slight majority of Pennsylvanians polled say they believe armed school guards would be more effective than gun control legislation.
Quinnipiac University polled 1,221 registered Pennsylvania voters from Jan. 22 to 27 with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percent.