A new poll released by Public Policy Polling has revealed that Virginia voters are keen on stronger gun control measures.
Following the shooting that claimed the lives of 49 victims in Orlando last Sunday, Public Policy Polling has found that there is very broad support in the commonwealth for a variety of measures to better control the sale and distribution of firearms. PPP surveyed 1,032 registered Virginia voters from June 13 to 15.
Background Checks On All Gun Purchases
Polling revealed that 88 percent of Virginia voters support a background check on all gun purchases. This compares to only 8 percent opposed.
Support for enforcing background checks for all gun purchases includes 93 percent of Democratic voters, 85 percent of Republican voters, and 84 percent of independents.
Terrorist Watch List Ban
Interestingly, the numbers drop slightly when asked if those on the Terrorist Watch List should be barred from purchasing firearms. Of voters polled, 86 percent support a ban of those on the Watch List from purchasing guns, while 7 percent oppose restricting these sales. Of those who support this ban, 89 percent were Democrats, 85 percent were Republicans, and 84 percent were independents.
Assault Weapons Ban
Virginia voters were also polled on whether they would support a ban on assault weapons sales. The Federal Assault Weapons Ban, formally known as the Public Safety and Recreational Firearms Use Protection Act, was created in 1994 and signed into law by President Bill Clinton. The Act prohibited the manufacture of certain weapons and ammunition for civilian use and expired on Sept. 13, 2004.
Of the voters polled, 55 percent support banning assault weapons, compared to 33 percent who oppose a ban. The majority of Democratic voters support a ban (75/16), while independent voters are somewhat split (49/41). The majority of Republican voters are against an assault weapons ban, with 35 to 47 against.
By The Numbers Demographics
Of those polled, 35 percent identified as moderates, 24 percent as somewhat conservative, and 19 percent as somewhat liberal. The poll included 43 percent of voters aged 46-65, 23 percent aged 30-45, 20 percent older than 65, and 14 percent under the age of 29. These results indicate that there is even more mainstream support for stronger gun control measures, with older and more conservative voters increasingly supporting stricter firearms regulation.
Female voters polled more in favor of background checks for all gun purchases, with 91 percent in favor. This compares to 85 percent of male voters. There was less of a gender gap in support of an assault weapons ban, with 58 percent of women and 51 percent of men in favor. Of those opposed, 28 percent of female voters and 39 percent of male voters opposed a ban on assault weapons.
Dean Debnam, president of the Public Policy Polling, says that the demand for stronger gun control laws is very clear in the Commonwealth of Virginia.
‘Virginia’s one of the most important swing states in the country, and voters there want to see action taken on gun legislation after Sunday’s shootings.
‘there’s near unanimity among voters when it comes to requiring background checks and keeping people on the Terror Watch List from buying guns, and there’s a clear majority for banning assault weapons as well.’
As a swing state, polling results from Virginia may give a strong indicator of trending opinion in U.S. voters across the country. After Thursday’s filibuster in the Senate over gun control, it will be interesting to see if Congress is finally willing to put their constituents’ demands over the interests of the NRA and gun lobbyists.