Pennsylvania favors background checks for gun purchases: poll

NEW YORK Wed Jan 30, 2013 6:05am EST

People hold signs memorializing Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 26 children and adults were killed in a mass shooting in December, as they participate in the March on Washington for Gun Control on the National Mall in Washington, January 26, 2013. REUTERS/Jonathan Ernst

People hold signs memorializing Sandy Hook Elementary School, where 26 children and adults were killed in a mass shooting in December, as they participate in the March on Washington for Gun Control on the National Mall in Washington, January 26, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Jonathan Ernst

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NEW YORK (Reuters) - Gun control is generally a tough sell in Pennsylvania - a Republican-ruled state with a large rural population - but a new poll suggests strong support for some measures, especially universal background checks on gun buyers.

A Quinnipiac University poll released on Wednesday found that voters in the state support requiring background checks for all gun purchases by a margin of 95 to 5.

Six in 10 voters in the Keystone State also favor a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons, while nearly as many support a ban on the sale of magazines with more than 10 rounds, the poll found.

In the aftermath of the December 14 massacre at Sandy Hook Elementary School, where a gunman killed 20 first graders and six educators after killing his mother, New York approved a set of new controls and lawmakers in Connecticut are considering doing the same.

President Barack Obama has proposed a series of new federal laws, including expanding background checks.

Voters in Pennsylvania also favor an idea put forward by the National Rifle Association, the powerful gun lobby, that armed guards be stationed at schools as an alternative to restrictions on guns.

Pennsylvania voters say by a margin of 46 to 42 percent that having armed guards in schools would do more to reduce gun violence than stricter gun laws.

The telephone survey of 1,221 registered voters was conducted January 22-27, and had a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points.

(Reporting by Edith Honan; Editing by Bob Burgdorfer)

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Comments (4)
RCharles wrote:
For PA citizens the problem is Senator Patrick J. Toomey, a typical Republican with 2nd amendment NRA talking points as a reflex response. I sent an email asking him to support President Obama’s gun control initiative, including background checks and a ban on assault weapons and large capacity clips. I sent a second email, critiquing his reservations and pointing out that there is no attack on the second amendment, only restrictions on military assault weapons, which are not hunting or self defense weapons. As expected, no response.

Many of us PA residents, who spent time and money ensuring President Obama’s re-election, will take up the challenge to replace Senator Toomey if he fails to support all of the gun control initiatives.

Jan 30, 2013 6:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
RCharles wrote:
For PA citizens the problem is Senator Patrick J. Toomey, a typical Republican with 2nd amendment NRA talking points as a reflex response. I sent an email asking him to support President Obama’s gun control initiative, including background checks and a ban on assault weapons and large capacity clips. I sent a second email, critiquing his reservations and pointing out that there is no attack on the second amendment, only restrictions on military assault weapons, which are not hunting or self defense weapons. As expected, no response.

Many of us PA residents, who spent time and money ensuring President Obama’s re-election, will take up the challenge to replace Senator Toomey if he fails to support all of the gun control initiatives.

Jan 30, 2013 6:39am EST  --  Report as abuse
ballsy wrote:
For PA citizens, the problem is misinformation. There are already background checks in place for ANY type of weapon purchased. The lie that started this whole thing was the Newtown tragedy. As horrific as it was, it was done by 4 pistols, not an assault weapon. That was in the car the whole time. A ban on assault weapons will not stop anything. It did not stop Columbine in which an assault weapon was used and was also part of the then current assault weapons ban. If this does pass and Obama get’s his wish, it will just open the door to disarm the people right down to the basic type of handgun. If gun control worked, Chicago would be the safest city in the US.

Jan 30, 2013 8:18am EST  --  Report as abuse
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