Poll shows Pa. voters want stricter gun-control measures

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Should gun-control laws in Pennsylvania be stricter? A poll released this morning of voters in the Keystone State show they overwhelmingly say yes.

The gun-control laws need to be stronger, 57 percent said in the latest Quinnipiac University poll of 1,221 Pennsylvanians who are registered to vote.

Four percent said the laws need to be relaxed and 35 percent favor keeping current state laws.

Nationally, gun-control laws should be stricter, 60 percent of the Pennsylvania voters said. Five percent said they should be less strict and 32 percent favor keeping current laws.

Quinnipiac University surveyed the voters from Jan. 22 through Sunday for the poll with a margin of error of plus or minus 2.8 percentage points. Live interviewers call land lines and cell phones.

"Keystone State voters, especially voters in urban areas, seem to have had enough of gun violence," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute. "By large margins, voters don't think assault weapons belong in the hands of any gun owner. Restrict the firepower of assault weapons or ban them entirely, Pennsylvanians say."

The poll showed there is strong support in Pennsylvania for several measures at the national level:

• 95 to 5 percent favor requiring background checks for all gun purchases;

• 60 to 37 percent favor a nationwide ban on the sale of assault weapons;

• 59 to 39 percent favor a nationwide ban on the sale of magazines with more than 10 rounds.

The poll found less support on most gun-control questions among voters in households where there is a gun, but 95 percent of voters in these households support stricter background checks.

"Pennsylvanians join voters in Virginia and New Jersey, states where Quinnipiac University has found overwhelming support for background checks for every gun purchase," Mr. Malloy said.

But voters said by a narrow 46 to 42 percent that armed guards in schools would reduce gun violence more in the schools than stricter gun laws.

The poll also showed voters are divided on same-sex marriage: 47 percent are in favor with 43 percent opposed. Women more strongly are in favor, by 50 to 40 percent, but men slightly oppose, 46 to 44 percent. Support is 65 to 27 percent among Democrats and 51 to 38 percent among independent voters. Republicans are opposed, 67 to 23 percent.

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