The poll found that 94 to 5 percent, of voters, including 90 to 8 percent among Republicans, want the background checks.When I see polls about back ground checks, I always want to see the actual question that was asked. In this case, there was no additional information given, just a generic question:
Voters also support 62 to 32 percent a Virginia law, repealed in 2012, which limited a person to buying only one handgun per month, as opposed to current law which has no limit on handgun purchases.
Republicans oppose the limit 57 to 39 percent.
White men are divided, with 46 percent supporting the limit and 50 percent opposed. Every other listed party, gender, educational, age and racial group supports the limit on handgun purchases.
Virginia voter attitudes on other gun issues, according to the poll, are:
“Many observers have commented about how much Virginia has changed politically from its deep red history to a leaning Democratic hue in little more than a decade,” said Peter A. Brown, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Poll.
- Support 54 – 41 percent stricter gun laws in the state;
- 49 percent say it’s too easy to buy a gun in Virginia, while 2 percent say it’s too difficult and 38 percent say it’s “about right;”
- Voters say 66 – 23 percent that new gun laws will not interfere with the right to own guns;
- If more people carried guns, Virginia would be less safe, 53 percent of voters say, while 35 percent say it would be safer.
“They generally cite the Democrats’ ability to carry the state in the most recent presidential, U.S. Senate and gubernatorial races. But what also seems to be lining up in the Democratic column is Virginia voters’ values on some hot-button issues.”
31. Do you support or oppose requiring background checks for all gun buyers?Given the actual question, I'm not surprised the number is so high. It would be interesting to see where those numbers would fall if the poll had given some background before asking the question. Knowing that so-called "universal" background checks barely got 51% support in Nevada last election and failed to pass in Maine, being informed on exactly what "background checks for all gun buyers" entails makes a big difference. The same could be said for the question about stricter gun laws. It was a one line question with no context. Nothing was said about Virginia having crime rates that are at all time lows. So, exactly what did those polls think stricter laws would accomplish?
The poll does indicate some important trends however. Several years ago, VSSA members heard then Delegate and VSSA member Bill Janis at a VSSA Annual Meeting, discuss the changing demographics of the Commonwealth and what that would mean for our firearm freedoms going forward. The trends on the "hot-button issues" that were part of this poll, including gun control, seem to confirm what Janis predicted at that meeting - that we need to come to grips that Virginia will change and we need to change with it. Our parent organization, the NRA, has already moved in that direction by adding faces like National and World Champion Shooter Julie Golob, Latino shooter Gabby Franco, and Colion Noir, a black pro-rights activist, to the faces spreading the NRA message. We need to go beyond the "old white-guy" if we are going to preserve our freedoms.
I'll be on NRATV.com at 3:40 today talking about the poll with Cam Edwards of NRANews' Cam and Company.