If public opinion sways politicians then the results of a new poll by Quinnipiac University may explain why a number of southeast Pennsylvania Republicans have indicated that, at the very least, they'd be open to universal background checks on gun sales.
The poll released Wednesday morning - at the same time the U.S. Senate held a hearing on gun violence - found that a whopping 95 percent of registered Pennsylvania voters support background checks on all gun buyers.
And a majority of Pennsylvanians also support the more controversial gun control proposals. On a national ban of assault weapons, 60 percent support and 37 percent oppose. And on national ban on the sale of magazines with more than 10 rounds of ammunition, 59 percent support and 39 percent oppose.
“Keystone State voters, especially voters in urban areas, seem to have had enough of gun violence. 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," said Tim Malloy, assistant director of the Quinnipiac University Polling Institute.
Lehigh Valley U.S. Rep. Charlie Dent told The Morning Call he was open to stricter background checks. And Philadelphia-area Republican U.S. Reps. Mike Fitzpatrick and Pat Meehan recently told the Philadelphia Inquirer that they'd support checks on gun buyers.
But none offered their support for assault weapon bans or ammunition limits.
Just under half of Pennsylvania voters would be more likely to support their member of Congress if he/she supported an assault weapon ban. Just over one-quarter said they'd be less likely and 26 percent said it would make no difference.
Quinnipiac University polled 1,221 registered Pennsylvania voters from Jan. 22 to Jan. 27 with a margin of error of +/- 2.8 percent.
Updated: More on this poll in Thursday's Morning Call. Read here.Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun