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Poll: Majority of Virginians want to close the gun show loophole

Friday - 1/25/2013, 5:36am  ET

Hank Silverberg, wtop.com

WASHINGTON - A new statewide poll finds that a majority of Virginia voters want to close a loophole in state law that allows certain gun sales without a background check.

The poll results come as Vice President Joe Biden visits Richmond, Va., Friday as part of a campaign to curb gun violence and as the General Assembly debates several gun bills.

The poll from Christopher Newport University says 78 percent of those people surveyed support closing the so-called "gun show loophole," which allows guns to be sold person-to-person without a background check or without going through a licensed dealer.

In Virginia, only licensed gun dealers are required to run criminal background checks on buyers at gun shows.

"Virginians look like the country when it comes to their interest in changing the law and when it comes to closing this loophole," says CNU pollster Quentin Kidd.

A key state Senate committee killed a bill Wednesday that would close the loophole.

Kidd says the poll also found that 68 percent of those questioned were against arming teachers, but 77 percent thought putting an armed police officer in every school is a good idea.

The poll, taken between Jan. 14 and Jan. 20, involved 1,015 registered voters statewide. It has a margin of error of plus or minus 3 percent.

Other issues in the poll:

  • By a 5-1 margin, voters believe texting while driving should be a reckless driving offense.
  • More support than oppose repealing the requirement imposed by the 2012 General Assembly that women undergo an ultrasound before having an abortion.
  • They oppose lifting the ban on uranium mining.
  • They would require public schools to allow home-schooled students to participate in sports and other extracurricular activities.
  • They oppose legalizing marijuana for recreational use but strongly support legalizing it for medical purposes.

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