On the heels of a weekend of "March for Our Lives" demonstrations across the county, calling for stricter gun legislation, a new poll finds that most Pennsylvanians are in support of such measures.
Nearly 90 percent of Pennsylvanians strongly support the gun background check system, according to the latest Franklin & Marshall College Poll released Thursday. Similarly, 61 percent favor banning assault-style weapons and 59 percent favors raising the minimum age to purchase a gun to 21.
Although the poll found gun owners less likely than non-gun owners to support those proposals, a majority was still in favor of all measures: 52 percent of Pennsylvania gun owners favor a ban on assault-style weapons, 86 percent support enhanced background checks and 58 percent support raising the age to purchase a weapon to 21.
Overall, 72 percent of those polled said they're in favor creating more laws that regulate gun ownership. That's an increase of 16 percentage points since February 2007.
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The poll results reflect similar polls taken on the national level. A Fox News poll released Sunday shows 91 percent of registered voters polled support required universal background checks, while 84 percent favor mental health checks, 72 percent are in favor of raising the legal age to buy a gun to 21, 69 percent want armed guards in schools, and 60 want a ban on assault weapons.
As for the state of Pennsylvania, the Franklin & Marshall poll also found that nearly half (46 percent) of the state's registered voters believe the state is "headed in the right direction," which is the first time since 2009 that voters chose that option over "on the wrong track." The poll also found that more than two in five voters believe Gov. Tom Wolf is doing an "excellent" or "good" job as governor, an increase from 38 percent in September.
Looking forward to this year's political contests, the poll found that nearly half (48 percent) of the state's registered voters say they are "very interested" in the 2018 elections, and 42 percent of voters said they expect to vote for the Democratic Party for the U.S. House election in November opposed to 35 percent who said they expect to vote for a Republican.
Wolf holds a lead over all three Republican challengers for governor, including a 38 to 21 percent lead over projected frontrunner Scott Wagner. However, 35 percent of voters are undecided.
Nearly two in five registered voters (37 percent) believe Democratic Sen. Bob Casey is doing an "excellent" or "good" job, as he holds a 43 to 25 percent lead over Republican challenger Lou Barletta, with nearly 30 percent of voters still undecided.
As for President Donald Trump, who won Pennsylvania in the 2016 election, about 30 percent of voters believe he is doing a "good" or excellent" job.
The poll reflects interviews with 423 registered Pennsylvania voters, including 201 Democrats, 163 Republicans and 58 independents conducted by the Center for Opinion Research at Franklin & Marshall from March 19-26.