Roanoke College poll shows support for gun control, despite push for second Amendment sanctuaries

Localities throughout the Commonwealth have adopted a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution, but recent statwide polling shows overwhelming support for some gun control initiatives.

FILE – In this Jan. 9, 2019 file photo Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam, center, arrives to deliver his State of the Commonwealth address during a joint session of the Virginia Legislature in the House chambers at the Capitol in Richmond, Va. Legislative elections in Virginia on Tuesday, Nov. 5 will determine whether Democrats gain control of the statehouse for the first time in more than two decades. (AP Photo/Steve Helber, File)

ROANOKE, Va. (WFXR) — Localities throughout the Commonwealth have adopted a Second Amendment Sanctuary resolution, but recent statewide polling shows overwhelming support for some gun control initiatives.

A Roanoke College’s Institute for Policy and Opinion Research poll found support for an assault weapon ban and other measures supported by Democrats, who will take control of the General Assembly in January.

Pollsters interviewed 609 Virginia residents from Nov. 10 – 20., with results having a plus or minus four percentage points margin of error.

On the issue of universal background checks for firearm purchases, 84% were in favor vs. 10 % were opposed.

Red flag laws garnered 76% in support, in contrast to 14% in opposition.

Red flag laws refer to the police or a family member’s request for a court-ordered removal of guns from a person considered dangerous, according to the Associated Press.

A ban on assault weapons received 57% support versus 30% opposed.

Another issue that was polled was whether to pass the Equal Rights Amendment, which received 73% in favor and 10% in opposition.

The Equal Rights Amendment would outlaw discrimination based on gender. If the General Assembly passes the amendment, Virginia would be the 38th state to do so, fulfilling the constitutional threshold for approval.

Harry Wilson, Director of the Roanoke College Poll said, “The policy preferences expressed in this poll reinforce the Democratic victories in the General Assembly races in early November. A majority of Virginians seem to be on board with much of the Democratic agenda for the state although support for some policies is stronger than for others.”

The people who participated in the poll were from a landline sample from random-digit numbers generated in proportion to the Virginia population, according to Roanoke College.

Pollsters made effort “to ensure that different regions of the Commonwealth were proportionally represented,” said the college.

A copy of the questionnaire can be found here.

Here is the full list of issues polled and the results.

Universal background checks for firearms84%10%
Red flag law (family member)76%14%
Pass Equal Rights Amendment73%10%
Regulations that may slow the effects of climate change68%15%
Raise minimum wage to $15 over several years66%24%
Reduce prison population and prison racial disparities59%16%
Assault weapons ban57%30%
Make it easier for a woman to obtain an abortion53%30%
Require workers to pay dues in unionized workplace38%43%


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