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NBC poll: Majority of Virginians support stricter gun laws


In another finding from the new NBC News/Marist poll, 55 percent of Virginia residents say they want stricter laws governing the sale of firearms, versus 36 percent who want them left the same.

Reflecting Virginia's status as a key national swing state -- President Obama twice won it by the same margin he won the national popular vote -- those numbers are virtually identical to the national ones from the April NBC/WSJ poll.

But there are fascinating political, demographic and geographic differences inside these numbers.

Eighty-two percent of Democrats in Virginia want stricter gun laws, compared with 56 percent of independents and just 29 percent of Republicans.

What's more, only 30 percent of gun owners and 38 percent of those living in households with guns favor stricter gun laws, suggesting a deep divide on this issue between gun owners and non-gun owners.

But that's not the only split: 68 percent of women in the state want stricter gun laws, versus just 41 percent of men who do.

And there's geography. A whopping 70 percent of those living in the Northern Virginian suburbs just outside of Washington, D.C., support stricter gun laws. That's compared with the Northern Virginian exurbs (49 percent), the central and western part of the state (49 percent), the Richmond area (49 percent), and the Tidewater region (59 percent).

The NBC/Marist poll was conducted April 28-May 2 of 1,218 adults in Virginia, and it has a margin of error of plus-minus 2.8 percentage points.