Poll: Ohio voters favor universal background checks

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The Quinnipiac poll released Friday found 90 percent of Ohio voters say they favor universal background checks. Eighty-six percent of voters surveyed live in households with a gun, Quinnipiac said.

The poll also found 53 percent favor a federal ban on assault weapons, while 44 percent oppose such a ban. Among gun owners, 60 percent said they oppose an assault weapons ban, and 38 percent support one.

Fifty-seven percent of Ohio voters said people are safer if they own a gun, while 33 percent said owning a gun does not make people safer, the Quinnipiac poll found. The poll also found that 49 percent of Ohio voters think the National Rifle Association shares their views on guns, and 40 percent say Obama better represents their gun views. 

The poll's findings come as legislators continue to try and pass new legislation that would reduce shooting massacres similar to the one at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Newtown, Conn., in December. That shooting resulted in 28 dead. Since then lawmakers have called for "action" for reducing gun violence. President Obama has urged Congress to re-institute a federal assault weapons ban and pass universal background checks legislation for gun owners. 

The Senate Judiciary Committee, which handles gun legislation, delayed its markup of gun violence legislation by a week on Thursday. The delay gives more time to a group of lawmakers working to compromise on background check legislation.

The National Rifle Association has expressed strong opposition to any new gun laws and instead argued the best way to prevent another Sandy Hook shooting is to post armed guards in schools.

The Quinnipiac poll's findings may appear paradoxical, Quinnipiac University Polling Institute Assistant Director Peter A. Brown said.

"Voters overwhelming favor background checks for those buying guns and want to ban assault weapons and ammunition clips with more than 10 bullets — positions that are in opposition to those espoused by the NRA," Brown said in a statement. "Yet, they see the NRA more in tune with their views on gun policy than President Barack Obama, who favors background checks and bans on assault weapons and high-capacity magazines."

Voters in Ohio are almost perfectly divided in half on their view of Obama, the poll also found. Forty-eight percent said they approve of the job Obama is doing, while 47 percent disapprove, the poll found.

The poll was conducted Feb. 1 to 29 among 1,011 registered voters and had a margin of error of 3.1 percentage points.