(CNN) – While two-thirds of Virginia voters say they want armed guards in schools, the voting bloc is more split on their opinions over gun control laws in general, according to a Quinnipiac University poll released Thursday.
By a margin of 66%-29%, voters say they support the idea of placing an armed police officer in every school, a proposal pushed by the National Rifle Association in the wake of the Connecticut elementary school shooting last month.
Republican Gov. Bob McDonnell in December expressed openness to the notion of equipping school personnel with guns. Though he did not outwardly endorse such a plan, he cautioned against immediately rejecting it.
“I think there should be a discussion of that – if people were armed, not just the police officer but other school officials were trained and chose to have a weapon, certainly there would have been an opportunity to stop aggressors coming in to the schools,” McDonnell said in an interview on WTOP, a Washington radio station.
At the same time, the Quinnipiac poll shows nearly half of registered voters in Virginia, where the NRA has its headquarters, say gun regulations in the commonwealth should be stricter. Six percent say they should be less strict, while 42% say firearm laws should stand as they are.