State residents are split on proposed laws to ban semi-automatic assault rifles, one of the often-suggested remedies to curbing gun violence in the United States.
According to the poll, 42 percent of West Virginians said they would oppose an assault weapons ban, while 44 percent said they would support it. Fourteen percent weren't sure.
Banning high-capacity ammunition magazines, another oft-suggested gun control measure, has a little more support among West Virginians.
Although 40 percent said they would oppose banning clips holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition, 47 percent of respondents said they would support a ban.
Results of The West Virginia Poll indicate that state residents are significantly more conservative about gun issues, as compared to respondents of a recent nationwide poll.
A Gallup poll conducted in late December 2012, days following the shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary in Newtown, Conn., found that 92 percent of U.S. citizens surveyed supported broader background checks, 62 percent supported a ban on high-capacity magazines and 58 percent believed the United States needed stricter requirements on firearm purchases.
Rex Repass, principal owner of R.L. Repass and Partners, said West Virginia stances on the issues likely are influenced by the hunting culture in the state.
According to The West Virginia Poll, 55 percent of respondents said they keep a firearm in their home.
Nationwide, 43 percent of households have a gun, according to the Gallup poll.
The West Virginia Poll first began in 1980, launched by Ryan-Repass Research along with the Daily Mail, television station WSAZ and The Associated Press.
The poll was conducted a few times each year for two decades, before taking an eight-year hiatus in the early 2000s. The Daily Mail and Repass's new firm, R.L. Repass and Partners, revived The West Virginia Poll before last year's primary election. It is now a registered trademark with U.S. Patent and Trademark office, owned by R.L. Repass and Partners.