More than half of Canadians support ban on handguns, assault rifles: study

Divide between rural and urban respondents in latest Angus Reid Institute public opinion study

(Joshuashearn/Wikimedia Commons)

Canadians are showing concern over the spread of gun violence but are divided by gender, gun ownership and region on the seriousness of gun-related crimes.

The latest public opinion study performed by the non-profit Angus Reid Institute finds half of Canadians consider gun violence a serious problem for the country, while half say political and media coverage of the issue has been overblown.

Concern over gun violence is greatest in Ontario.

Six out of 10 Canadians say they would support an outright ban on civilian possession of handguns. The support increases to three-quarters of Canadian when it comes to considering a ban on assault weapons.

READ ALSO: Feds looking at ways to tackle wave of gun violence in Toronto: Minister

The study says there is support for proposals to strengthen elements of the licensing and purchase process, including expanded background checks and comprehensive tracking of gun sale records. This includes the majority of support from current and former gun owners.

The survey also shows that rural and urban respondents have different concerns about gun violence. Close to 50 per cent of those living in cities in Canada say their biggest worry relates to gang activity. However, rural Canadians show higher levels of concern about accidental shootings or guns used for suicide.

Those who say they have more knowledge about Canda’s gun laws are more comfortable with the current procedures, the study shows. This group is also more likely to say Canadian gun laws are too strict overall, with 37 per cent saying this.

READ ALSO: Doctors group plans national ‘day of action’ to combat gun violence

People with no knowledge of Canada’s gun laws are nearly three times as likely to say the laws are not strict enough.

Canadians are also divided about what a handgun ban would mean for the black market. Almost half say it would not make guns more difficult for criminals to obtain while the other half say it would.

Two-thirds of Canadians say they would support a taxpayer-funded buy-back program for gun owners if the government did ban handguns, assault weapons or both.

The institute also noted those who are opposed to a ban on firearms are mostly men, rural Canadians and gun owners.

A link to the poll can be found here.

shalu.mehta@goldstreamgazette.com


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter

Just Posted

First Nations included in latest Columbia River Treaty talks

Seventh round of negotiations between Canada and U.S. wrap up in Washington D.C.

Fun run celebrates Marguerite Rotvold’s legacy

‘She was a mentor and just an amazing lady, all around’

RDKB to test emergency alert system

The alarm is scheduled to go out at 10:30 a.m. on June 21

Rodeo comes back to Rock Creek

The Rock ‘n’ Kettle Rodeo runs June 22-23 at the Fair Grounds

BCSS girls soccer team makes impact at provincials

The team won the tournament’s “Fair Play” award

VIDEO: Killer whale steals fisherman’s catch off North Coast

Fishing duel results in eager orca snagging salmon in Prince Rupert

Fate of accused in Canadian couple’s 1987 killings in jury’s hands

William Talbott’s lawyer says DNA doesn’t prove murder

Child killed after being hit in driveway on Vancouver Island

The driver of the vehicle remained at the crash scene and is fully cooperating

Eating sandwiches, putting on makeup behind the wheel could land you a fine

RCMP say if you cause an accident while eating you could be penalized

Cat badly hurt in animal trap was likely stuck for days, B.C. owner says

Blu, a three-year-old house cat, suffered severe damage to his hind leg after being stuck in trap for days

40 cats surrendered in apparent hoarding at B.C. home

Officers found the cats living among piles of garbage and feces, suffering from fleas

Vancouver Aquarium drops cetacean ban lawsuit in new lease agreement

Ocean Wise CEO Lasse Gustavsson called the updated lease an exciting new chapter for the aquarium

Thieves steal two $40K chairs featuring gold serpents from B.C. furniture store

Chairs believed to be the only two of its kind in Canada, police said

Rising gas prices force B.C. residents to rethink summer road trips: poll

63 per cent of respondents reported gas prices are impacting their day-to-day finances

Most Read