Politics

Poll: Majority Of Americans Say More Concealed Weapons Would Make Country Safer

| by Kathryn Schroeder
Concealed Weapons Not Allowed Sign.Concealed Weapons Not Allowed Sign.

The annual Gallup Crime poll, conducted Oct. 7-11, found that the majority of Americans believe the nation would be safer if more people carried concealed weapons. Respondents also favored universal background checks for gun purchases but are not convinced that it will change the occurrence of mass shootings in the country.

Of respondents, 56 percent said the country would be safer if more Americans carried concealed weapons, while 41 percent disagreed, according to the Gallup poll. Three percent had no opinion.

Gallup did not ask the question in relation to individual states, as each state has different rules and regulations for carrying concealed weapons. The question merely stated that the person carrying the weapon would be required to pass a criminal background check and training course.

In the poll, 82 percent of Republicans said more concealed weapons would make the country safer, whereas only 31 percent of Democrats and 59 percent of Independents agreed.

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Among women, 50 percent believe the country would be safer with more concealed weapon carriers, and 62 percent of men agreed.

Among gun owners polled, 74 percent agreed, with 48 percent of non-gun owners also in agreement.

Regardless of how citizens feel about more concealed weapons making the nation safer, they nearly all agree that universal background checks should be required for all gun purchases in the U.S. with a centralized database across all 50 states.

Eighty-six percent of respondents said they were in favor of such a system being implemented, with 12 percent opposed and 2 percent with no opinion.

In a poll conducted by Winthrop Sept. 20-27 in South Carolina -- where the Charleston Church shooting took place on June 17, claiming the lives of nine people -- 86 percent of respondents supported background checks being completed before a gun may be taken home, even if it takes longer than three days, The State reported. The current law states that an individual may take ownership of the gun if the background check has not been completed after three days.

Democrats and Republicans in the Winthrop poll were found to be in near-agreement on changing the state's background check law.

The Gallup poll showed doubt over whether mass shootings will be reduced with a background check system in place.

Only 19 percent of respondents think the background check law would reduce mass shootings “a great deal,” and 28 percent found it would change things only moderately.

The largest percentage of respondents, 31 percent, did not think it would make any difference.

The Gallup Crime poll is performed annually. For 2015, telephone interviews with a random sample of 1,015 adults, ages 18 and older, living in all 50 U.S. states and the District of Columbia, were performed between Oct. 7-11. The margin of sampling error is plus or minus 4 percentage points at the 95 percent confidence level.

Sources: Gallup, The State / Photo credit: F Delventhal/Flickr, Steve Snodgrass/Flickr