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

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

One dead as fish boat sinks off southern Vancouver Island

Shawnigan Lake-registered Arctic Fox II went down off Cape Flattery, west of Victoria

Three active COVID-19 cases on Vancouver Island

Since July 24, Central island has had five new cases, North one, South none

Saanich council seeks more information after hearing Uptown-Douglas plan

Council asks for further reports on economic, housing, transportation plans for corridor

Alf Todd on a mission to fight Parkinson’s disease

Todd and group hope to raise $10,000 riding bikes to Port Alberni

Victoria police seize replica handgun and bullets

Unrelated call leads police to functional replica

Man arrested after stabbing incident at makeshift camp near Vancouver Island mall

RCMP in Parksville report 28-year-old man taken into custody without incident

Canucks ride momentum into NHL playoff series against defending Stanley Cup champs

PREVIEW: Vancouver opens against St. Louis on Wednesday

Man, 54, charged in connection with fatal attack of Red Deer doctor

Doctor was killed in his walk-in clinic on Monday

Landlord takes front door, windows after single B.C. mom late with rent

Maple Ridge mom gets help from community generosity and government

42 more people test positive for COVID-19 in B.C.

The province has recorded no new deaths in recent days

Joe Biden selects California Sen. Kamala Harris as running mate

Harris and Biden plan to deliver remarks Wednesday in Wilmington

Lawsuit launched after Florida child handcuffed, booked and briefly jailed

Suit alleges “deliberate indifference” to what should have been handled as a behavioural issue

Russia approves vaccine, Putin hopes to begin mass production

Critic calls decision to proceed without thorough testing ‘dangerous and grossly immoral’

Most Read