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

VIDEO: Surrey’s former Flamingo Hotel goes out with a bang

The Flamingo opened in July 1955 as a motor hotel with 20 rooms

Rocky Mountain high: Surrey’s Burzan picked in NHL draft by Colorado Avalanche

Guildford-raised forward currently in WHL with Brandon Wheat Kings

Queen Elizabeth students hit $100K in donations to Surrey Hospital Foundation

Secondary students have been raising funds for a decade through the Roots & Rhythms event

City hopes Surrey’s new energy centre will be ‘a window’ into sustainability

Facility’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions

SQUEEZING SURREY STUDENTS IN: The causes and impacts of overcrowding in city schools

Special series: How growth is affecting students, parents and school staff alike – and what the future holds

Wildfire burning in coastal forest

A fire beside the Sea to Sky Highway is burning up a steep slope

PHOTOS: Event marks one year since soccer team rescued from Thai cave

Nine players and coach took part in marathon and bike event to help improve conditions at cave

Rock climber dies after fall at Stawamus Chief in Squamish

The man had fallen about 30 metres while climbing in the Grand Wall area

Five B.C. students taken to hospital after playing with vaping device

School district said students were taken to hospital ‘out of an abundance of caution’

Being a pot dealer is not what it used to be

Sunday Big Read: the business of selling marijuana in B.C. is a slow bureaucratic slog

VIDEO: Two more pride flags have been stolen from Langley woman

Lisa Ebenal was “angry” and “fed up” after the latest theft. Then people started showing suppport

B.C. couple who has raised 58 children turns to community amid cancer diagnosis

Family who raised, fostered and adopted many kids hoping to gain some precious together time to fight cancer

Canucks acquire forward J.T. Miller from Lightning

J.T. Miller, 26, had 13 goals and 34 assists for the Lightning last season

Most Read