A person walks past an art piece made from toy guns and shaped into a peace symbol during an exhibit in Chicago on January 14, 2014. The exhibit displays the impact of the Firearm Concealed Carry legislation in Illinois, which allows the carrying iof concealed firearms in public places, that came into effect at the beginning of the year.
Over half of Americans believe the nation would be safer if more people carried concealed weapons, according to a Gallup poll released Tuesday.
The poll asked: “Suppose more Americans were allowed to carry concealed weapons if they passed a criminal background check and training course. If more Americans carried concealed weapons, would the United States be safer or less safe?”
Of those surveyed between October 7 and 11, 56 percent said safer, 41 percent said less safe and 3 percent had no opinion. The poll was conducted in the wake of the Roseburg, Oregon, community college shooting that left nine dead and seven seriously injured.
“Among key subgroups, Democrats and those with postgraduate education are least likely to believe that more concealed weapons would make the U.S. safer. Republicans and gun owners are most likely to say it would make the nation safer,” Gallup’s Frank Newport wrote of the poll’s findings.
Half of women compared to 62 percent of men thought it would make the nation more safe. Fifty-seven percent of those who had a high school education or less thought they would be safer, compared to only 35 percent of those with a postgraduate degree. Over 60 percent of those in rural areas and towns thought they would be more safe, compared to 50 percent of those in big cities and 52 percent in suburbs.
As for universal background checks on all gun purchases using a centralized database, 86 percent of those polled said they were in favor. Despite a vast majority agreeing on checks, the poll did not find consistent answers when asking about the relationship between background checks and mass shootings.
“If such a [background-check] law were passed, do you think it would reduce the number of mass shootings in the U.S. a great deal, a moderate amount, a little or not at all,” the poll asked. While 19 percent said “a great deal,” 31 percent answered “not at all.” “A little” received 22 percent of the vote and “a moderate amount” 28 percent.
The poll surveyed 1,015 adults by phone across the United States. It has a margin of error of 4 percent.