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Majority Of Americans Say More Concealed Weapons Will Make Them Safer

Thursday, October 22, 2015 13:05
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PRINCETON, N.J. — A majority of Americans, 56%, believe that if more Americans carried concealed weapons after passing a criminal background check and training course, the country would be safer.

If more Americans carried concealed weapons, would the U.S. be safer or less safe?

These results are from Gallup’s annual Crime poll conducted Oct. 7-11. In the wake of mass shootings at schools and other public places, some have argued that the shootings could have been stopped if any of the victims had carried weapons. Others argue that having more citizens carrying weapons can lead to more violence and accidental shooting.

State of US if More Americans Carried Concealed Weapons

Most states have some sort of permitting process allowing the carrying of concealed weapons, but the requirements and procedures to carry weapons vary significantly by state. The Gallup question did not get into detail on specific requirements other than mentioning that the person with the concealed weapon would have to pass a criminal background check and training course.

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. Younger Americans are more likely to choose the “safer” option than those aged 30 and above.

If more Americans carried concealed weapons, would the US be safer or less safe?

Strong Support for Universal Background Checks

One of the most commonly advanced proposals relating to gun control is background checks for gun purchasers. President Barack Obama has called repeatedly for legislation mandating such checks, but the most recent effort failed to be passed into law in 2013. For their part, Americans strongly agree with the idea of laws requiring universal background checks using a centralized database for all gun purchases in the U.S. Eighty-six percent favor such a law, while 12% oppose it.

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