The results of a new Gallup Poll show 56 percent of Americans believe that if more Americans carry a concealed weapon after passing a criminal background check and training course, the safety of the country would improve. As the Washington Times reports, that number includes 82 percent of Republicans, 59 percent of independents and 31 percent of Democrats, along with 74 percent of gun owners, 62 percent of men, 50 percent of women and 66 percent of ages 18 to 29. Those results come amid increasing calls for stricter gun laws in the wake of recent mass shootings.
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Meanwhile, forty one percent of Americans disagree, arguing that more concealed carry handguns would make the country less safe. This includes 16 percent of Republicans, 39 percent of Independents and 67 percent of Democrats, in addition to 37 percent of men, 45 percent of women, 64 percent of those with a postgraduate education, and 49 percent of gun owners.
Gallup’s annual crime poll also revealed that 86 percent of Americans agree with the idea of a law requiring universal background checks via a centralized database. 12 percent are against such a law. Whether or not that law would reduce the number of mass shootings has Americans sharply divided. The Gallup Poll shows slightly less than half think mass shootings would be reduced, while more than half think it would have little to no effect.
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The bottom line, writes Gallup’s Editor in Chief Frank Newport, is that “Americans believe they should be allowed to own and carry guns, but with more stringent background checks. Americans are inclined to believe that carrying properly permitted guns could make the country safer.”
Gallup’s annual crime poll was conducted Oct. 7-11, 2015 via telephone with 1,015 adults, aged 18 and older and living in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.
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