Poll: Most Americans Oppose Open Carry of Firearms
More than half the country opposes allowing people to carry loaded firearms in public places, according to a poll released today by the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. Leaders of the gun reform group say that the findings offer a terse warning to lawmakers who, facing pressure from the hugely influential National Rifle Association, are lining up in support of looming proposals to scale back the nation’s gun control laws.
“Politicians who are doing the bidding of the gun lobby, and businesses who worry about offending gun rights extremists, should look at this data and be aware that there is potentially a large price to pay with voters and customers alike,” said Paul Helmke, President of the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence. “Having more guns in public places not only puts more people at risk, it clearly makes people feel less safe.”
The key results:
- Fifty-two percent oppose allowing people in general, not just those connected to law enforcement, to carry loaded guns openly in public;
- Fifty percent feel less safe knowing that people not connected to law enforcement can carry guns in public, while 38 percent feel more safe.
- Fifty-one percent said they were less likely to vote for a candidate who makes it easier for people to carry loaded guns in public, compared to 27 percent who were more likely to support such a candidate. Fully 63 percent of women said they were less likely to vote for a candidate who loosens laws on carrying guns in public.
The numbers are based on a survey of 600 registered voters in late April. The poll was conducted by Lake Research Partners, a Democratic polling firm.