Canada

Canadians split over long-gun registry: poll

Canadians have mixed views on what to do about the long-gun registry, with slightly more preferring to abolish the program than keep it, but nearly a third having no opinion on the subject, a new EKOS poll suggests.

Canadians have mixed views on what to do about the long-gun registry, with slightly more preferring to abolish the program than keep it, but nearly a third having no opinion on the subject, a new EKOS poll suggests.

Poll results indicate a slim majority of Canadians favour banning gun ownership completely, although a large number of respondents said Canadians should have the legal right to bear arms.

In the poll, conducted exclusively for CBC News, Canadians were asked how they would have voted on the recent bill to abolish the long-gun registry.

Thirty-eight per cent said they would have voted to abolish the registry, and 31 per cent would have voted to keep it. Thirty-one per cent were undecided or did not have a response.

Earlier this month, the federal long-gun registry moved a step closer to being abolished when a private member's bill to scrap the program passed second reading in the Commons. 

Bill C-391, which now goes to committee, would destroy the decade-old registry and any data within the system on about seven million shotguns and rifles.

The EKOS poll suggests supporters of the gun registry are more likely to be university-educated, Liberal or BQ supporters, or living in Quebec. Respondents opposed to the registry include Conservatives, people living in the Prairies, and Canadians aged 65 and over.

The survey also asked about attitudes toward gun ownership in general. Fifty-four per cent of people surveyed agreed with the statement that "with the exception of law enforcement, gun ownership should be outlawed completely."

Forty-six per cent of those polled agreed with the statement that "all Canadian citizens should have a legal right to bear arms."

Men, residents of Alberta, the Prairies and Atlantic Canada and Conservative Party supporters were more likely to oppose outlawing gun ownership, while women, Quebecers, Liberals and Bloc Québécois supporters were more likely to support banning it.

A clear majority of respondents — 64 per cent — believed there should be a strict ban on guns in urban areas, an opinion found across all regions and demographic groups, the poll found. About 27 per cent of those polled disagreed with such a ban, and about nine per cent were undecided or did not have a response.

The survey of 3,051 people was conducted by telephone between Nov.11 and Nov. 17 and has an error margin of plus or minus 1.8 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Both landline and cellphone users were included.
(EKOS)

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