Americans split on danger posed by guns

March 25, 2014, 6:49 PM GMT+0

Democrats are much more likely than Republicans to feel unsafe around guns in the home or on the street

A Georgia gun law described by critics as the 'guns everywhere' bill looks set to be signed by Georgia Governor Nathan Deal. The law, which would greatly expand where loaded weapons can be carried, is one of many laws passed in recent years that expand gun rights. Americans are sharply divided on gun laws, with a slim majority of Americans supporting stricter laws, but attitudes towards guns are more complicated.

The latest research from YouGov shows that attitudes towards guns themelves – and not just gun laws – vary significantly according to political affiliation. Most Republicans (59%) say that having a gun in the house would make them feel safer, something that only 24% of Democrats agree with. Democrats tend to say that it would make no difference (35%), though a third say that a gun in the house would make them feel less safe, something only 9% of Republicans agree with.

All in all, 42% of Americans would feel safer with a gun in the house, while 20% would feel less safe.

Asked whether you would feel safer if you know more people were carrying guns, the divide becomes even starker. 69% of Democrats say that knowing that more people are carrying would make them feel less safe, while only 24% of Republicans also say that this would make them feel less safe. 41% of Republicans say that it would make no difference and 27% would feel safer. Overall, however, 44% of Americans would feel less safe with more people carrying guns.

Surprisingly, attitudes don't differ much based on whether someone lives in a city or a rural area. 45% of city dwellers would feel less safe with more guns being carried about, compared to 44% of people in small towns and 41% of people in rural areas.

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: Getty

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