Most Americans think smart guns are a 'good idea'

August 12, 2014, 2:46 PM GMT+0

Most Americans think that smart guns are a good idea, but opinion is divided about whether or not they should be the only guns that are allowed to be sold

Smart guns are guns that can only be fired by the owner of the weapon, but despite growing popularity in Europe they aren't available in the United States, due to the furious opposition of gun rights advocates. Their opposition largely stems from a 2002 New Jersey law that would make the sale of non-smart handguns illegal in the state 30 months after any smart guns are on sale anywhere in the United States. 

YouGov's latest research shows that, on the whole, most Americans think that smart guns are a good idea. Only 23% of the public think that they are a bad idea. Asked whether smart guns should become the only guns on sale public opinion becomes more divided. 39% of the public support smart banning the sale of non-smart guns, while 33% think that smart guns should not be the only guns on sale.

Support for a 'smart gun law' like the one in New Jersey varies according to gun ownership. Most people who personally own a gun oppose (56%) rather than support (24%) the law, but most people who live in a house that has a gun which they do not own themselves support the law. Among the majority of the American public who do not have a gun in their household, 44% support a smart gun law and 26% oppose it. 

While gun owners don't support a smart gun law, people who own a gun do tend to say it is a 'good idea' (47%) rather than a 'bad idea' (36%). 

Politically, most Democrats (53%) support the law, while most Republicans (55%) oppose it. Independents are split right down the middle, with 36% in favor and 36% against a smart gun law. 

Full poll results can be found here.

Image: PA