September 14, 2021
More than a third of Canadians want a ban on hunting rifles and shotguns, a Liberal poll shows.
Blacklock’s Reporter says Public Safety Minister Bill Blair’s department commissioned the poll with those wanting the ban saying they were “not very or at all familiar” with firearms regulations.
“Thinking each of these types of firearms should be illegal is lowest among those who indicate they are very familiar with firearms regulations in Canada, and highest among those not very or at all familiar,” wrote researchers.
The findings are detailed in a March 24 report Firearms Public Awareness Research released yesterday.
A quarter of Canadian households, 25%, own a firearm. Only 15% of Canadians surveyed rated gun-related violence “a major threat to public safety.” A total of 13% said it was “not at a threat at all.”
More than a third, 39%, said rifles and shotguns should be illegal. Sixty-three percent said handguns should be banned. Findings were based on questionnaires with 2,000 Canadians nationwide and twenty focus groups in all regions of the country. Environics Research was paid $223,528 for the survey.
Cabinet to date has not proposed any outright ban on rifles, shotguns or handguns. No explanation was given as to why Blair’s department polled the question.
“The objective of this research was to set benchmarks of Canadians’ knowledge of the potential risks they face, their perception of the issue, their current level of understanding as well as their willingness to participate in new government programs,” wrote Environics.
“Issues relating to the regulation of firearms have been very controversial in Canada for the past 40 or so years. Many Canadians possess firearms for perfectly legitimate purposes, i.e. sport and hunting, and this is particularly the case in rural areas.
“As gun-related violence has grown there has been more and more demand to find ways to restrict and regulate the availability of firearms, and his has led to clashes of values that have in the past divided Canadians along urban and rural lines.”