Polling Shows People Wary of Open Carry

I wouldn’t read much into polls, because the one thing polls don’t tell you is where the passion for an issue is. But Rasmussen is at least a reputable poller, and polls show the public is wary of open carry.

A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey finds that 41% of Adults are at least somewhat concerned about their safety in the presence of those who have “concealed carry” gun permits. Fifty-eight percent (58%) don’t share that concern.

But 47% oppose so-called “open carry” laws that would allow citizens to openly wear their guns in public. Forty-one percent (41%) favor laws. Several states are currently wrestling with this issue.

In households with a gun owner, support for “open carry” laws rises to 57%. In households where no gun is present, 62% oppose them.

Truth be told, I don’t think these poll numbers are devastating to the cause of Open Carry, and we already know that the Brady folks haven’t had a lot of luck doing fundraising on twitter using the issue. Concealed carry once had poll numbers that were this low. That’s not to say I’m about to endorse open carry in all places and all circumstances, but 57% support among gun owners is better than I thought it would be. The big question is where the passion is, because that’s more indicative of how the struggle will play out politically. The polling doesn’t really matter, but it’s useful to at least get an approximate gauge of what people think.

7 thoughts on “Polling Shows People Wary of Open Carry”

  1. Polls, when done correctly, can be interesting academically. And yes, on many issues, they can advise legislators.

    However, the sad part is that regarding the bearing of arms, too many people still think that if the majority wants it, the bearing of arms can be banned.

    That’s just wrongheaded.

  2. I don’t know how useful a nationwide poll is for each state. I’m going to go out on a limb and guess that Utah and Massachusetts have vastly different results.

    My understanding is that South Carolina and Texas don’t allow Open Carry. I’d be interested in their ratios, not those that include Vermont and New York.

  3. So, what do we do with the poll numbers?

    That is the real question: Do we hide firearms hoping not to offend someone or do we Openly Carry them and show by our actions that there is no reason for concern?

    When you boil down the options, it really comes down to that – doesn’t it?

    Do we hide or do we say that this is who we are – responsible gun owners going about our daily business.

  4. What I find interesting is that they announce the minority view (ZOMG teh guhnz!) first, as if that’s the more important view, while casually mentioning the majority view (we really don’t care) afterwards.

    What would be instructive would be to ask those who are not intimidated, but don’t favor increased open carry, about that apparent disconnect.

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