Most Canadians Perceive Gun Violence as a Serious Problem

More than three-in-four think taking action to stop illegal gun smuggling from the U.S. would be an effective measure.

Vancouver, BC [July 15, 2020] – Many Canadians are concerned about crimes committed with firearms in the country, a new Research Co. poll has found.

In the online survey of a representative national sample, 63% of Canadians believe gun violence in Canada is a “very serious” or “moderately serious” problem.

Ontarians (76%), Women (69%), Canadians aged 55 and over (68%) and British Columbians (67%) are more likely to regard gun violence as a “serious” matter in the country.

In Canada, it is not legal for a person to own or carry a firearm for the purpose of self defence against human beings. Fewer than one-in-five Canadians (18%) disagree with this precept, while 77% agree with it and 5% are undecided.

“There are not many Canadians who are willing to entertain the notion of allowing ordinary citizens to possess firearms for self-defence,” says Mario Canseco, President of Research Co. “While 30% of Canadians who voted for the Conservative Party in the last federal election disagree with existing guidelines for the possession of firearms, the proportion drops among those who cast ballots for the New Democratic Party (NDP) (15%) and the Liberal Party (12%) last year.”

Respondents were also asked to rate the effectiveness of four different measures to reduce the number of crimes committed with firearms in Canada.

More than three-in-four Canadians (77%) believe taking action to reduce gun smuggling from the United States would be “very effective” or “moderately effective” in curbing gun violence.

Residents of Ontario and British Columbia are more convinced that stopping illegal gun smuggling from the United States would be an effective measure (83% and 80% respectively) than those in Atlantic Canada (76%), Saskatchewan and Manitoba (74%), Quebec (72%) and Alberta (70%).

Practically three-in-four Canadians also believe two other ideas would be effective: imposing mandatory jail terms for crimes committed with firearms (74%) and introducing new outreach programs to steer youth away from gangs (also 74%).

Just over three-in-five Canadians (62%) believe enacting a complete ban on handguns would be effective in reducing gun violence in Canada—including 66% of women and 71% of British Columbians.

Results are based on an online survey conducted from July 3 to July 5, 2020, among 1,000 adults in Canada. The data has been statistically weighted according to Canadian census figures for age, gender and region in Canada. The margin of error—which measures sample variability—is +/- 3.1 percentage points, nineteen times out of twenty.

Find our full data set here and download the press release here. 

For more information on this poll, please contact:
Mario Canseco, President, Research Co.