A new survey suggests over two-thirds of Canadians would like to see a total ban on guns in urban areas.
According to the poll, conducted by Ekos Research Associates for The Canadian Press, 69 per cent of 2,287 Canadians surveyed agreed with the statement “I think that there should be a strict ban on guns in urban areas.”
The automated survey contacted a mix of landlines and cell phones between Nov. 10-30 and is considered accurate within 2.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.
Support was highest in Quebec at 76 per cent and lowest in Alberta at 48 per cent.
Tony Bernardo, Executive Director of the Canadian Shooting Sports Association (CSSA) questions the results based on the long waiting lists for gun clubs across the country.
Three-quarters of CSSA members are from urban areas and according to their data, 1 in 4 households in Canada own a firearm.
“Very clearly there is an enormous amount of interest in shooting sports in these areas,” Bernardo told Gormley Monday. “If you ask the right people the right question, you’re going to get the answers you want.”
Statistics released last month showed that 2016 was the first time since 2012 that shootings were the most common method of homicide in Canada. Statistics Canada also reported that 2016 was the third year in a row that the number of firearm-related homicides rose.
The federal Liberals are working on legislation to tighten restrictions on guns, but they’ve never promised a total ban, something Bernardo said would be difficult for police to enforce.
“Who would know? The average gun owner doesn’t go out and talk about it with his neighbours and tell them all about the stuff they own.”
Bernado said the poll question was too simple for an issue as complex as gun ownership.
—With files from Brent Bosker and Canadian Press