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Differences in public support for handgun purchaser licensing

Abstract

Objective To assess whether there are differences in support for handgun purchaser licensing.

Methods We used data from four waves of online, national polling on gun policy. To estimate differences in support for licensing across groups, we categorised respondents by whether they personally owned a gun, lived in a state with handgun purchaser licensing or lived in a state regulating private sales without a licensing system.

Results Eighty-four per cent of adults living in states with licensing supported the policy compared with 74% in states without the law (p<0.001). Seventy-seven per cent of gun owners living in states with licensing supported the policy vs 59% of gun owners in states without licensing (p<0.001).

Conclusions Support for licensing among gun owners living in states with these laws, many of whom have presumably gone through the process, was much higher than gun owners in states without such laws.

  • firearm
  • surveys
  • attitudes
  • legislation
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