Americans back guns, but not in church

A survey shows a slim majority of Americans support passing stricter gun control laws, but 62 per cent of Catholics say they favour stricter laws.

CNS PHOTO | SHANNON STAPLETON, REUTERS

A survey shows a slim majority of Americans support passing stricter gun control laws, but 62 per cent of Catholics say they favour stricter laws.

August 27, 2012

A poll analyzing views about gun control in the context of people's faith groups found that a majority of Americans believe gun rights are as important as other constitutional rights, but they draw the line at guns being permitted in churches and government buildings.

The survey by Public Religion Research Institute, released Aug. 15, found that two-thirds of Americans think the right to bear arms is as important as other constitutional rights, such as free speech, religion and press.

But three-quarters said there should be a prohibition against carrying guns into churches, government buildings or college campuses.

For the survey, researchers contacted 1,006 adults by telephone. Catholics were less likely than other groups to have guns in their homes or to support allowing concealed guns in churches.

Of the whole survey group, 42 per cent said they had guns in their homes.