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81% are aware of the new legislation, and gun owners (16% of our sample) are more likely to oppose this initiative (58%)

Vancouver, BC —Following the announcement last week by the federal Liberal Party about new gun control legislation and gun buyback program, a new Insights West poll has found that the majority of Western Canadian residents support the new legislation despite the fact that far fewer believe it will be effective in reducing gun violence in our country.

Perhaps surprisingly, support levels across British Columbia and Alberta are very similar. A total of 65% support the new gun legislation in BC, about the same number as are supportive in Alberta (63%). ‘Strongly support’ levels are slightly different between the two provinces, at 44% in BC versus 36% in Alberta. Results vary by demographic group and region within the two provinces. Support among females across the two provinces (71%) outweighs support levels among males (56%) by a significant margin, and young people (18-34 years of age) are also more likely to support the new legislation by a wider margin (70%) versus those in older age categories (60% among 35-54 year olds, and 62% among those aged 55+). As might be expected, support levels are dramatically higher in urban areas compared to rural areas in both provinces, but the gap is larger in BC than in Alberta (72% support the legislation in Metro Vancouver compared to 64% on Vancouver Island and 51% in the rest of BC whereas 65% support the legislation in Edmonton and Calgary versus 56% in other areas of Alberta).

Differences in the levels of opposition to these new laws is higher among gun owners and non-owners in both provinces, but the differences are not as great as expected. Gun owners in both provinces are decidedly more opposed (58%) to the new legislation than non-owners (21%). It might be surprising to note that 39% of gun owners support this legislation.

Partisan differences are also very significant on this issue, as Conservative voters across the two provinces are far more likely to be opposed to the proposed law (45%) compared to Liberal (11%) or NDP (13%) voters, but it is important to note that 48% of Conservative voters also support this legislation.

Awareness of the new gun control legislation is widespread at 81% in both provinces, but since the legislation is so new, only about half (54% in BC and 48% in Alberta) are aware and also familiar with the legislation.

Household gun ownership itself is just slightly higher in Alberta (18%) than it is in British Columbia (14%). Across the two provinces, household gun ownership is a little more prevalent among males (19%) than females (13%), similar among the various age groups, but is much more prevalent in rural areas of both provinces (double in rural Alberta versus the level in urban areas in Alberta, and four times in rural BC versus the level in urban areas in BC).

Despite the relatively high levels of support though for this legislation, residents of Alberta and BC are not entirely convinced about the effectiveness of these new laws, as only 41% are convinced that the new gun law will be in reducing gun violence in their provinces (only 7% think the law will be ‘very’ effective compared to 34% who think it will be ‘somewhat’ effective).

“Despite the controversy around this legislation, the vast majority of Canadians in Alberta and BC are in favour of the proposed changes to gun laws in our country” says Steve Mossop, President of Insights West. “Gun violence in our country has been an issue over the years, killing an average about 1,300 people across the country every year, but residents in the west are not convinced that this new legislation will help change things”


About Insights West:

Insights West is a full-service marketing research firm based in Western Canada. Since 2012, the company has conducted over one million surveys, executed 2,000 studies, and issued over 350 press releases on a variety of topics, correctly predicting the outcomes of 25 out of 26 elections and plebiscites. Insights West is a team of passionate, truth-seeking researchers who question everything to uncover the truth and what is emerging for a diverse set of clients. With an understanding of shifting markets, consumer and societal trends, and commitment to uncovering truths through a proprietary toolkit and innovative research approaches, Insights West helps organizations make better decisions.

About this Release:

Results are based on an online study conducted from February 24-March 3, 2021 among a sample of 1,537 residents in British Columbia (1,039) and Alberta (498). The margin of error with the total sample—which measures sample variability—is +/- 1.9 percentage points, 19 times out of 20. Discrepancies between totals are due to rounding. Click HERE to view the detailed data tabulations.

For further information, please contact:

Steve Mossop
Insights West