Our US survey: the revealing results

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We recently ran a survey on what US gunowners thought about our gun laws.  The results show a quarter of US shooters think we can get an air rifle (BB gun) without a licence.  Nearly a third of US gun owners think we can’t carry ammo in our pockets when hunting rabbits.  

One of these is right, the other is wrong.

First of all, thank you to everyone who participated in the survey.  It was open for just over a month and drew a far bigger response than we thought possible.

Here are the results:

Q1: How tough do you think it is to own the following types of guns in Australia?

The majority of responses were correct in believing that Australian gun laws mean that full auto long arms are only permitted for the military. They were also correct in believing different licences were needed for semi-autos and other long arms and handguns.

27% thought we could own air rifles (BB guns) without a licence. Alas, that is not true. In Australia, you will need a Category A licence; the same one for a bolt action rifle.

Q2: In which US state do you live?

31% of respondees were from New York State and 24% from Texas with the rest distributed among the other states, which amazed us. However it might reflect local social networks that picked up on the survey.

Q3: Which of the following do you think are TRUE or FALSE?

90% of US shooters correctly believe we need to store firearms in locked states.

31% said we cannot carry ammo in our pockets when hunting rabbits. In fact we can do that, at least in Victoria.

74% said they believed gun laws were inconsistent across Australia, which is correct. 100% percent said gun laws were inconsistent across the US!  6% said Australian governments understand the needs of local shooters – and it was the same result in the US.

Q4: Thinking about your own state in the US what do you need to own the following?

Around 50% said only the military could own a full-auto in their state, while 19% of respondents said they could own one either with a basic licence or none at all.  84% said they did not need a licence for a semi-auto longarm and a shade over 90% said they didn’t need a licence for a 5 shot bolt action.

Nearly 97% said they didn’t need a licence for an air rifle.

Q5: Thinking of your own state in the US, which of the following describe your government’s involvement in promoting shooting?

The question was split across four areas of possible interest by state governments in the US: programs to increase participation, identify economic benefits, stop anti-shooting protesters and invest funds to support shooting.

The results surprised us.  Between 46% and 55% of respondents ‘strongly disagree(d) with each of the positive statements.  In other words, the survey result suggests the majority of states did NOT have programs in place that support the shooting sports.

The most positive result out of this was for the question that the respondent’s state promotes the economic benefits of shooting. 24% agreed with this – but the majority said otherwise.

One respondent added the qualitative response that “(Connecticut) is the poster child for emotional, reactive legislation that does nothing to curb criminal misuse of firearms, yet fully restrains law-abiding citizens”.  That makes us wonder if their laws are worse than ours!

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