Almost Half of Canadians Would Abolish the Long Gun Registry

Respondents who reside in rural areas are more likely to call for the registry to be scrapped than those in urban centres.

As the House of Commons prepares for a vote on the future of the Canadian Firearms Registry, many Canadians remain skeptical about the success of the legislation, a new Angus Reid Public Opinion poll has found.

The online survey of a representative sample of 1,011 Canadian adults also finds that people who live in rural areas continue to be more likely to call for the registry to be scrapped than those who reside in urban centres.

Views on a Complete Ban

Canadians are evenly divided on the possibility of implementing a complete ban on handguns.

Since August, the proportion of respondents who support a ban fell by five points to 44 per cent, while the proportion of Canadians who believe a ban would be unjustified increased by four points to reach 44 per cent. Majorities in every Western Canadian province believe a ban would be unjustified, while most Quebecers would agree to implement one.

The Registry

The Canadian Firearms Registry, also known as the long gun registry, requires the registration of all non-restricted firearms in Canada. More than a third of Canadians (38%, -5 since August) believe the registry has been unsuccessful in preventing crime in Canada, while three-in-ten (31%, +2) think it has had no effect on crime. Only 16 per cent of respondents (+3) believe the Canadian Firearms Registry has been successful.

Almost half of Canadians (46%, +2) call for the long gun registry to be scrapped—including large majorities in the Prairies (65%) and Alberta (69%). Two-in-five respondents (40%, +5) are opposed to this course of action, including 59 per cent of Quebecers.

While 44 per cent of Urban Canadians would scrap the long gun registry, the proportion jumps to 53 per cent among Rural Canadians. For the purpose of this analysis, Rural Canadians are defined as persons living outside centres with a population of 1,000 inhabitants, and outside areas with 400 persons per square kilometre.


The discussions about the Canadian Firearms Registry have led to an increased awareness among the population, and a reduction in the number of respondents who are undecided about its effect and its future.

While there was a five-point increase in the proportion of Canadians who want to save the registry, the overall number is still smaller than the plurality of respondents who call for its demise. Still, there is little fluctuation in the views of Urban Canadians and Rural Canadians since the survey conducted in August.

Our previous surveys on guns can be accessed here:
November 2009 / August 2010

Full Report, Detailed Tables and Methodology (PDF)

Methodology: From September 15 to September 16, 2010, Angus Reid Public Opinion conducted an online survey among 1,011 randomly selected Canadian adults who are Angus Reid Forum panelists. The margin of error—which measures sampling variability—is +/- 3.1%, 19 times out of 20. The results have been statistically weighted according to the most current education, age, gender and region Census data to ensure a sample representative of the entire adult population of Canada. Discrepancies in or between totals are due to rounding.

Jaideep Mukerji discusses the findings on CTV News Channel.

Tags assigned to this article:
Gun LawLong Gun Registry