A Majority Of Americans Oppose Carrying Guns In Public – The Trace

Two-thirds of Americans believe that guns should be restricted in many public places, according to a study published Thursday.

The study, by a group of leading public health researchers, found that at least 64 percent of those surveyed do not support carrying guns at college campuses, in places of worship, government buildings, schools, bars, or sports stadiums. Even among gun owners, a majority did not approve of guns in bars or in schools. The survey, published in the American Journal of Public Health, comes as a number of states have passed laws to expand where guns can be carried in public.

“That’s an important finding because it goes against the general trend of what lawmakers are doing,” said Julia Wolfson, a professor of public health at the University of Michigan and one of the study’s co-authors.

Already in 2017, Arkansas has passed a bill allowing guns on college campuses, in government buildings, and in bars. Governor Nathan Deal of Georgia is weighing a proposal that would allow concealed weapons at colleges. And state legislators in New Hampshire, North Dakota, and Iowa passed so-called Constitutional carry bills, eliminating the requirement of permits to carry concealed weapons.  

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A momentous shift in what kinds of firearms Americans are owning — and why — has huge implications for public health.

The new findings by researchers at Harvard, Northeastern, and Johns Hopkins universities, along with Michigan, are the latest in a set of studies that are painting the most definitive portrait of American attitudes toward gun policy and ownership in two decades.  

The authors asked nearly 4,000 respondents whether they thought people should be allowed to bring firearms into nine public places: restaurants, schools, college campuses, bars, government buildings, sports stadiums, retail stores, service

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