Majority of Americans Supports "Smart" Guns, Survey Finds
A survey conducted by Johns Hopkins University has found that the majority of Americans support “smart” guns. That runs counter to the contention from gun makers that there’s not a market for the so-called "childproof weapons.
The web-based survey, conducted in January 2015, included about 4,000 people across the United States. The respondents were nearly evenly split among gun owners and those who did not own guns.
A total of 59 percent of all the survey participants said they would be willing to consider a smart gun if they were to buy a new weapon. Among current gun owners, 40 percent said they would be willing to buy a smart gun. Broken down by political identification, support for smart guns was 71 percent among liberals, 56 percent among moderates and 56 percent among conservatives, according to the researchers.
Smart guns use fingerprint or radio frequency identification to prevent unauthorized people from firing them. Its proposed that widespread use of smart guns would reduce the numbers of suicides and stolen or borrowed guns used in crimes and accidental shootings of children by other children.
A 2013 study funded by gun makers suggested that just 14 percent of Americans would be willing to buy a smart gun.
There were more than 33,600 gun-related deaths in the U.S. in 2013. Most were suicides (more than 21,000), but there were also more than 11,000 gun-related murders and more than 500 deaths from unintentional shootings. About 84,000 people suffered non-fatal gunshot wounds in 2013 that required hospital or emergency room treatment.
Don’t miss this week’s Slice of History: Prohibition Kicks In.