CBS Poll: Nearly 30% of Americans Believe Concealed Carry would Help Prevent Gun Violence

A new poll from CBS News indicates that on the anniversary of the Sandy Hook massacre, 29 percent of Americans believe allowing more law-abiding citizens to carry firearms would help prevent gun violence.

CBS hides that particular statistic at the bottom of their report. But it aligns with the growing trend among Americans to take responsibility for their personal safety and security.

The number of concealed carry permit holders has risen dramatically in the last five years, according to the Crime Prevention Research Center. In 2017 the number of permit holders grew by a record 1.83 million. That’s more than the previous record increase of 1.73 million, set just the year before.

States have issued a total of 16.3 million concealed carry permits, which represents approximately 6.53 percent of American adults. In light of the CBS News poll, this statistic indicates that a much larger number of Americans support concealed carry than actually hold permits. If only 6.5 percent of Americans possess a permit. Then, the majority of the 29 percent of Americans who support arming law-abiding citizens do not hold permits themselves.

The concealed carry movement, in other words, encompasses a much larger segment of the population than those who have made the decision to carry a firearm.

Also of note is the fact that “stricter gun laws” falls in third place behind “better mental health screenings” and “tougher sentences on criminals” for solutions to gun violence. While 32 percent of Americans believe gun violence is a “crisis” and 37 percent believe the problem is “very serious,” they do not believe that restricting Second Amendment rights is the best solution.

The survey also found that political affiliation affects one’s perception of gun violence in the U.S. Democrats were three times more likely to call gun violence a “crisis.” But, strangely enough, Republicans were more likely to call the problem “very serious.”

Politics also determines whether or not one believes gun laws should be stricter. Eighty-three percent of Democrats favor stricter gun laws. Only 29% of Republicans say the same. Ten percent of Republicans believe gun laws should be less strict. But the majority—57%—are happy with the laws as they are.

SEE ALSO: Pelosi Blasted with Three Pinocchios for Lying About Concealed Carry Reciprocity

The survey also asked about perceptions of mass shooting. Americans are roughly split on whether a mass shooting concerns them. Forty-eight percent are “very” or “somewhat” concerned about a shooting in their area. And 52% are “not very” or “not at all” concerned.

There are two major takeaways from the CBS Poll. First, nearly one in every three Americans are willing to take responsibility for their own personal safety. Law enforcement cannot be everywhere at once. But the Second Amendment allows Americans to protect themselves until the authorities can arrive.

Second, as with many issues in 2017, views on guns and gun violence are becoming increasingly politicized. Many Americans still take the time to research the facts. But an increasing number of people are willing to believe whatever their favorite politicians tell them.

About the author: Jordan Michaels has been reviewing firearm-related products for over four years and enjoying them for much longer. With family in Canada, he’s seen first hand how quickly the right to self-defense can be stripped from law-abiding citizens. He escaped that statist paradise at a young age, married a sixth-generation Texan, and currently lives in Waco. Follow him on Instagram @bornforgoodluck and email him at

{ 29 comments… add one }
  • Capitata Malleus October 30, 2020, 10:44 pm

    While there may be many potential laws, and practical, constitutional, solutions, to LESSEN mass-shootings and gun violence, and possibly even prevent mentally disturbed from getting firearms, this sad phenomena will never completely disappear, even by more concealed carry permits.

    Did any of you see the video where the pump-shotgun toting miscreant walked into a crowded church service in session, and took out two, maybe three, armed citizens protecting the church goers, before the miscreant was killed by return gunfire? Sadly, miscreant got his just rewards but at the sacrifice of those brave, unfortunate defenders. Pretty much; End of TV ‘news’ Story.

    But when I see, on TV ‘news’, these bug-eyed, pink-haired, meth-crazed kiddies who’ve just killed a couple dozen people in a theater or school, with an AR-15, appearing before a judge, surrounded by pro-bono lawyers, smirking like oops!— their Nintendo game just crashed, but still hoping they’ll hold The Most Number of Innocent People Senselessly Killed record, that the fake news media keeps a faithful running tally on— It seems to me that there’s nothing like a good old fashioned public hanging, in the town square, to get the attention of even the sickest and most soulless murderers, when they’re informed they may not get off on the mental illness plea.

    Disturbing images of themselves swinging by that rope, jerking and twitching like a catfish on a hook, soiling themselves… may well go a long way in their consideration making process to plan the senseless killing of others…

  • Bill May 8, 2020, 7:09 am

    Not only are the groups picked to provide anticipated results, but the actual questions can be tailored for a specific result. In this case, questions were verbal. This allows for some discourse before the answer. That allows tone and emphasis of language to seek a certain response. In addition there should have been a set of requirements to which the interviewer should implement while interviewing the answering person.

    Without all the parameters disclosed, meaningful understanding of the result can be fake news, spewed for the agenda desired!

  • John February 29, 2020, 12:54 pm

    I have been a CCW holder for many years in CA. Now a new law says we must shoot our guns at every renewal. No reason was given for the new requirement. Maybe they want more sales tax. Maybe they have proof that we did not hit the target frequently.
    One thing for sure is it puts more lead into the soil that is often on private property. We can practice at home anytime we want.

  • Pat Orsban January 10, 2018, 6:50 am

    Now that is impressive, 30 percent of the liberals that watch CBS recognize the benefits of a law abiding armed society, despite the lies and distortions the liberals press spews every day.

  • MJ December 16, 2017, 1:01 pm

    Polls present the illusion that a majority has spoken, when it’s just a skewed snapshot carefully crafted by whomever is asking the questions. The last presidential election is proof of how inaccurate polls can be.
    Most criminals tend to avoid anyone known to be armed, such as law enforcement. How about an armed citizen? Only 29%?

  • Scott Syverson December 16, 2017, 12:39 pm

    I sit astride many of the factions relevant to this article: I am an avid shooter, reloader, and gunsmith tinker of the ilk that gun grabbers can only pry my weapon from my cold, dead hands; I have worked in law enforcement including police work as an armed private police officer and a forensic accountant investigator, and a psychological/mental health researcher of notoriety. Of these, the last is the most important pertaining to my comments. Everybody in this article and commenters are of the belief that mental health experts have the wherewithal to determine who is fit to own a gun and who is not. As someone who is at the very heart of this research, I can tell you with absolute certainty that the state of mental health diagnosis is far, far, far away from the day of being able to identify the current mentally ill unless it is grossly manifest and being able to predict who in the future will, may, or might have a mental illness that could lead to violent tendencies. Because of this, it is utterly impossible to tell whether who has healed, recovered, or overcome a mental illness such that they may re-assume their Second Amendment rights that may have been suspended due to their mental illness. To even consider giving this power to bureaucracies is will lead to gun grabbing without boundaries of the likes that your greatest fears have never dreamed to tread. I will give you one highly pertinent example: psychopaths. Currently, there is no spot test available to determine who is and who is not a psychopath. There are two tests in development at this time. I am the principal author of one of those tests. I have not yet had a chance to examine my competitors model, nor have I completed calibration testing on my model to determine its efficacy. What I do know is that my model is based on cutting-edge science and that of my competitor’s is based on the older science that my group’s published science is displacing. Currently, science and medicine have no understanding or explanation of what is psychopathy. They cannot tell you what is defective in the brain processing that leads to psychopathic behavior. They can only catalog its features. And only by comparing the features of a subject to that of the known features of a template can the diagnosis be made. Currently, science and medicine label psychopathy as a personality disorder. My research has lead to an utterly different conclusion: psychopaths have a mental defect having been born without one of the six emotions we should be equipped with. I could write a whole book on this subject alone were I not writing others on my own research. My point is this: do not seek sanctuary in your beliefs that mental health science has the ability to solve this second amendment issue. Hold tight and dearly onto your Second Amendment rights until such a time that science can demonstrate an extremely high accuracy rate of identifying, curing, and determining recidivism potential of all mental illnesses. That is well beyond the horizon at the moment.

    • arthur May 8, 2020, 4:34 am that was well thought out and absolutly logical..from someone that speaks from a life experience..i would like to see this in many papers,but dont expect too..i can only add..that in 30 years of gun carry..conceal carry..u have never ever had a priblem..however i have had piece of mind in many situations that otherwise i would not have..from dangeroyse wild animals..too close calls with dangerouse criminals…i never even have had to threaten force in any manner..and also never had to wonder if i would die a helpless victim either.thank you for a great comment

    • Bill October 30, 2020, 2:13 pm

      Those of us who have direct experience with the mental health “professionals” are fully aware of how flawed they are. Most of them, in my experience, are on the wrong side of the desk.

  • Mikial December 15, 2017, 4:40 pm

    I always hear about these polls, but I wonder who they are actually asking. No one has ever asked me to participate. Research and statistics were a major portion of my Graduate Degree, and it’s very easy to skew any poll result bu only including specific segments of the population in the study. For example, if you only poll in the center of a large city, it will be much easier to get the number of respondents you need for your sample size, but you will also get a sample that ius far more likely to be Liberal and far less likely to be gun owners.

    If they were ask me or my wife if we thought being armed makes us safer and reduces the chances of a successful shooting incident, the answer would be a resounding yes to both.

  • KMacK December 15, 2017, 3:30 pm

    Let’s consider history. When this country was founded, there were no gun laws (outside of “take care of what you have”) and people seemed to get along just fine. Back then, the average citizen had access to the very same sort of weaponry used by the military and nobody got upset with the fact. People carried weapons visibly for two reasons: One, there weren’t that many holsters available, so belts were put into service, and Two: They were enjoying the basic right of a free person – the right to possess weapons. Slaves could not possess weapons of any sort while free people could, and did!
    Yes, today things are a bit different. There are more people who are damaged mentally, and they should not possess firearms unless they can provide proof of their beating their mental problems and ares certified sane. Similarly some criminals, AFTER CONVICTION, should not be allowed to possess firearms since they will use them to commit crimes – again. The process of denying firearms to someone un-Tried and un-Convicted must be rigorously monitored to protect the concept of “Innocent until determined guilty”. Making laws to control access to firearms is foolishness, stupid, and focused on re-election, not public safety. Criminals can get firearms if they have the money. It should be noted that Criminals rarely if ever obey the law.
    Speaking of Criminals, it should be noted that these are low-status predators, who carefully choose weak or apparently helpless persons as their prey. Armed people threaten them, becoming too dangerous to attack. Persons who carry concealed have a sort of “Halo Effect” in that if a criminal knows one member of a group is armed, they will tend to avoid the whole group. These observations apply to hyenas and coyotes – and to human criminals. Some humans are like rabid versions of their animal-types, attacking without concern for their own safety. They are better removed than encouraged, for everyone’s benefit, both criminal and honest peoples.
    Yet it seems that Politicals use tragedies to advance their personal re-election schemes by using the tragedy to propose some new and usually un-thought out gun law to capture the moment for their personal benefit. These bits of stupidity usually don’t survive the first Court test. The phrase “Act in Haste, Repent at Leisure” (B.Franklin) seems to apply here.
    If perhaps ten percent of the public went armed, either openly or concealed, personal crime would be reduced by as much as fifty percent. If firearm safety were taught in schools, fewer child-caused firearm tragedies would occur. And…possibly, the rabid fear that the professional Anti-Gun types would cease to fall on unknowing ears. Ignorance is the tool the Anti’s use most and it is the easiest to take from them.
    “The right to own weapons is the right to be free” (Weapons shops of Isher novels).

    • C.G.A. December 15, 2017, 11:58 pm

      Hence the saying, “When guns are outlawed, only outlaws will have guns.” When guns are taken away from law-abiding people who use them for their intended purpose, the criminals, who don’t obey said laws, will still have guns to wreak havoc on the unarmed without fear of reprisal. There are already laws currently in effect that, if rigorously enforced, are demonstrated to reduce gun violence. The only thing liberal gun-haters want is power. They can’t have that if there is an armed populace to resist their tyrannical ideals.

  • C.G.A. December 15, 2017, 2:20 pm

    CBS (Liberal MSM) poll – already says biased toward liberal thinking. I would bet that it is much higher than 30%. Probably polled in CA or NY or MA. They should try polling the red states.

  • Larry S December 15, 2017, 1:57 pm

    In California there are thousands of applications for a CCW permit that are being ignored by county sheriffs.

    • Delco October 16, 2020, 11:51 pm

      This New Democratic Party has made is so that anyone who wants to work in Hollywood and has a different point IV view is instantly black listed. Any real American who is honest within themselves won’t look away from the hypocrisy taking place. Years ago when they spoke about fake news I sorta thought whatever no big deal. But it has become so bad that most news papers, news stations are beyond corrupt. Anyone who try’s to speak out against the lefts agenda is blocked from social media, they are attacked and called a racist. Our grandparents and Americans who lived only a decade ago would not believe our country has caved to a left wing anti American group of assholes.

  • Frank December 15, 2017, 11:46 am

    Only thirty percent??? Everyone I know believes that concealed carry prevents violent crime! They probably took the poll in a liberal district?

    • Bill October 30, 2020, 2:17 pm

      I even had a guy in a grocery store tell me that he felt safer seeing my firearm (IWB) although he had never carried and had no interest in doing so. Knowing that armed law-abiding people are in the area acts as a deterrence to criminals and an assurance to others.

  • SuperG December 15, 2017, 10:23 am

    Polls come out the way you want them to, so I do not trust them. But I always ask who was polled, how many were polled, where were they polled, and how were the questions asked? I agree that mental health is the number one issue though. When we had 100 gun laws we had mass shootings. When we had 200 gun laws we had mass shootings. Now we have over 800 and we still have mass shootings. Psychos do not care about laws is my takeaway on this.

  • michael December 15, 2017, 10:09 am

    cbs is the only real news out there!!

    • Frank December 15, 2017, 11:44 am

      That’s crazy michael! All the major networks are owned by liberals and all their “reporting” has a biased slant!!!

      • DaveW December 15, 2017, 12:42 pm

        In fact, Disney, a known liberal leaning corporation is trying to buy Fox, one of the few right leaning or balanced sources.

    • Colonialgirl December 15, 2017, 3:18 pm

      Had all the liberal idiocy and BS flushed out of your head yet?
      If NOT then go get an enema in both ears because obviously your single brain cell has been over whelmed with nonsense.

      • C.G.A. December 15, 2017, 7:58 pm

        That probably wouldn’t help. Probably needs the other end as well. No, that wouldn’t help either, probably needs a lobotomy, that is, if you can find it.

  • Kimberpross December 15, 2017, 9:57 am

    Right on Sepp W.

    The smoke screen the liberal (Democrats) throw up is that our right to Keep and Bear Arms is a deadly crime issue and must be restricted. The oxymoron of liberalism would imply more freedom and liverty, however that group wants to restrict and control. If you read how the bill of rights was developed and written by James Madison, it was to protect the people of the United States Of America from the government. Prevent in a democratic government a majority group being able to over power a minority group’s rights for the better of the society. Thank God for an extremely intelligent group of founding fathers. I am sure there were morons in the government back then as well but those brilliant men were able to overcome.

    • DaveW December 15, 2017, 12:45 pm

      CA is a perfect example of a government which no longer respects the rights of the citizens and seeks to cancel out those rights.

      • C.G.A. December 15, 2017, 2:29 pm

        Absolutely true. Unfortunately, I live in CA and am a victim of this. We need to split the state into CA and West CA. Split the state along I-5 from Oregon to the start of the Grapevine and then east to the CA border. Let CA keep all the water and let West CA go find their own. They can make their capital in San Fransicko and send Gov. Moonbeam there with all his liberal/socialist “law makers” and see if they can make something of their half. At least I’ll be in the better half and it should be more like a red state.

        • jon will December 16, 2017, 7:12 pm

          I’m with you on a CA split. It took me 8 monts to finally receive my CCW. I’m fortunate to live in one of the few “good” areas left in CA. The main reason I went for my CCW was to show support for our great sheriffs department. If you’re fortunate enough to live in an area that has a “will issue” CCW policy you should seriously consider getting yours. I just heard the other day on the local news that serious crime in my area has dropped significantly in the last year…….wonder why? Could it be that more and more people are “packin” these days? On a side note-our DA just announced that four separate incidents of CCW holders who were involved in a defensive shooting situation-all four were deemed justified by the DA. No criminal charges were brought against any of the four CCW holders.

          If all the people who COULD get a CCW actually did, just think what a positive message that would send to politicians! It would blow holes in the lies the anti’s spew about “the more guns the more crime.” It would conclusively show that quite the opposite is the case.

  • GRA December 15, 2017, 8:57 am

    I can’t believe any poll results conducted by fake-news CBS. I’m sure it’s more like 50% – 80% that believe concealed carry stops violence.

  • srsquidizen December 15, 2017, 7:09 am

    Legal concealed carry simply provides a means for law-abiding citizens to protect themselves outside of the home (as the saying goes “When you’ve got seconds to live the police are only minutes away.”) It is their Constitutional right to do so.

    Legal concealed carry by law-abiding citizens will not have a great impact on homicide statistics because the vast majority of murders are criminal-on-criminal in high-crime areas (which all have strict gun control laws that don’t work). Putting those people in prison til hell freezes over, instead of non-violent offenders who can be punished some other way, is the only thing that will.

  • Sepp W December 14, 2017, 6:25 pm

    There is violence and there are guns.
    There are violent crimes committed with a firearm.
    There is no such thing as “gun violence.”
    Intellectual dishonesty.

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