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RCMP gun-registry report barely swayed opinion

A gun enthusiast puts his rifle in a case at a hunting camp west of Ottawa on Sept. 15, 2010.


A new poll suggests an RCMP report that supported the long-gun registry had little impact on public opinion.

The Harris-Decima survey conducted for The Canadian Press says that both before and after the release of the report, about 52 per cent of respondents said the registry does some good and should be kept.

Supporters tend to be people living east of Manitoba, although support has crept up to 50 per cent in British Columbia. Oddly, 48 per cent of respondents said they don't believe the registry has reduced gun crime.

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The poll suggested a majority of Liberals, New Democrats and Bloc voters support keeping the registry, with a majority of Tory supporters favouring abolition.

The survey, part of an omnibus telephone poll, was conducted Sept. 16-19 and is considered accurate to within plus or minus 3.1 percentage points, 19 times out of 20.

The RCMP report, which came out in late August, concluded the registry is a cost-efficient, effective tool for law enforcement.

Doug Anderson, Harris-Decima senior vice-president, says the RCMP findings had little impact on what people think about the registry.

"Both immediately before the release of the RCMP report on its evaluation of the registry and since then, a small majority of Canadians said they prefer keeping the registry," he said.

"In both these recent waves of study, half the population (52 per cent) indicated feeling the registry does some good and should be kept and another small proportion (6 to 7 per cent) feel it does not do any good, but should be kept anyway."

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