New poll: Texans favor open carry, oppose campus carry

New polls show the majority of Texans believe the new open carry law has made us safer while most are against having concealed guns on college campuses.

If you ask Texans how they feel about guns, you'll hear some deeply held opinions, beliefs dramatically displayed outside the state capitol as gun rights activists toting firearms rallied for "open carry."

So now that open carry is the law of the Lone Star State, are we safer?

The new Texas Tegna Poll indicates 43 percent of Texans believe so, far more than the 33 percent who think the law has made Texans less safe. 

Another 19 percent think the hotly debated law has made no difference.

The poll also points to a partisan divide, with 74 percent of voters who consider themselves strong Republicans believing the law has made Texans safer and 67 percent of voters who consider themselves strong Democrats believing the opposite.

"One of the things that's interesting here is the proportion of households that actually have guns," said Bob Stein, KHOU's political analyst. "Among Republicans, that's not more than a third: 33 percent to 36 percent. Among Democrats, that number is half that: 15 to 16 percent.

"There's no question that Republicans are much more confident that open carry leads to greater safety," Stein said. "And they're much more supportive of having open carry on college campuses than their Democratic counterparts."

Overall, Texans seem ambivalent about new legislation allowing gun owners with permits to carry their weapons on college and university campuses. 

Most of the surveyed voters - 45 percent - oppose that idea, while 43 percent favor it. 

Given the poll's 2.6 percent margin of error, that's a statistical tie.

"Parents of younger children are much more sensitive to this issue of open carry on both public colleges, junior colleges and of course public schools," Stein said.

More:KHOU Texas Tegna Poll: Open Carry and Campus Carry 


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