Survey: More Americans Support Guns For Protection

Weekly news, tips, trivia, fun facts, and wild tales from the outdoors

Aug. 12, 2009

Survey: More Americans Support Guns For Protection
A new public opinion poll appears to confirm a major shift in the average
American’s perception of personal firearms ownership and concealed carry
laws — the results may surprise you. You’ll also read about a new, two-tier CCW
permit in North Dakota, and an online program to match hunters with landowners in
The Lone Star State.

Paradigm Shift In Public Opinion?
According to a new poll, the chasm-wide disparity that once existed between the
average Republican and Democratic voters on the issue of firearms ownership appears
to be narrowing — to almost negligible numbers.

The Zogby/O’Leary poll performed July 21-24 asked a total of 3,693 voters
the following question:

J.R. Absher

"Currently, 39 states have laws that allow residents to carry firearms
to protect themselves, only if they pass a background check and pay a fee to
cover administrative costs. Most of those states also require applicants to
have firearms safety training. Do you support or oppose this law?"

The results will likely surprise many Americans.

An overwhelming 83 percent of those polled said they supported
concealed-carry laws, while an incredible 80 percent of those identified as
voting for President Barack Obama were also in favor of current state CCW laws!

Further, concealed carry was supported by a majority of Independent voters
(86 percent), Republicans (85 percent), Democrats (80 percent), young voters
age 18-29 (83 percent), and Hispanic voters (80 percent).

Asked, "Do you agree or disagree that you have an individual right to
own and use firearms for lawful purposes?" — almost 85 percent of the 3,778
individuals polled said they agreed.

Those agreeing with the premise of individual firearm ownership included an
overwhelming majority of Republican voters (96 percent), Democratic voters (73
percent), and Independents (88 percent).

North Dakota Implements 2-Tier CCW Permit System
Beginning last week, concealed-carry permit applicants in North Dakota may opt
for one of two permit types; one that requires classroom work with a
proficiency test, and one that does not.

Effective August 1, the Class 2 permit is available to anyone over the age
of 18 who passes an open book test, and is the same as the existing permit. To
receive a Class 1 permit, however, the applicant must be over 21, complete a
course of classroom instruction, the open book test, and pass a proficiency

Existing North Dakota CCW permit holders may apply to upgrade to a Class 1
permit upon completion of the necessary testing requirements.

"Some states refused to recognize our permits because North Dakota did
not require a concealed weapon permit holder to complete a shooting proficiency
test," said Attorney General Wayne Stenehjem. "By creating a two-tier
system, we are able to accommodate existing permit holders and still offer a
choice to people who are interested in reciprocity with other states."

The states of Arizona and West Virginia already have agreed to recognize
North Dakota’s new Class 1 permits. In addition, 11 other states that have not
previously extended reciprocity — including Minnesota — are currently reviewing
North Dakota’s new laws.

Texas Hunters Connect With Landowners Online
The Texas Parks and Wildlife Department has created the “Hunt Texas Online Connection,”
a free Web service that allows anyone to view hunting opportunities posted by
private landowners across the state.

Because research surveys indicate that finding a place to hunt is a barrier
for many people in Texas, in early 2008, TPWD invited landowners to list
hunting lease opportunities in Texas for free, including last-minute openings.
Currently, hunters can search more than 450 hunting opportunities by lease
type, county, game animal, cost per hunter, and other parameters. The service is
free to both hunters and landowners.

"Anyone looking for a hunting lease in Texas can use this free service
to find listings from landowners throughout the state," said Linda
Campbell, TPWD program director for private lands and public hunting.
"This is one way we’re trying to better serve our license-buying public.
It’s important to keep the Texas hunting tradition strong, since hunting
supports wholesome family recreation, pumps more than a billion dollars per
year into Texas local economies, and provides an economic incentive for private
land stewards to protect wildlife habitat."

To register, landowners can visit the main Hunt Texas Online Connection Web
area on the TPWD website. Click, "Get Started," select a username and
password, log in, and start looking at hunting opportunities. Leases can be
seen without registering and logging in, but users must register in order to
contact landowners.

Hunters and landowners will determine if they are the right fit for each
other, and all transactions will be between landowners and hunters. The new
service also provides links to privately operated hunting lease websites as a
convenience for the public.

Final Tennessee Elk Tag
Sells For $17,700 On eBay

With a high bid of $17,700 on the Internet commerce site, eBay, a Franklin,
Tenn., businessman has acquired the last of five permits for the first
Tennessee elk hunt in modern times.

Andy Miller’s winning bid will permit him to join the other four permit
holders who received tags drawn through the Tennessee Wildlife Resources
Agency’s quota hunt lottery system.

The Tennessee Wildlife Resources Foundation partnered with the Rocky
Mountain Elk Foundation (RMEF), the Tennessee Wildlife Federation (TWF), and
Safari Club International (SCI) on the promotion and sale of the final elk tag.
The net proceeds of the tag sale will benefit Tennessee’s ongoing elk
restoration program.

The 2009 inaugural Tennessee elk hunt will take place at the North
Cumberland WMA in East Tennessee from October 19-23. All five hunters will also
be invited to attend an elk camp complete with wall tents, campfires, meals,
and entertainment.

Quote Of The Week
"Migration is a phenomenon too great and thrilling to be taken as a mere
matter of course. When northward through the night goes a clanging chorus of
wild geese; when one hears wings and far cries in the upper darkness haunting
the purple deeps; when one senses that this is the triumphant van of the
irresistible armies of the spring; is not the heart, by these lone and daring
trumpeters, summoned to rejoice?"
-Archibald Rutledge
“More Birds of Hampton”
“Home by the River,” 1941

J.R. Absher is a freelance outdoor writer whose articles and columns appear
in numerous national publications. He offers his unique perspective of the
outdoors weekly for You may contact him at

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