A newly released poll from a top online survey company shows most Americans do not want gun owners to carry their firearms in stores and restaurants.
According to the YouGov polling firm, 55 percent of those surveyed want stores and restaurants to ban firearms from their establishments, with 72 percent of Democrats wanting a store and restaurant gun ban along with 64 percent of females surveyed.
The poll data comes on the heels of controversial demonstrations by a Texas-based gun rights group who made national news openly carrying AR-style rifles and AKs into popular restaurants like Chipotle, Jack in the Box and Sonic. Protests by anti-gun groups and others prompted those establishments to ask that gun owners leave their firearms at home.
The Texas activists are using the long gun protests to force the state to allow open carry of handguns, which is currently illegal.
The YouGov poll shows 61 percent of those surveyed approve of Chiptole’s recent request that gun owners leave their arms at home, with only 32 percent saying they disapproved.
The outcry over the Texas activists’ moves prompted the National Rifle Association to issue a statement June 2 calling the protests “weird” and “downright scary.”
“The freedom and goodwill these businesses had previously extended to gun owners has been curtailed because of the actions of an attention-hungry few who thought only of themselves and not of those who might be affected by their behavior,” the NRA said in its sharply worded statement. “To state the obvious, that's counterproductive for the gun owning community.”
The YouGov poll — which was heavily weighted toward non-gun owners — showed 44 percent of those surveyed did not favor open carry of firearms in public places.
“When people act without thinking, or without consideration for others — especially when it comes to firearms — they set the stage for further restrictions on our rights,” the NRA said. “It makes folks who might normally be perfectly open-minded about firearms feel uncomfortable and question the motives of pro-gun advocates.”