January 21, 2017
Bill Shapard

Oklahomans believe gun-free zones make people LESS safe

According to the most recent SoonerPoll Quarterly, more than two-thirds of Oklahoma likely voters believe areas designated as gun-free zones make citizens LESS safe, which runs contrary to reason for establishing gun-free zones in the first place.

Only 23.6 percent believed gun-free zones make citizens more safe and another eight percent didn't have an opinion.

"As the number of mass shootings have increased, some in areas specifically designated as gun-free zones, Oklahomans are not seeing gun-free zones as a solution to making people safer," said Bill Shapard, founder of

[box] [QUESTION] Gun free zones are areas where the use or possession of firearms is considered a crime. Supporters of gun free zones believe such areas create greater safety for all by banning all guns in the area, whereas opponents believe criminals or mass murderers, who don't follow laws anyway, view such areas as opportunities since no one would have a gun except them. Do you believe that areas designated as gun free zones make citizens MORE SAFE or LESS SAFE?

1. More safe23.62. Less safe68.23. Don't know/Refused [DNR]8.2


While over 82 percent of Republicans believed gun-free zones were less safe, a majority of Democrats (52.8 percent) also believed gun-free zones were less safe, and 59.3 percent of Independents as well.

Gun-free zones were also not popular with self-identified conservatives, as 87.8 percent believed these zones were less safe, while 60 percent of moderates also agreed that gun-free zones are less safe. Sixty percent of self-identified liberals, however, believed gun-free zones were MORE SAFE, and only 34 percent believed "less safe."

Men were nine points more likely to view gun-free zones as less safe than women, 72.7 percent to 63.7 percent, and no significant differences were observed when results were analyzed by age, income, race, or education.

About the Poll, Oklahoma’s public opinion pollster, asked these questions of Oklahoma likely voters as part of the SoonerPoll Quarterly Poll.

The scientific study was conducted from December 19-21, 2016 with 440 likely Oklahoma voters selected at random statewide from a tri-frame of both landline telephone and cell phones, plus a online panel from Research Now. The sample was weighted by age, political party, and congressional district in order to reflect the Oklahoma likely voter population for a general election. The weighting was conducted using a 'layered technique.'

The sample reflects the traditional demographical profile of the Oklahoma likely voter with roughly half of respondents identifying as conservative and attending religious services once or more per week. The study has a Margin of Error (MoE) of ± 4.60 percent.

This poll not only conforms to the Standards of Disclosure of the National Council on Public Polls but exceeds the standard disclosure with a Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report. A complete description of the methodology can be found here.

The poll's Call Disposition and Rate Calculation Report can be viewed here. A beta version of the Weighting Table Report can be viewed here.

Bill Shapard
About the Author

Bill Shapard

Bill is the founder of and ShapardResearch, a full service market research firm based in Oklahoma City. Bill began his career in polling after working on a major campaign in Oklahoma from 1996 until founding SoonerPoll in 2004.