Nine of 10 Richmond, Va.-area residents support closing the “gun-show loophole,” reports the Richmond Times-Dispatch. The loophole allows unlicensed gun dealers to sell firearms at Virginia gun shows without making background checks of purchasers. A new survey also shows that residents overwhelmingly rank crime as the biggest threat to their quality of life and that most believe the crime rate is tied to the availability of guns. The Richmond-based Southeastern Institute for Research conducted the survey. “The study confirms most of what we already suspected,” said Jim Dunn, president of the Chamber of Commerce. “People are genuinely worried about the level of crime in the region and they want solutions.”
The survey found that about two five households in the Richmond area own a gun; one in six respondents has either used a gun in self-defense or knows someone who has used a gun in self-defense; Nearly six of 10 respondents favor the right to carry a gun. While more than three quarters of respondents (76 percent) rate the quality of life as good, 60 percent said crime is the biggest threat to their quality of life, and more than half (54 percent) think crime has increased in the region over the past year.