Next time you walk into your favorite Alabama restaurant, look around. Chances are that two-thirds of the customers will own a gun and nearly half will have a permit to carry a concealed weapon into the establishment. That’s according to the results of a new Mobile Press-Register/University of South Alabama poll. Sixty-six percent of respondents said they own a gun and 46 percent have a permit to carry a concealed weapon. The telephone survey of 424 Alabama residents had a 5-percentage-point margin of error.
More than 80 percent of those surveyed said they agree with the U.S. Supreme Court’s ruling last month in District of Columbia v. Heller, in which a majority of the justices ruled that the Second Amendment to the Constitution protects an individual’s right to bear arms. Alabama has some of the least restrictive gun ownership laws in the nation. Of respondents with guns, 67 percent said they own a handgun, 54 percent a rifle and 56 percent a shotgun–roughly double the national averages.