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Polls Show Record-Low Support for Stricter Gun Laws

Friday, October 9, 2009

Results from a just-released Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that, more and more, Americans are in support of the Second Amendment and its individual guarantee of law-abiding citizens to Keep and Bear Arms, and oppose more restrictions on that right. 

Among the surveys highlights:

  • Only 39% of Americans say the United States needs stricter gun control;  
  • 50% are opposed to stricter gun control laws and 11% are not sure;
  • 69% of adults say city governments do not have the right to prevent citizens from owning handguns;
  • 87% of Republicans, 52% of Democrats, and 72% of "unaffiliateds" say cities do not have the right to ban handgun ownership;
  • 71% of Americans continue to believe that the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of an average citizen to own a gun, and;
  • 63% of voters agreed with the Supreme Court's landmark District of Columbia v. Heller decision, saying the Second Amendment granted individuals the right to own a gun for self-defense. 

Also released this week were the results of a new Gallup poll (Gallup's annual Crime Poll, conducted October 1-4, 2009).   The results of this poll show that a new low of only 44% of Americans who say the laws covering firearm sales should be made stricter.  That is down five points in the last year, and 34 points from the high of 78%, recorded the first time the question was asked in 1990. 

The Gallup poll also found a new low in the percentage of Americans favoring a ban on handgun possession except by the police and other authorized persons, a question that dates back to 1959. Only 28% now favor such a ban. 

The poll states that, "Compared with views in 2000, each major demographic or attitudinal subgroup has shown a shift toward a more pro-gun stance on the question about whether gun laws should be more strict or less strict." 

In conclusion, the poll found that, "Americans continue to trend toward holding attitudes that are more in favor of gun rights, and Gallup today finds new low points in favor of gun control on two separate measures dating back at least two decades," and that, "the current poll marks the first time Gallup has not found a significantly higher proportion of Americans preferring tighter gun-sale regulations." 

The results of these latest polls make clear—yet again—that more and more Americans overwhelmingly support our Second Amendment rights and lawful gun ownership and reject gun control schemes.
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Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.