If it's in the News, it's in our Polls. Public opinion polling since 2003.


Tuesday, December 15, 2015

What America Thinks: Is the Government After Your Guns?

Despite the pressure for more gun control from President Obama and others, gun sales set a single-day record on the Friday after Thanksgiving. It seems Americans are more interested in exercising their gun rights than giving them up. But what does America really think about guns?

Americans are more supportive than they have been in the past of their constitutional right to bear arms. They remain closely divided over the need for more gun control but still tend to oppose it. Perhaps that’s because just 38% think more gun control will keep guns out of the hands of people who shouldn’t have them. Fifty-one percent (51%) think it will just make it harder for law-abiding citizens to buy a gun. Sizable majorities have said for years that the government needs to enforce the gun laws already on the books instead.

A big problem for supporters of more gun control is that only 26% of Americans trust the government to fairly enforce gun control laws. A couple years ago, 44% of voters told Rasmussen Reports that the government is likely to try to confiscate all privately owned guns over the next generation or so. With that in mind, voters were closely divided over whether the feds should maintain a database with the names and addresses of all gun owners in the country. They’re evenly divided on that question now.

Just 21% think it would be good for America if only government officials such as the police and military personnel were allowed to have guns. After all, 65% of Americans think the purpose of the Second Amendment is to make sure that people are able to protect themselves from tyranny.

For Rasmussen Reports, I’m Alex Boyer. Remember, if it’s in the news, it’s in our polls.