June 4, 2008

Public Continues to Oppose Banning Handgun Sales

As the Supreme Court considers the constitutionality of Washington, D.C.'s ban on handguns, a majority of Americans (59%) say they would oppose a law that banned the sale of handguns.

Opposition to a prohibition of handgun sales is up slightly, from 55% a year ago shortly after the Virginia Tech shootings, but it represents a more substantial increase from the 1990s, when roughly half of Americans opposed a ban on handguns.

The latest survey by the Pew Research Center for the People & the Press, conducted April 23-27 among 1,502 Americans, finds that public attitudes about gun control also have shown little change in recent years.

Despite the public's opposition to a ban on handgun sales, most Americans continue to say that in general it is more important to control gun ownership than to protect the rights of gun owners. Roughly six-in-ten (58%) say it is more important to control gun ownership while 37% say it is more important to protect the rights of Americans to own guns.

Public attitudes about gun control and a handgun ban are divided along political, gender and racial lines. Nearly three-quarters of Republicans (73%) oppose a ban on handgun sales, a view shared by 59% of independents and just half of Democrats. Democrats differ over a law to ban handgun sales. A majority of the party's conservatives and moderates (53%) oppose such a ban; among liberal Democrats, 43% are opposed while half favor a ban on handgun sales.

Opposition to a prohibition on handgun sales is greater among men than women (65% vs. 53%), and among whites than blacks (61% vs. 49%). In addition, though majorities of urban, suburban and rural residents oppose a handgun ban, more rural residents than urban residents oppose a ban. Southerners are more likely to oppose a handgun ban than are Northeasterners or Midwesterners.

Reflecting the partisan differences in views of a ban on handgun sales, 63% of those who favor a ban on handgun sales support Barack Obama in a general election matchup against John McCain; a comparable proportion back Hillary Clinton against McCain (62%). Most Americans who oppose such a ban support McCain in matchups with both Democrats (54% against Obama and 55% against Clinton). In the Democratic primary, supporters of a handgun ban are evenly divided between Obama and Clinton; 47% say they prefer Obama while 43% favor Clinton.

http://people-press.org

Comments (3)

The major benefits that are derived from guns on a daily basis are: liberty, recreation and entertainment, competition, game harvesting and self protection.

Possible Side Effects, Warning:

1. Possession of guns may result in and have been known to cause adverse side effects, such as: accidental and/or intentional discharge resulting in injury and/or death, liability and theft.

2. Non-Possession of guns may result in and have been known to cause adverse side effects, such as: subjugation, rape, robbery, kidnapping, injury and/or death and theft. JJWIII

Posted by: JJWIII | June 5, 2008 2:58 PM    Report this comment

"I am a liberal Dem. and I am packing. Don't know a single Dem who would like to take away your guns. " You must be kidding! Kennedy, Obama, Clinton, Schumer.....just to name the biggest blow hards. BTW - all Democrats.

Posted by: Hacker15 | June 4, 2008 3:05 PM    Report this comment

Come on Robert J. I am a liberal Dem. and I am packing. Don't know a single Dem who would like to take away your guns.

Comment by: Robert R | May 30, 2008
This was a quote from a previous post. Robert R. needs to read the above figures.

Posted by: Robert J | June 4, 2008 2:48 PM    Report this comment

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