42% Say 2nd Amendment Right to Bear Arms is Absolutely Essential; 14% Say Not At All Important

Forty-two percent (42%) of voters nationwide believe the Second Amendment Right to Bear Arms is Absolutely Essential and another 23% consider it Very Important.  A ScottRasmussen.com national survey found that 21% consider it Somewhat Important and 14% say it’s Not at All Important.

Those figures reflect a modest drop in support compared to six months ago. In February, 50% considered the right to bear arms as Absolutely Essential and 10% said it was Not at All Important.

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Following mass shootings in El Paso and Dayton, 10% of voters now consider gun laws the most important issue facing the nation. When it comes to addressing the issue, 32% trust Democrats, 31% Republicans, and 22% neither. Voters strongly support modest restrictions on gun purchases and 31% believe private ownership of guns should be banned.

As in previous surveys, Freedom of Speech is considered the most important right guaranteed to Americans. Seventy percent (70%) of voters consider it Absolutely Essential. Freedom of Religion is a close second at 68% and nothing else is considered Absolutely Essential by more than 60%.

Exploring the issue from a different perspective, 39% believe Freedom of Speech is the most important right confirmed in the Bill of Rights. 17% believe Freedom of Religion is most important while 12% say the Right to Bear Arms.

However, the Right to Bear Arms also topped the list as the least important–30% of voters held that view. Freedom of the Press was viewed least important by 18% and the Right to Peaceably Assemble and Protest is least important for 14%.

When it comes to creating and maintaining a healthy political system, 77% of voters believe freedom of speech is Very Important. A ScottRasmussen.com national survey also found that 76% believe having political leaders who respect voters is that important.

From a list of 15 possible components of a healthy political system, only two other items were deemed Very Important by more than seven-out-of-ten voters: checks and balances between branches of government (73%) and freedom of religion (71%).

Another survey found that 64% believe freedom is more important than democracy.


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The national survey of 1,000 Registered Voters was conducted August 8-9, 2019 by ScottRasmussen.com and HarrisX, a polling company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and a Demographic Profile of the Sample). Results from the full sample have +/-3.1 Margin of Sampling Error with a 95% level of confidence.

Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).


Posted in Poll Results

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