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.
Beyond our daily tracking, we also provide regular updates on the economy, health care, immigration, Congress, ratings of Congressional leaders, Election 2020, Trust in Government, and which party voters trust on key issues. It’s all part of our mission to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us).
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).