If someone wants to buy a gun, 43% of voters nationwide believe they should be required to explain to the government why they need it and then get permission from the government for the purchase.
A ScottRasmussen.com national opinion survey found that 58% of Democrats hold that view. The idea that government permission should be required to purchase a gun is shared by 43% of Independent voters and 25% of Republicans (see question wording and results).
This national survey of 999 Registered Voters was conducted August 12-13, 2018 for ScottRasmussen.com by HarrisX, a leading research company specializing in online surveys (see Methodology and the Demographic profile of our sample). The Margin of Error is +/- 3.1 percentage points with a 95% level of confidence.
The right to bear arms, confirmed in the Second Amendment to the Constitution, is considered “Absolutely Essential” by 45% of voters and Not at All Important by 12%.
Among voters under 35, a majority (57%) favor requiring government permission for gun ownership. Only a third of those over 50 (33%) agree.
Thirty-five percent (35%) of white voters favor this concept along with 55% of black voters and 66% of Hispanic voters.
Among all voters, 23% would go even further. They ban private ownership of guns so that only the military, police, and other government officials are allowed to carry guns. That total includes 34% of Democrats, 21% of Independents, and 11% of Republicans.
Data released earlier showed overwhelming support for modest restrictions such as background checks and waiting periods. However, just 38% believe such steps would significantly reduce the number of gun deaths. Still, most voters (60%) would feel safer living in a community where people are free to own guns rather than a community where guns are outlawed.
The data is presented to further the mission of ScottRasmussen.com to enhance the public dialogue through data-driven analysis that explores the underlying currents of public opinion (read About Us). Receive the latest insights each day by signing up for Scott Rasmussen’s Morning Update.
Neither Scott Rasmussen nor ScottRasmussen.com has any relationship with Rasmussen Reports® (see About Us).