A national survey found two-thirds of American voters do not support repeal of the Second Amendment, which protects the “right to keep and bear arms.”
The poll asked questions about gun-ownership rights and attitudes toward socialism and market capitalism. The canvass of 1,000 likely voters by The Heartland Institute, a national free-market think tank, and Rasmussen Reports, a leading polling firm, was conducted on November 13 and 14.
Sixty-six percent of those polled said they do not support repeal of the Second Amendment, and 69 percent said “a free-market economic system” is better than socialism. Twelve percent said they view socialism positively, less than the 18 percent who were “not sure.”
Support for Rights Eroding
There was less support for gun rights among younger Americans, says Justin Haskins, editorial director and a research fellow at The Heartland Institute, which publishes Budget & Tax News.
“Americans’ Second Amendment rights are continuously under attack, and our poll reveals that those attacks are having a particularly strong impact on voters, especially younger voters,” Haskins told Budget & Tax News.
“According to our survey, about one in four U.S. voters—24 percent—say they support repealing the Second Amendment, including 33 percent of voters 18 to 39 years old, the highest rate among any of the age groups we tested,” Haskins said.
A 49 percent plurality of all survey respondents said they “support legislation that would ban private ownership of ‘assault-style’ rifles,” versus 43 percent who did not support such a ban.
The survey found respondents who support an assault-style rifle ban were more likely to support repeal of the Second Amendment. Thirty-six percent of those who said they “support legislation that would ban private ownership of ‘assault-style’ rifles” also said they “support repealing the Second Amendment,” and 11 percent said they were unsure. A slight majority (53 percent) of those who support a ban on “assault-style” rifles said they do not support repealing the Second Amendment.
One in three Democrats (34 percent) said they “support repealing the Second Amendment,” compared to 19 percent of Republicans and 16 percent of independents.
Of those respondents who said they work for the government, 32 percent also said they “support repealing the Second Amendment,” the highest of any employment demographic tested, says Haskins.
Of those who said socialism is better than a free-market economic system, 39 percent said they “support repealing the Second Amendment.”
Some of the responses by age group and political attitudes are concerning, says Haskins.
“These results pose a significant long-term risk to Americans’ right to bear arms,” Haskins said. “Unless those of us who support individual liberty work harder to better inform Americans, especially younger Americans, about the importance of the Second Amendment, the chances of protecting gun rights—which are essential to maintaining any free society over the long term—will be almost nonexistent over the next half-century.”
Joe Barnett ([email protected]) is managing editor of Budget & Tax News.
Justin Haskins, “Heartland/Rasmussen Poll: Likely Voters Reject Socialism, Socialist Candidates, Repeal of Second Amendment,” The Heartland Institute, November 25, 2019: https://heartland.org/news-opinion/news/the-following-is-a-national-survey-of-likely-voters-published-by-the-heartland-institute-a-national-free-market-think-tank-and-rasmussen-reports-one-of-americas-leading-polling-firms