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Gallup: 73% support individual right to own gun under Second Amendment


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Public Believes Americans Have Right to Own Guns

Nearly three in four say Second Amendment guarantees this right

by Jeffrey M. Jones

PRINCETON, NJ -- A solid majority of the U.S. public, 73%, believes the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the rights of Americans to own guns. Twenty percent believe the amendment only guarantees the rights of state militia members to own guns.


The Supreme Court will soon weigh in on this issue, after recently hearing the arguments in the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, in which the Washington, D.C., ban on handgun ownership by city residents is facing a Second Amendment challenge.

The precise language of the Second Amendment reads:

A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.

The often fierce debate over the Second Amendment has centered on whether it was intended to protect the rights of all Americans to own guns, or only those who are members of state militia groups.

The poll makes it clear which side Americans come down on. Gun owners (roughly one-third of the U.S. adult population) are nearly universal in endorsing the view that the Second Amendment guarantees their right to own guns. Non-owners are less likely to view the amendment this way, but a majority still do.





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