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Americans Support Gun Rights and Gun Bans

By Jon Cohen
In a 5-4 decision, the U.S. Supreme Court today overturned a 32-year-old District of Columbia law limiting private gun ownership, for the first time expressly extending the Constitution's Second Amendment to private citizens.

That ruling is also a split decision with respect to where the public stands on these issues.

In a recent Washington Post poll, 72 percent of all Americans said they believe individuals have gun rights under the Second Amendment, that such protections are not limited to "militias." Twenty percent thought the constitutional guarantee covers "only the rights of the states to maintain militias."

But 58 percent in that national poll supported a D.C.-like ban on private handguns and trigger lock requirements; 38 percent opposed those restrictions. (In a January Post poll in the District itself, even more, 76 percent, favored the law, including 60 percent who said they were "strongly" behind the city ordinance.)

Continue reading at Behind the Numbers»

By Web Politics Editor  |  June 26, 2008; 11:30 AM ET
Categories:  The Pollster  
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