The Supreme Court is wrestling with a major case questioning whether Chicago’s handgun ban violates the Second Amendment, but 69% of Americans say city governments do not have the right to prevent citizens from owning such guns.
A new Rasmussen Reports national telephone survey shows that just 25% of adults think city governments do have that right. These findings are unchanged from June 2008 just before the Supreme Court overturned a Washington, D.C. law banning handguns in that city. That decision also prompted an increase in the high court’s favorability ratings. Sizable majorities of Americans across virtually all demographic lines, including age, income, gender, race and political affiliation, share the belief that cities do not have the right to ban handgun ownership.
In part, that’s because 70% of all adults believe the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of an average citizen to own a gun. That’s down five points from a year ago but consistent with findings last October. Generally unchanged from those surveys is the 14% who say there’s not a constitutional right to gun ownership. Sixteen percent (16%) are not sure.
Americans have decidedly mixed feelings about the need for stricter gun control laws, however. Forty-two percent (42%) say tougher anti-gun laws are needed, but 49% disagree and say stricter gun control is not necessary.