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Americans Arm Themselves Fearing New Gun Laws: Poll

Tuesday, 07 Jul 2009 12:43 PM

By Dave Eberhart

Fifty-seven percent of Americans say gun sales are up in the United States not because of the fear of crime but because of wariness over increased government restriction on gun ownership, according to a new Rasmussen survey.

The latest poll revealed that 43 percent of Americans said it was very likely that the Obama Administration will try to implement stricter gun control laws – even though 47 percent saw no need for such laws.

Another 28 percent responded that the administration was “somewhat likely” to seek tougher gun control.

In a similar Rasmussen poll conducted in May, 43 percent of Americans said the United States needed more gun control laws, while 47 percent disagreed.

The new national telephone survey indicated that just 23 percent say gun sales have risen because of a fear of increased crime.

In other findings:

  • Sixty-three percent of men say the threat of more gun control is behind increased sales, compared to 51 percent of women.

  • Fifty-nine percent of whites agree, while African-Americans are more closely divided on the question.

  • Sixty-five percent of Republicans and 66 percent of those not affiliated with either major political party say gun sales are up due to a fear of increased government restriction. Meanwhile, a plurality of Democrats agrees by just 10 points.

  • Seventy-one percent of Americans believe it is at least somewhat likely that President Obama will seek tougher gun control laws - including that 43 percent who say it is very likely.

  • In a separate survey, 32 percent said crime had increased in their communities in the past year, and 72 percent of those impacted said it was very likely that increase was related to the bad economy.

  • Only 20 percent of U.S. voters think restricting U.S. gun sales will reduce drug-related violence in Mexico, and 70 percent disagree and oppose such restrictions.

  • Seventy-five percent of Americans believe the U.S. Constitution guarantees the right of an average citizen to own a gun.

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