A new poll from Pew shows a dramatic shift in how Americans view the right of people to own firearms.
For the first time in more than two decades of Pew Research Center surveys, there is more support for gun rights than gun control. Currently, 52% say it is more important to protect the right of Americans to own guns, while 46% say it is more important to control gun ownership.
The right to own a gun was the second item on the agenda when America’s founders passed the Bill of Rights, but has been seen with less enthusiasm over the past several years. According to Pew, support for Americans’ right to own a gun hit a low point in 1999 at only 29 percent of survey respondents. Support for gun rights has risen sharply since 2008.
Independent voters are even more favorable towards gun rights than the overall population, favoring protecting the right to own guns at 56% over 42% favoring more control over law-abiding gun owners. Men tend to support gun rights more strongly than women, coming down 61 percent to 37 percent in favor of protecting gun rights. Women lean towards more control of gun ownership 54 percent to 43 percent.
Read the full report here.