News

New Survey Sheds Light on Americans’ 2nd Amendment Views

Share

By Nina Vinik, director of the Foundation’s Gun Violence Prevention and Justice Reform program

In 2008, a divided U.S. Supreme Court decided in District of Columbia v. Heller that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to keep a handgun in the home for self-defense.

The Court’s opinion left many unanswered questions, including the nature and scope of the right outside the home, which has prompted a slew of lawsuits by gun-rights groups seeking to clarify and expand the protection offered by the Second Amendment. Many expect the Supreme Court to revisit this issue in the near future, and -- with the death of Justice Ruth Bader Ginsburg and the confirmation of Justice Amy Coney Barrett to take her place -- the stakes are high.

National public-opinion research completed in December 2020 by Benenson Strategy Group offers important insights into the public’s views on the Second Amendment, with 57 percent of respondents agreeing that the way we currently interpret the Second Amendment does not place enough limits and restrictions on guns.

At the same time, the presence of guns in public spaces -- including state capitals, polling places, and even outside the homes of elected officials -- is becoming more commonplace, raising concerns about intimidation and interference with democratic institutions.

When asked about issues including the presence of guns in public spaces, the use of guns to intimidate others, and the intersection between gun rights and other constitutionally protected activity, 87 percent of survey respondents said that when a person carrying a gun uses it to intimidate someone, they are infringing on that person's First Amendment rights.

These and other findings can be viewed here and here.

The research was funded by the Joyce Foundation and the Fund for a Safer Future.

About The Joyce Foundation

Joyce is a nonpartisan, private foundation that invests in evidence-informed public policies and strategies to advance racial equity and economic mobility for the next generation in the Great Lakes region.

Related Content

In The Media

'The Gun Machine': A podcast about how America was forged by the gun industry

Produced by WBUR and The Trace, the podcast looks into the history of the relationship between the gun industry and the U.S. government. 'The Gun Machine' debuts on Oct. 4, 2023.

Source
WBUR; The Trace

Webinar

New Data from MN on Different Approaches to Public Safety

In recent years, crime and public safety has become a top issue of concern among policy makers, researchers, advocates, and communities. During this briefing, researchers Daniel Gotoff and Brian Nienaber presented data specific to the state of Minnesota.

Research Report

Investing in Governance and Management Can Make Violence Reduction Efforts Successful

An action research and practice agenda to clarify the challenges and opportunities inherent to implementing, managing and governing community violence intervention (CVI) work in cities.

Webinar

Implementing Extreme Risk Protection Orders: Tools for the Field

Lunch & Learn webinar presents a new report that details promising practices for policymakers and practitioners alike in implementing Extreme Risk Protection Orders (ERPO) policies more effectively. June 2023

News

Reclaiming Reform: Policing, Public Safety & Public Trust

Joyce and Crain's Business Chicago hosted a public forum to discuss national best practices in police reform and assess how they could be applied to Chicago as the City works to implement it’s consent decree and selects a new leader of CPD.

Webinar

New Responses to Illegal Gun Possession: Prosecutor Led Gun Diversion Program Evaluation Results From Minneapolis, MN and Brooklyn, NY 

During this webinar, researchers from The Marron Institute and the Smart Decarceration Project housed at the University of Chicago present new findings from evaluations of two prosecutor led gun diversion programs

Webinar

Presenting a New Dashboard on Violent Deaths in Michigan

The new tool visualizes information on violent deaths in the state to help communities better develop prevention strategies and policies.

In The Media

Opinion: For those recently released from prison, a job is more than a second chance

Op-ed by Joyce's Quintin Williams. "April is Second Chance Month in Michigan and nationwide. It signifies the importance of jurisdictions reintegrating people with criminal records into community life."

Source
Crain's Detroit Business