Last week, Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) caused a stir when he said that President Barack Obama would repeal the Second Amendment if he could, and the NRA recently used a Justice Department memo to claim that Obama knows "a gun ban will not work without mandatory gun confiscation." According to a new HuffPost/YouGov poll, Hatch and the NRA are not alone in their opinions on Obama and guns. A plurality of Americans, including three quarters of Republicans, think that Obama would ban guns if he could.
According to the new survey, 44 percent of Americans say that Obama would repeal the Second Amendment and ban guns if he could, while 39 percent say he would not. The vast majority of Republicans in the poll said that they thought Obama would ban guns if he could (75 percent to 16 percent), while about half of independents said he would (49 percent to 32 percent).
Democrats were far less likely to say that Obama would ban guns, with only 21 percent saying he would and 60 percent saying he would no . The percentage of Democrats who said that Obama would ban guns closely matches the percentage who said that they themselves think guns should be banned. Twenty-four percent of Democrats in the poll said that guns should be banned, while 64 percent said they should not.
Overall, only 13 percent of respondents said that they themselves thought guns should be banned, while 76 percent said they should not be. Eighty percent of independents and 89 percent of Republicans said that guns should not be banned.
The poll also found that almost a fifth of Americans think Obama has proposed banning guns already. Nineteen percent of respondents overall, including 29 percent of Republicans, said that Obama has proposed a ban on guns, while 62 percent of respondents overall said that Obama has proposed limits on guns, but not a ban.
Obama unveiled gun proposals in January that include universal background checks for all gun purchases, an assault weapons ban, and a ban on gun magazines and clips holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition.
A higher percentage of respondents said they thought Obama would ban guns if he could than the percentage of those who said most Democrats in Congress would do the same. Thirty-eight percent of respondents said Democrats in Congress would repeal the Second Amendment and ban guns, while 41 percent said they would not.
The HuffPost/YouGov poll was conducted Feb. 25-26 among 1,000 U.S. adults. The poll used a sample selected from YouGov's opt-in online panel to match the demographics and other characteristics of the adult U.S. population. Factors considered include age, race, gender, education, employment, income, marital status, number of children, voter registration, time and location of Internet access, interest in politics, religion and church attendance.