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Majority in U.S. poll support gun ownership rights

  • Story Highlights
  • Men and people living in rural areas were most likely to say yes
  • 73 percent of rural, 64 percent of suburban, and half of city dwellers said yes
  • Some say 2nd Amendment means everyone has right to own a gun
  • Others say 2nd Amendment protects right to form a militia
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WASHINGTON (CNN) -- Nearly two-thirds of Americans say they believe the Constitution guarantees each person the right to own a gun, according to a poll released Sunday.

In all, 65 percent said they thought the Constitution ensures that right, and 31 percent said it did not. The question had a sampling error of plus-or-minus 3 points.

Men and people living in rural areas were most likely to say the Constitution guarantees the right to own a gun.

Nearly three quarters of men (72 percent) said they believed so, versus 26 percent who did not. More than half (58 percent) of women said they believed so, versus slightly more than a third (35 percent) who did not.

That question had a sampling error of plus-or-minus 4.5 points.

Among rural dwellers, 73 percent said they agreed, versus 64 percent and only half (50 percent) of city dwellers who thought the same.

That question had a sampling error of plus-or-minus 7 points.

The Second Amendment to the Constitution says: "A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

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Some have interpreted those words to mean that everyone has a right to own a gun; others say the amendment protects only the right of citizens to form a militia.

The CNN/Opinion Research Corporation telephone poll of 1,002 U.S. adults was carried out December 6 - 9. E-mail to a friend E-mail to a friend

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