WASHINGTON — Cops are more supportive of Second Amendment rights and more opposed to gun control than average Americans are, according to a new poll by the Pew Research Center.
Pew’s “Behind the Badge” survey on police and public views was released Jan. 11 and found that the majority of law enforcement officers strongly support the Second Amendment, with 74 percent saying it is more important to protect the rights of citizen to own guns than it is to control gun ownership. Among the general population, only 53 percent support gun rights over gun control.
Police even support the rights of Americans to own so-called assault rifles, with only 32 percent favoring a ban on them, compared to 64 percent of Americans who answered that way.
The survey did find that police favor some gun control measures. A full 95 percent of police support laws preventing the mentally ill from purchasing guns, and 88 percent favor background checks on people who buy firearms at gun shows or from individuals. Those numbers are similar to the beliefs of the general public.
On the question of whether a national database should be created to track gun sales, 61 percent of police and 71 percent of the general public support such an idea.