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Second Amendment to the United States Constitution


Second Amendment to the United States Constitution
The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United States Bill of Rights that protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights. In 2008 and 2010, the Supreme Court issued two landmark decisions concerning the Second Amendment. In District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm, unconnected to service in a militia[1][2] and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. In dicta, the Court listed many longstanding prohibitions and restrictions on firearms possession as being consistent with the Second Amendment.[3] In McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 3025 (2010), the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits state and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.[4]

The Bill of Rights in the National Archives.

Close up image of the Second Amendment

There are several versions of the text of the Second Amendment, each with slight capitalization and punctuation differences, found in the official documents surrounding the adoption of the Bill of Rights.[5] One version was passed by the Congress,[6] while another is found in the copies distributed to the States[7] and then ratified by them. As passed by the Congress: 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. As ratified by the States and authenticated by Thomas Jefferson, Secretary of State: 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.[8] The original hand-written copy of the Bill of Rights, approved by the House and Senate, was prepared by scribe William Lambert and resides in the National Archives.

Pre-Constitution background
Influence of the English Bill of Rights of 1689
The right to have arms in English history is believed to have been regarded as a long-established natural right in English law, auxiliary to the natural and legally defensible rights to life.[9] The English Bill of Rights emerged from a tempestuous period in English politics during which two issues were major sources of conflict: the authority of the King to govern without the consent of Parliament and the role of Catholics in a country that was becoming ever more Protestant. Ultimately, the Catholic James II was overthrown in the Glorious Revolution, and his successors, the Protestants William III and Mary II, accepted the conditions that were codified in the Bill. One of the issues the Bill resolved was the authority of the King to disarm its subjects, after James II had attempted to disarm many Protestants, and had argued with Parliament over his desire to maintain a standing (or permanent) army.[10] The bill

Second Amendment to the United States Constitution states that it is acting to restore "ancient rights" trampled upon by James II, though some have argued that the English Bill of Rights created a new right to have arms, which developed out of a duty to have arms.[11] In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court did not accept this view, remarking that the English right at the time of the passing of the English Bill of Rights was "clearly an individual right, having nothing whatsoever to do with service in the militia" and that it was a right not to be disarmed by the crown and was not the granting of a new right to have arms.[12] The text of the English Bill of Rights of 1689 includes language protecting the right of Protestants against disarmament by the Crown. This document states: "That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law."[13] It also contained text that aspired to bind future Parliaments, though under English constitutional law no Parliament can bind any later Parliament.[14] Nevertheless, the English Bill of Rights remains an important constitutional document, more for enumerating the rights of Parliament over the monarchy than for its clause concerning a right to have arms. The statement in the English Bill of Rights concerning the right to bear arms is often quoted only in the passage where it is written as above and not in its full context. In its full context it is clear that the bill was asserting the right of Protestant citizens not to be disarmed by the King without the consent of Parliament and was merely restoring rights to Protestants that the previous King briefly and unlawfully had removed. In its full context it reads: Whereas the late King James the Second by the Assistance of diverse evill Councellors Judges and Ministers imployed by him did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant Religion and the Lawes and Liberties of this Kingdome (list of grievances including) ... by causing severall good Subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when Papists were both Armed and Imployed contrary to Law, (Recital regarding the change of monarch) ... thereupon the said Lords Spirituall and Temporall and Commons pursuant to their respective Letters and Elections being now assembled in a full and free Representative of this Nation takeing into their most serious Consideration the best meanes for attaining the Ends aforesaid Doe in the first place (as their Auncestors in like Case have usually done) for the Vindicating and Asserting their ancient Rights and Liberties, Declare (list of rights including) ... That the Subjects which are Protestants may have Arms for their Defence suitable to their Conditions and as allowed by Law.[13] The historical link between the English Bill of Rights and the Second Amendment, which both codify an existing right and do not create a new one, has been acknowledged by the U.S. Supreme Court.[15][16] The English Bill of Rights includes the proviso that arms must be as "allowed by law." This has been the case before and after the passage of the Bill. While it did not override earlier restrictions on the ownership of guns for hunting, it was written to preserve the hunting rights of the landed aristocracy and is subject to the parliamentary right to implicitly or explicitly repeal earlier enactments.[17] There is some difference of opinion as to how revolutionary the events of 1688-89 actually were, and several commentators make the point that the provisions of the English Bill of Rights did not represent new laws, but rather stated existing rights. Mark Thompson wrote that, apart from determining the succession, the English Bill of Rights did "little more than set forth certain points of existing laws and simply secured to Englishmen the rights of which they were already posessed [sic]."[18] Before and after the English Bill of Rights, the government could always disarm any individual or class of individuals it considered dangerous to the peace of the realm.[19] In 1765, William Blackstone wrote the Commentaries on the Laws of England describing the right to have arms in England during the 18th century as a natural right of the subject that was "also declared" in the English Bill of Rights.[20][21] The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject, that I shall at present mention, is that of having arms for their defence, suitable to their condition and degree, and such as are allowed by law. Which is also declared by the same statute I W. & M. st.2. c.2. and is indeed a public allowance, under due restrictions, of the natural right of resistance and self-preservation, when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression.[22]


Second Amendment to the United States Constitution Although there is little doubt that the writers of the Second Amendment were heavily influenced by the English Bill of Rights, it is a matter of interpretation as to whether they were intent on preserving the power to regulate arms to the states over the federal government (as the English Parliament had reserved for itself against the monarch) or whether it was intent on creating a new right akin to the right of others written into the Constitution (as the Supreme Court recently decided). Some in the U.S. have preferred the "rights" argument arguing that the English Bill of Rights had granted a right. The need to have arms for self-defence was not really in question. Peoples all around the world since time immemorial had armed themselves for the protection of themselves and others, and as organized nations began to appear these arrangements had been extended to the protection of the state.[23] Without a regular army and police force (which in England was not established until 1829), it had been the duty of certain men to keep watch and ward at night and to confront and capture suspicious persons. Every subject had an obligation to protect the king's peace and assist in the suppression of riots.[24]


Experience in America prior to the U.S. Constitution
In no particular order, early American settlers viewed the right to arms and/or the right to bear arms and/or state militias as important for one or more of these purposes:[26][27][28][29][30][31][32][33] • deterring tyrannical government;[34] • • • • • repelling invasion; suppressing insurrection; facilitating a natural right of self-defense; participating in law enforcement; enabling the people to organize a militia system.

Ideals that helped to inspire the Second

Amendment in part are symbolized by the Which of these considerations they thought were most important, [25] minutemen. which of these considerations they were most alarmed about, and the extent to which each of these considerations ultimately found expression in the Second Amendment is disputed. Some of these purposes were explicitly mentioned in early state constitutions; for example, the Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 asserted that, "the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the state".[35]

During the 1760s pre-revolutionary period, the established colonial militia was composed of colonists, which included a number who were loyal to British imperial rule. As defiance and opposition to the British rule developed, a distrust of these Loyalists in the militia became widespread among the colonists, known as Patriots, who favored independence from British rule. As a result, these Patriots established independent colonial legislatures to create their own militias that excluded the Loyalists and then sought out to stock up independent armories for their militias. In response to this arms build up, the British Parliament established an embargo on firearms, parts and ammunition on the American colonies.[36] British and Loyalist efforts to disarm the colonial Patriot militia armories in the early phases of the American Revolution resulted in the Patriot colonists protesting by citing the Declaration of Rights, Blackstone's summary of the Declaration of Rights, their own militia laws and common law rights to self-defense.[37] While British policy in the early phases of the Revolution clearly aimed to prevent coordinated action by the Patriot militia, some have argued that there is no evidence that the British sought to restrict the traditional common law right of self-defense.[37] Patrick J. Charles disputes these claims citing similar disarming by the patriots and challenging those scholars' interpretation of Blackstone.[38] The right of the colonists to arms and rebellion against oppression was asserted, for example, in a pre-revolutionary newspaper editorial in 1769 Boston objecting to the British army suppression of colonial opposition to the Townshend Acts:

injuriously said to be existing therein. the right was pre-existing at both common law and in the early state constitutions.[47] as Alexander Hamilton explained in 1788: [I]f circumstances should at any time oblige the government to form an army of any magnitude[. and oppression. Following the Revolution. as must serve fully to evince that a late vote of this town. but as adoption of the Constitution became more and more likely. many of whom were former Revolutionary War soldiers. such as the Declaration of Independence (describing in 1776 "the Right of the People to. when quartered in the body of a populous city. when they are led to believe that they are become necessary to awe a spirit of rebellion. to be used only as a last resort. but more especially so. contend that the framers did believe in an individual right to armed insurrection. as the standing army was reduced to as few as 80 men. The latter scholars cite examples. or the risk of mob rule of "the people" (as described by the Federalists) related to the ongoing 4 . and as Mr. Blackstone in his Commentaries alluded to this right to rebel as the natural right of resistance and self preservation.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution Instances of the licentious and outrageous behavior of the military conservators of the peace still multiply upon us. the United States was governed by the Articles of Confederation.[43] Modern scholars Thomas B.[50] There was an ongoing debate in the 1780s about "the people" fighting governmental tyranny (as described by Anti-Federalists). but also military power. calling upon its inhabitants to provide themselves with arms for their defense. between the people. such as Glenn Reynolds.[37] The armed forces that won the American Revolution consisted of the standing Continental Army created by the Continental Congress.[46] Some believe that the framers of the Bill of Rights sought to balance not just political power. together with various state and regional militia units. In opposition.. slavish. confirmed by the Bill of Rights. some of which are of such nature. little. and have been carried to such lengths. inferior to them in discipline and the use of arms."[44] In contrast. exercisable when "the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression". was a measure as prudent as it was legal: such violences are always to be apprehended from military troops. to keep arms for their own defence. and destructive of the good and happiness of mankind"). It is a natural right which the people have reserved to themselves. Quinlan have stated that James Madison "did not invent the right to keep and bear arms when he drafted the Second Amendment. the British forces consisted of a mixture of the standing British Army.] that army can never be formidable to the liberties of the people while there is a large body of citizens.[45] One aspect of the gun control debate is the conflict between gun control laws and the right to rebel against unjust governments. it is to be made use of when the sanctions of society and law are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression. who stand ready to defend their own rights and those of their fellow-citizens. historian Jack Rakove suggests that Madison's intention in framing the Second Amendment was to provide assurances to moderate Anti-Federalists that the militias would not be disarmed. is absurd. which caused military weakness.[40] Anti-federalists on the other hand took the side of limited government and sympathized with the rebels.[39] They considered it to be bad that there was no effective federal military crackdown to an armed tax rebellion in western Massachusetts known as Shays' Rebellion.[47][] Some scholars have said that it is wrong to read a right of armed insurrection in the Second Amendment because clearly the founding fathers sought to place trust in the power of the ordered liberty of democratic government versus the anarchy of insurrectionists. Blackstone observes.. the Philadelphia Convention proposed in 1787 to grant Congress exclusive power to raise and support a standing army and navy of unlimited size. if at new Government") and the New Hampshire Constitution (stating in 1784 that "nonresistance against arbitrary power.[48][49] Other scholars.[41][42] Anti-federalists objected to the shift of power from the states to the federal government. the states and the nation. they shifted their strategy to establishing a bill of rights that would put some limits on federal power. Federalists argued that this government had an unworkable division of power between Congress and the states. Subsequently. Loyalist Militia and Hessian mercenaries. McAffee and Michael J.

! | {|style="background:none. was the possibility of a military takeover of the states by the federal government. which could happen if the Congress passed laws prohibiting states from arming citizens. width:180px.[52] or prohibiting citizens from arming themselves.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution revolution in France. text-align:center." |. text-align:center.| |.[51] A widespread fear. width:180px.| |||||||||.|} ||- . the individual right to arm was retained and strengthened by the Militia Act of 1792 and the similar act of 1795." |.[37] Though it has been argued that the states lost the power to arm their citizens when the power to arm the militia was transferred from the states to the federal government by Article 1. during the debates on the ratification of the Constitution. Section 8 of the US Constitution.[53][54] 5 Drafting and adoption of the Constitution style="background:none.

initially argued that a bill of rights was unnecessary. because they were concerned about the inherent risks of centralizing power. advocated amending the Constitution with clearly defined and enumerated rights providing more explicit constraints on the new government. Federalists countered that in listing only certain rights.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution ||||||||||||} Struggling under the inefficiencies of the Articles of Confederation. • a national militia to repel foreign invaders. 12 delegates from five states (New Jersey. provide and maintain a navy. and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress. including James Madison. New York. provide for calling forth the militia to execute the laws of the union. however. delegates from Virginia and Maryland assembled at the Mount Vernon Conference in March 1785 to fashion a remedy. 1788.[57] Article 1. Delaware.[58] Federalist Noah Webster argued that an armed populace would have no trouble resisting the potential threat to liberty of a standing army. Pennsylvania for May 1787 to present solutions to these problems. • sufficiently trained and armed intrastate security forces to suppress insurrection. when nine of the original thirteen states had ratified it. arming. the appointment of the officers. This compromise persuaded enough Anti-federalists to vote for the Constitution. provide for organizing. but no appropriation of money to that use shall be for a longer term than two years. raise and support armies. Pennsylvania. and Virginia) met and drew up a list of problems with the current government model. and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. make rules for the government and regulation of the land and naval forces. Federalists. reserving to the states respectively. The following year. The Federalists realized there was insufficient support to ratify the Constitution without a bill of rights and so they promised to support amending the Constitution to add a bill of rights following the Constitution's adoption. unlisted rights might lose protection. ratified only after Congress had passed the Bill of . 6 Some representatives mistrusted proposals to enlarge federal powers. allowing for ratification. North Carolina and Rhode Island. Many Anti-federalists feared the new federal government would choose to disarm state militias. sufficiently confident that the federal government could never raise a standing army powerful enough to overcome a militia. The remaining four states later followed suit.[61] The Constitution was declared ratified June 21. at a meeting in Annapolis. It quickly became apparent that the solution to all three of these problems required shifting control of the states' militias to the federal congress and giving that congress the power to raise a standing army. although the last two states. the delegates scheduled a follow-up meeting in Philadelphia. Section 8 of the Constitution codified these changes by allowing the Congress to do the following: • • • • • • provide for the common defense and general welfare of the United States. such as the absence of:[55][56] • interstate arbitration processes to handle quarrels between states. suppress insurrections and repel invasions. Maryland.[59][60] Anti-federalists. At its conclusion. and disciplining the militia.

" He also clarified that under prevailing practice the militia included all people. the Appointment of the Officers.S. or its trade. leading to a confrontation with the states. and a proper quantity of arms. . ammunition and camp equipage. were careful to acknowledge the risks of tyranny. . reserving to the States respectively. that it was the best and most effectual way to enslave them . Section 8 of the U. because the whole body of the people are armed. by neglecting the upkeep of the militia. if raised whether they could subdue a nation of freemen. in congress assembled. shall be deemed requisite to garrison the forts necessary for the defense of such State. fending off their opponents who accused them of creating an oppressive regime. . which was proposed by the first Congress on June 8.[74] A foundation of American political thought during the Revolutionary period was the well justified concern about political corruption and governmental tyranny. the Constitutional delegates altered the language of the Second Amendment several times to emphasize the military context of the amendment[67] and the role of the militia as a force to defend national sovereignty. . . and shall provide and constantly have ready for use. who know how to prize liberty and who have arms in their hands?"[75][76] Noah Webster similarly argued: Before a standing army can rule the people must be disarmed. 1791. it is important to understand the language of the Constitution in terms of what that language meant to the people who wrote and ratified the Constitution. and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States. rich and poor. and disciplining. as they are in almost every kingdom in Europe. Even the federalists. in public stores. that an army could be raised for the purpose of enslaving themselves or their brethren? or.[63] The Second Amendment was relatively uncontroversial at the time of its ratification. the Militia. by totally disusing and neglecting the militia.[66] Rather. and was adopted on December 15. as shall be deemed necessary by the united States in congress assembled. sought to clarify the draft Constitution with a bill of rights explicitly granting individuals the right to hunt on their own land in season. but every State shall always keep up a well-regulated and disciplined militia. Against that backdrop. for the defense of such State. on any pretence. Article VI of the Articles of Confederation states: No vessel of war shall be kept up in time of peace by any State. except such number only. arming.[65] though Whitehill's language was never debated. Article I. except such number only. In the context of such legal theories and elsewhere.[69][70] and protect against tyranny. and constitute a force superior to any band of regular troops that can be. nor shall any body of forces be kept up by any State in time of peace.[64] Robert Whitehill. as in the judgement of the united States. a delegate from Pennsylvania. This created a fear that the federal government. The supreme power in America cannot enforce unjust laws by the sword. raised in the United States. encroaching on the states' reserved powers and even engaging in a military takeover. and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress.[72][73] In contrast. particularly to adherents of originalist and strict constructionist legal theories.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution Rights and sent it to the states for ratification. sufficiently armed and accoutered. a due number of field pieces and tents. Constitution states: To provide for organizing. Theodore Sedgwick of Massachusetts expressed this sentiment by declaring that it is "a chimerical idea to suppose that a country like this could ever be enslaved . 1789. could have overwhelming military force at its disposal through its power to maintain a standing army and navy. . because it moved the power to arm the state militias from the states to the federal government.[62] James Madison drafted what ultimately became the Bill of Rights. Is it possible . . the framers saw the personal right to bear arms as a potential check against tyranny.[68] quell insurrection. 7 Ratification debates The debate surrounding the Constitution's ratification is of practical import.[71] There was substantial opposition to the new Constitution.[77][78] George Mason argued the importance of the militia and right to bear arms by reminding his compatriots of England's efforts "to disarm the people.

but no person religiously scrupulous shall be compelled to bear arms. The Massachusetts convention also ratified the Constitution with an attached list of proposed amendments. James Monroe included "the right to keep and bear arms" in a list of basic "human rights". 46.[81][82] Patrick Henry. which he contemptuously described as "afraid to trust the people with arms.[87] On July 21. another with the militia.[89] On August 17. that version was read into the Journal: A well regulated militia. Delaware. the Pennsylvania convention debated fifteen amendments. The initial proposed passage relating to arms was: The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. In the end. during the first session of Congress. The committee returned to the House a reworded version of the Second Amendment on July 28. In Federalist No. he confidently contrasted the federal government of the United States to the European kingdoms.[88] and the Bill of Rights entered committee for review. but before the election of the first Congress. except a few public officers.. a well armed and well regulated militia being the best security of a free country but no person religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person. one of which concerned the right of the people to be armed. the House sent the following version to the Senate: . New Jersey. the ratification convention was so evenly divided between those for and against the Constitution that the federalists agreed to amendments to assure ratification. for a redress of their grievances: or to subject the people to unreasonable searches and seizures. For example. or to raise standing armies. writing after the ratification of the Constitution. you are inevitably ruined. or to prevent the people of the United States.[86] 8 Conflict and compromise in Congress produce the Bill of Rights James Madison's initial proposal for a bill of rights was brought to the floor of the House of Representatives on June 8. These concerns were addressed by modifying the final clause. who are peaceable citizens. or of some one or more of them. Suspect everyone who approaches that jewel. and on August 24. in the Virginia ratification convention June 5.." He assured his fellow citizens that they need never fear their government because of "the advantage of being armed." Because all were members of the militia. the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. all enjoyed the right to individually bear arms to serve therein. or the rights of conscience.. nothing will preserve it but downright force. Georgia and Connecticut ratified the Constitution without insisting upon amendments. Therefore. its most influential framer was James Madison."[84][85] By January of 1788. Several specific amendments were proposed. Samuel Adams proposed that the Constitution: Be never construed to authorize Congress to infringe the just liberty of the press. unless when necessary for the defence of the United States.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution "Who are the militia? They consist now of the whole people. Unfortunately. being the best security of a free State. 1788. Whenever you give up that force. but were not adopted at the time the Constitution was ratified. The House voted in favor of Madison's motion. or to prevent the people from petitioning. composed of the body of the people. Pennsylvania. Madison again raised the issue of his Bill and proposed a select committee be created to report on it.[90] The Second Amendment was debated and modified during sessions of the House on in late August 1789.[79][80] The framers thought the personal right to bear arms to be a paramount right by which other rights could be protected. the federal legislature.[83] While both Monroe and Adams supported ratification of the Constitution. from keeping their own arms. which he proposed to be added to the Constitution. argued for the dual rights to arms and resistance to oppression: Guard with jealous attention the public liberty. 1789. in a peaceable and orderly manner. These debates revolved primarily around risk of "mal-administration of the government" using the "religiously scrupulous" clause to destroy the militia as Great Britain had attempted to destroy the militia at the commencement of the American Revolution.

August 25. public opposition to standing armies. being the best security of a free state. provide himself with a good musket or firelock. A proposal to insert the words "for the common defence" next to the words "bear arms" was defeated.[96] On May 8."[92] On September 4. composed of the body of the people.[96] In serious emergencies. As a Representative explained. 1792. law enforcement officers were rarely armed with firearms. The next day. shall. using clubs as their sole defensive weapon. the Senate voted to change the language of the Second Amendment by removing the definition of militia.[and] every citizen so enrolled and notified. this change allowed each amendment to "be passed upon distinctly by the States. but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person. militia company. but no one religiously scrupulous of bearing arms shall be compelled to render military service in person. but the amendment as finally entered into the House journal contained the additional words "necessary to": A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State. the proposed right to keep and bear arms was in a separate amendment. When the Amendment was transcribed. the semicolon in the religious exemption portion was changed to a comma by the Senate scribe: A well regulated militia. and under the age of forty-five years (except as is herein after excepted) shall severally and respectively be enrolled in the militia. among Anti-Federalists and Federalists alike.[93] The Senate returned to this amendment for a final time on September 9.[94] The Senate then slightly modified the language and voted to return the Bill of Rights to the House. shall not be infringed. and a knapsack. The House voted on September 21. within six months thereafter. persisted and manifested itself locally as a general reluctance to create a professional armed police force. or group of vigilantes assumed law enforcement duties. suited to the bore of his musket or firelock.[95] On December 15. The final version passed by the Senate was: A well regulated militia being the security of a free state. a pouch with a box therein to contain not less than twenty-four cartridges. Congress passed "[a]n act more effectually to provide for the National Defence. a sufficient bayonet and belt. who is or shall be of age of eighteen years... 9 Militia in the decades following ratification During the first two decades following the ratification of the Second Amendment. twenty balls suited to the bore of his rifle. 1789 to accept the changes made by the Senate. often these positions were unpaid—held as a matter of civic duty. the Senate received the Amendment from the House and entered it into the Senate Journal. the Bill of Rights (the first ten amendments to the Constitution) was adopted. In these early decades. composed of the body of the people.[96] Though sometimes compensated. a posse comitatus. the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. and striking the conscientious objector clause: A well regulated militia. being the best security of a free state. 1791.[91] By this time. the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. the right of the people to keep and bear arms. having been ratified by three-fourths of the States. resident therein. shot-pouch and powder-horn. knapsack. being the best security of a free state. and a quarter of a . the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. constables and night watchmen to enforce local ordinances. instead relying on county sheriffs. the right of the people to keep and bear arms. by establishing an Uniform Militia throughout the United States" requiring: [E]ach and every free able-bodied white male citizen of the respective States. these individuals were more likely than the local sheriff to be armed with firearms. instead of being in a single amendment together with other proposed rights such as the due process right. each cartridge to contain a proper quantity of powder and ball: or with a good rifle.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution A well regulated militia. shall not be infringed. two spare flints.

as is the case in the British government" and "whoever examines the forest.[98] Compliance with the enrollment provisions was also poor.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution pound of powder. pilots. Amendments to C. and the White House being burned down in 1814. shall be of bores sufficient for balls of the eighteenth part of a pound. When officials resorted to drafting men. 412. post-officers and stage drivers employed in the care and conveyance of U. S. and expressed the hope that Americans "never cease to regard the right of keeping . conscientious objectors. He annotated a five-volume edition of Sir William Blackstone's Commentaries on the Laws of England. students. Secretary of War Henry Knox and President John Adams had lobbied Congress to establish federal armories to stock imported weapons and encourage domestic production. teachers. so armed."[97] In practice. 1794. leaving the populace effectively disarmed. the militia continued to deteriorate and twenty years later. and this without any qualification as to their condition or degree. they faced bitter resistance.[104] Further. The officers. or into service. he may appear without a knapsack.[103] In footnotes 40 and 41 of the Commentaries. and game laws in the British code. Vol. will readily perceive that the right of keeping arms is effectually taken away from the people of England. responding out of a sense of civic duty and patriotism. merchant mariners and those deployed at sea in active service. "that the prevention of popular insurrections and resistance to government by disarming the bulk of the people. and shall appear. and generally critical of the rank and file. that when called out on company days to exercise only. is a reason oftener meant than avowed by the makers of the forest and game laws. including exemptions for: clergy. Penalties for failure to appear were enforced sporadically and selectively. many simply did not show up for militia duty. private acquisition and maintenance of rifles and muskets meeting specifications and readily available for militia duty proved problematic. the war department provided nearly two-thirds of them with guns. II. export inspectors.[102] Nevertheless. U."[103] Blackstone discussed the right of self-defense in a separate section of his treatise on the common law of crimes. state legislatures granted numerous exemptions under Section 2 of the Act. Art. Forthcoming soldiers consisted primarily of draftees or paid substitutes as well as poor enlistees lured by enlistment bonuses.000 rebels who conceded without fighting. D. two months prior to the insurrection. In addition to the exemptions granted by the law for custom-house officers and their clerks. a critical legal reference for early American attorneys published in 1803. muskets for arming the militia as herein required. estimates of compliance ranged from 10 to 65 percent.[100] Attempts by the four adjoining states to raise a militia for nationalization to suppress the insurrection proved inadequate. accoutred and provided. were of a higher quality. including the sacking of Washington. Tucker's annotations for that latter section did not mention the Second Amendment but cited the standard works of English jurists such as Hawkins. however. when called out to exercise. the militia's poor condition contributed to several losses in the War of 1812. President George Washington and General Harry Lee marched on the 7.[99] None are mentioned in the legislation.[101] Most of the 13.S.[97] The act also gave specific instructions to domestic weapon manufacturers "that from and after five years from the passing of this act. The episode provoked criticism of the citizen militia and inspired calls for a universal militia. mail.[99] 10 Scholarly commentary Early commentary The earliest published commentary on the Second Amendment by a major constitutional theorist was by St." Blackstone himself also commented on English game laws. 4. George Tucker. And though a number of able-bodied white men remained available for service.[101] Congress did subsequently pass "[a]n act for the erecting and repairing of Arsenals and Magazines" on April 2. p.C. ferrymen. Tucker criticized the English Bill of Rights for limiting gun ownership to the very wealthy.[97] The first test of the militia system occurred in July 1794. and jurors. when a group of disaffected Pennsylvania farmers rebelled against federal tax collectors whom they viewed as illegitimate tools of tyrannical power.000 soldiers lacked the required weaponry. Tucker stated that the right to bear arms under the Second Amendment was not subject to the restrictions that were part of English law: "The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.[101] In October. except.

from a sense of its burthens. Like Tucker. He did warn. enable the people to resist and triumph over them. And yet. that indifference may lead to disgust. which they afford to ambitious and unprincipled rulers. to subvert the government. in 1825. as a general prohibition against such capricious abuse of government power.]"[105] In contrast.[107] In this quote. while expressing distress at the growing indifference of the American people to maintaining such an organized militia. declaring bluntly: No clause could by any rule of construction be conceived to give to congress a power to disarm the people. would be sufficient cause to require him to give surety of the peace."[105] The orthodox view of the meaning of the Second Amendment was articulated by Joseph Story in his influential Commentaries on the Constitution. for unlawful purpose. to be rid of all regulations. that "this right [to bear arms] ought not.. which could lead to the undermining of the protection of the Second Amendment. both from the enormous expenses." portraying that country as one that "boasts so much of its freedom. as the only security against the tyranny of government lies in forcible resistance to injustice. The militia is the natural defence of a free country against sudden foreign invasions.[108] Spooner's theory provided the intellectual foundation for John Brown and other radical abolitionists who believed that arming slaves was not only morally justified. and the facile means. and disgust to contempt. A View of the Constitution of the United States of America. Story describes a militia as the "natural defence of a free country. and the importance of a well regulated militia would seem so undeniable. Such a flagitious attempt could only be made under some general pretence by a state legislature. commenting on bills of rights. or trample upon the rights of the people. domestic insurrections. with which they are attended. domestic revolts and usurpation by rulers." both against foreign foes. and a strong disposition. and domestic usurpations of power by rulers." yet provides a right to "protestant subjects only" that it "cautiously describ[es] to be that of bearing arms for their defence" and reserves for "[a] very small proportion of the people[. Rawle condemned England's "arbitrary code for the preservation of game. or Congress drafted the Fourteenth Amendment. It is against sound policy for a free people to keep up large military establishments and standing armies in time of peace. long before the concept of incorporation was formally recognized by the courts. which he calls the corollary clause. though this truth would seem so clear. stated that the object of all bills of rights is to assert the rights of individuals against the government and that the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms was in support of the right to resist government oppression. either should attempt it.. and will generally.[107] Abolitionist Lysander Spooner. however."[103] Tucker's commentary was soon followed. The right of the citizens to keep and bear arms has justly been considered.[106] Rawle. that "[a]n assemblage of persons with arms. paraphrasing Coke. since it offers a strong moral check against the usurpation and arbitrary power of rulers. attended with circumstances giving just reason to fear that he purposes to make an unlawful use of them.[109] An express connection 11 . who have duly reflected upon the subject. as the palladium of the liberties of a republic. and even the carrying of arms abroad by a single individual. it is difficult to see. by that of William Rawle in his landmark text. Rawle characterizes the second clause of the Second Amendment. contended that citizens could appeal to the Second Amendment should either the state or federal government attempt to disarm abused to the disturbance of the public peace" and observed. unless forcibly resisted. but entirely consistent with the Second Amendment. for injustice will certainly be executed.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution and bearing arms as the surest pledge of their liberty. that among the American people there is a growing indifference to any system of militia discipline. even if these are successful in the first instance. There is certainly no small danger. How it is practicable to keep the people duly armed without some organization. this amendment may be appealed to as a restraint on both. But if in any blind pursuit of inordinate power. In his view the meaning of the Amendment was clear: The importance of this article will scarcely be doubted by any persons. is an indictable offence. it cannot be disguised. and thus gradually undermine all the protection intended by this clause of our national bill of rights. The book regards the militia as a "moral check" against both usurpation and the arbitrary use of power.

but also to "arming" the militia: This desirable uniformity can only be accomplished by confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority.[112] The debate centered on whether the prefatory clause (“A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free State”) declared the amendment’s only purpose or merely announced a purpose to introduce the operative clause (“the right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed”)."[] A tolerable expertness in military movements is a business that requires time and practice. "disciplining". such constructions were widely used elsewhere. in the 2008 Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v.[114] These interpretations held that this was a grammar structure that was common during that era[115] and that this grammar dictated that the Second Amendment protected a collective right to firearms to the extent necessary for militia duty. Supreme Court stated that "[t]he adjective 'well-regulated' implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training. and of the . the opening phrase was considered essential as a pre-condition for the main clause. and the authority of training the militia according to the discipline prescribed by congress. In Heller. therefore.[20] This interpretation was consistent with the position that the Second Amendment protects a modified individual right. Heller. it recognized the right of a state to arm its militia. was that the Second Amendment recognized the personal right of individuals to keep and bear arms. that the plan of the convention proposes to empower the Union "to provide for organizing. held that the Second Amendment recognized some limited individual right. The opening phrase was meant as a non-exclusive example—one of many reasons for the amendment. To oblige the great body of the yeomanry. known as the "states' rights" or "collective rights" model. and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. The third. the U.[120] In Heller. known as the "standard model". It is not a day."[121] In Federalist No. rather. Under both of the collective rights models. reserving to the states respectively the appointment of the officers. However. These rulings upheld the individual rights model when interpreting the Second Amendment. It is. Three basic competing models were offered to interpret the Second Amendment:[113] The first.[116] Under the standard model. that will suffice for the attainment of it. Emerson. the Supreme Court upheld the Second Amendment as protecting an individual right. was that the Second Amendment did not apply to individuals.[111] 12 Late 20th century commentary In the latter half of the 20th century there was considerable debate over whether the Second Amendment protected an individual right or a collective right. the opening phrase was believed to be prefatory or amplifying to the operative clause.[110] The congressional debate on the proposed Fourteenth Amendment concentrated on what the Southern States were doing to harm the newly freed slaves. The second. 29. including disarming the former slaves. Chicago. Alexander Hamilton suggested that well-regulated refers not only to "organizing".Second Amendment to the United States Constitution between this right and the Second Amendment was drawn by Lysander Spooner who commented that a "right of resistance" is protected by both the right to trial by jury and the Second Amendment.[117] The question of a collective rights versus an individual right was progressively resolved with the 2001 Fifth Circuit ruling in United States v. or even a week. known as the "sophisticated collective rights model". and "training" the militia. organized state militia while actively participating in the organized militia’s activities. and disciplining the militia. and in the 2010 Supreme Court ruling in McDonald v. this individual right could only be exercised by members of a functioning. with the most evident propriety.[119] Meaning of "well regulated militia" The term "regulated" means "disciplined" or "trained".S.[118] Although the Second Amendment is the only Constitutional amendment with a prefatory clause. arming.

.. and within a certain age range.(and) reserving to the states. when it finally drills down on the substantive meaning of the Second Amendment. not an unspecified subset.” In numerous instances. responsible citizens”.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution other classes of the citizens. As we will describe below. In any event. So far as appears. they manufacture a hybrid definition. This contrasts markedly with the phrase “the militia” in the prefatory clause. Nine state constitutional provisions written in the 18th century or the first two decades of the 19th. to “bear” meant to “carry.[] 13 Meaning of "the right of the People" Justice Antonin Scalia. to weapons that were not specifically designed for military use and were not employed in a military capacity.” the term unambiguously refers to all members of the political community. to be under arms for the purpose of going through military exercises and evolutions. the most natural reading of “keep Arms” in the Second Amendment is to “have weapons.[123] Meaning of "keep and bear arms" In Heller the majority rejected the view that the term "to bear arms" implies only the military use of arms: Before addressing the verbs “keep” and “bear. whereby “bear arms” connotes the actual carrying of arms (and therefore is not really an idiom) but only in the service of an organized militia. and we have been apprised of no source that indicates that it carried that meaning at the time of the founding. stated: Nowhere else in the Constitution does a “right” attributed to “the people” refer to anything other than an individual right.” The term was applied. and a serious public inconvenience and loss.. But the Court itself reads the Second Amendment to protect a “subset” significantly narrower than the class of persons protected by the First and Fourth Amendments. Thus. Every example given by petitioners’ amici for the idiomatic meaning of “bear arms” from the founding period either includes the preposition “against” or is not clearly idiomatic. which enshrined a right of citizens “bear arms in defense of themselves and the state” again. as often as might be necessary to acquire the degree of perfection which would entitle them to the character of a well-regulated militia.[122] Justice John Paul Stevens countered in his dissent: When each word in the text is given full effect. fight” or “to wage war.” At the time of the founding.. the Court limits the protected class to “law-abiding. Worse still. able bodied. would be a real grievance to the people. no more than that was contemplated. then as now. it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security. in all six other provisions of the Constitution that mention “the people. as now.the authority of training the militia".. the Amendment is most naturally read to secure to the people a right to use and possess arms in conjunction with service in a well-regulated militia. What is more. do military service. Reading the Second Amendment as protecting only the right to “keep and bear Arms” in an organized militia therefore fits poorly with the operative clause’s description of the holder of that right as “the people”. the phrase “keep and bear Arms” . the “militia” in colonial America consisted of a subset of “the people”— those who were male. No dictionary has ever adopted that definition.”. in the most analogous linguistic context—that “bear arms” was not limited to the carrying of arms in a militia. The phrase “bear Arms” also had at the time of the founding an idiomatic meaning that was significantly different from its natural meaning: “to serve as a soldier. writing for the majority in Heller.” But it unequivocally bore that idiomatic meaning only when followed by the preposition “against.[] "If a well regulated militia be the most natural defence of a free country.” we interpret their object: “Arms. “bear arms” was unambiguously used to refer to the carrying of weapons outside of an organized militia.confiding the regulation of the militia to the direction of the national authority.. Rather. the meaning of “bear arms” that petitioners and Justice Stevens propose is not even the (sometimes) idiomatic meaning.

S. where the Supreme Court mentioned the Second Amendment in an aside. Had the Framers wished to expand the meaning of the phrase “bear arms” to encompass civilian possession and use. The primary U.[123] 14 Supreme Court cases For almost a century following the ratification of the Bill of Rights. the people must look to the States. Chicago (2010). This is generally recognized as the method by which U.”[122] In a dissent. joined by Justices Souter. 18 U. Cruikshank In the Reconstruction era case of United States v. 542 [129] (1875). While having influenced a number of past court cases. 92 U. and the first case law on weapons regulation dealt with state interpretations of the Second Amendment. in some courses on Linguistics). as the petitioners and the dissent think. Cruikshank. The word “Arms” would have two different meanings at once: “weapons” (as the object of “keep”) and (as the object of “bear”) one-half of an idiom. and Breyer. and the "collective rights" model.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution would be incoherent. Supreme Court supported the individual rights model. United States v. If “bear arms” means.[124] The vast majority of regulation was done by states. Miller. but Justice Story "misidentified" it as the "5th Amendment.” The right “to carry arms in the militia for the purpose of killing game” is worthy of the mad hatter. the U. the "collective rights" model has been discarded by the U. the carrying of arms only for military purposes. holding that the Bill of Rights restricted Congress but not private individuals. Justice Stevens said: The Amendment’s text does justify a different limitation: the “right to keep and bear arms” protects only a right to possess and use firearms in connection with service in a state-organized militia.S. (1939).S. 1 [125] (1820). they could have done so by the addition of phrases such as “for the defense of themselves”.S. Supreme Court in Heller said: A purposive qualifying phrase that contradicts the word or phrase it modifies is unknown this side of the looking glass (except. one simply cannot add “for the purpose of killing game. It would be rather like saying “He filled and kicked the bucket” to mean “He filled the bucket and died. (1897). District of Columbia v. "[f]or their protection in its enjoyment."[126] State and federal courts historically have used two models to interpret the Second Amendment: the now generally accepted individual rights model. which holds that the right is dependent on militia membership. simply the carrying of arms. apparently. in favor of the individual rights model. The Court concluded. the defendants were white men who had killed more than sixty black people in what was known as the Colfax massacre and had been charged with conspiring to prevent blacks from exercising their right to bear arms. Under this model the militia is composed of members who supply their own arms and ammunition. The notable exception to this general rule was Houston v. a modifier can limit the purpose of the carriage (“for the purpose of self-defense” or “to make war against the King”). Supreme Court Second Amendment cases include Robertson v."[130] . Moore. 'A body of citizens enrolled for military discipline.' And further. that ordinarily when called for service these men were expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the time.S. under which the Second Amendment protects the right to keep and bear arms much as the First Amendment protects the right to free speech. These show plainly enough that the Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. and McDonald v. Heller. militias have historically been armed. But if “bear arms” means. The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the debates in the Convention. and the writings of approved commentators.S. In Heller and McDonald the U. the history and legislation of Colonies and States.[127] Of the collective rights model that holds that the right to arms is based on militia membership.S. Supreme Court. Baldwin. Ginsburg. as we think. (2008). the intended meaning and application of the Second Amendment drew less interest than it does in modern times. The Court dismissed the charges.[128] United States v.

Franklin Miller was convicted and sentenced to be executed for shooting a police officer to death with an unlicensed handgun in violation of Texas law. 165 U. Presser argued that the State of Illinois had violated his Second Amendment rights. commonly known as the "Bill of Rights. but simply to embody certain guaranties and immunities which we had inherited from our English ancestors. and therefore the Fourteenth Amendment was not applicable: The fourteenth amendment prohibits a State from depriving any person of life. In incorporating these principles into the fundamental law. but this adds nothing to the rights of one citizen as against another. 275 [140] (1897). from time immemorial.has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government. 116 U. or property. II) is not infringed by laws prohibiting the carrying of concealed weapons. through the streets of Chicago as a violation of Illinois law that prohibited public drilling and parading in military style without a permit from the governor. Herman Presser headed a German-American paramilitary shooting organization and was arrested for leading a parade group of 400 men. I) does not permit the publication of libels. The Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment did not apply to state laws such as the Texas law:[138] "As the proceedings were conducted under the ordinary forms of criminal prosecutions there certainly was no denial of due process of law. Miller sought to have his conviction overturned. there was no intention of disregarding the exceptions. the right of the people to keep and bear arms (Art." This decision upheld the States' authority to regulate the militia and that citizens had no right to create their own militias or to own weapons for semi-military purposes. which continued to be recognized as if they had been formally expressed. Baldwin. blasphemous or indecent articles. the Court held a federal anti-Ku-Klux-Klan statute to be unconstitutional as applied in that case.S. Texas In Miller v.. Texas. the Court held that there was no state action in this case. liberty.[135] Miller v. 252 [134] (1886)... Thus. The Supreme Court reaffirmed Cruikshank and held that the Second Amendment prevented neither the States nor Congress from barring private militias that parade with arms.[135][136] At his trial.[133] 15 Presser v. the Court stated that laws regulating concealed arms did not infringe upon the right to keep and bear arms and thus were not a violation of the Second Amendment: The law is perfectly well settled that the first ten amendments to the Constitution. 153 U.. Baldwin In Robertson v.[132] Thus.S."[131] Likewise. claiming his Second Amendment rights were violated and that the Bill of Rights should be applied to state law.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution The Court stated that "[t]he Second Amendment. Illinois In Presser v." were not intended to lay down any novel principles of government. without due process of law. training and drilling with military weapons with the declared intention to fight. such a right "cannot be claimed as a right independent of law. Illinois. been subject to certain well recognized exceptions arising from the necessities of the case. 535 [137] (1894)."[139] Robertson v. or other publications injurious to public morals or private reputation. and which had.[141] .S.. the freedom of speech and of the press (Art.

. United States Code.. instead looking solely at the weapon's suitability for the "common defense. 22–28.[149] in District of Columbia v.[145] Gun rights advocates cite Miller because they claim that the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protected the right to keep arms that are part of "ordinary military equipment.a double barrel. Pp.. Pp. Most modern scholars recognize this fact.Claremore.[149][150] (d) The Second Amendment’s drafting history..not having registered said firearm as required by Section 1132d of Title 26. so that the ideal of a citizens’ militia would be preserved."[148] District of Columbia v. 2–53.. Neither United States v..Oklahoma to. the Supreme Court stated "the objection that the Act usurps police power reserved to the States is plainly untenable. The response was to deny Congress power to abridge the ancient right of individuals to keep and bear arms.Arkansas a certain firearm.. Miller In United States v. Miller.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution 16 United States v."[143] In a unanimous opinion authored by Justice McReynolds..[149][150] (e) Interpretation of the Second Amendment by scholars."[144] As the Court explained: In the absence of any evidence tending to show that possession or use of a 'shotgun having a barrel of less than eighteen inches in length' at this time has some reasonable relationship to any preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia. from immediately after its ratification through the late 19th century also supports the Court’s conclusion. 174 [142] (1939). but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part. 28–30. Heller Judgment According to the syllabus prepared by the U..S.. nor Presser the time of so transporting said firearm in interstate commerce. and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes. enabling a politicized standing army or a select militia to rule. Pp.. Pp. "The only certainty about Miller is that it failed to give either side a clear-cut victory. Supreme Court Reporter of Decisions. 2–22.. we cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an instrument... The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms. 554 U. 542 . the Supreme Court rejected a Second Amendment challenge to the National Firearms Act prohibiting the interstate transportation of unregistered Title II weapons: Jack Miller and Frank Layton "did unlawfully. 307 U. 92 U. .. The Antifederalists feared that the Federal Government would disarm the people in order to disable this citizens’ militia. Miller. such as self-defense within the home. S.. The “militia” comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common defense. 116 U.."[147] Law professor Andrew McClurg states. 30–32..S.[149][150] (a) The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose.and not having in their possession a stamp-affixed written order.. United States v. the operative clause.transport in interstate commerce from. Illinois. Heller. reveals three state Second Amendment proposals that unequivocally referred to an individual right to bear arms. refutes the individual-rights interpretation...Siloam Springs... the Supreme Court held:[149][150] (1) The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia.shotgun having a barrel less than 18 inches in length. Cruikshank. 570 (2008). S.[149][150] (c) The Court’s interpretation is confirmed by analogous arms-bearing rights in state constitutions that preceded and immediately followed the Second Amendment. Pp.. courts and legislators. Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.S.[149][150] (b) The prefatory clause comports with the Court’s interpretation of the operative clause. 32–47. while of dubious interpretive worth. Pp. 252 .[149][150] (f) None of the Court’s precedents forecloses the Court’s interpretation. 307 .as provided by Section 1132C."[146] Gun control advocates cite Miller because they claim that the Court did not consider the question of whether the sawed-off shotgun in the case would be an applicable weapon for personal defense.

[157][158][159][160][161] To clarify that its ruling does not invalidate a broad range of existing firearm laws. the Second Amendment right is not unlimited. i. 47–54.. family. In the majority opinion. one that is separately possessed. which was joined by the three other dissenters. in his own dissent and speaking only for himself. The District’s total ban on handgun possession in the home amounts to a prohibition on an entire class of “arms” that Americans overwhelmingly choose for the lawful purpose of self-defense. Pp. C. and may be 17 . Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights. because "the 'militia' in colonial America consisted of a subset of 'the people'. licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously. Pp. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the D. or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms. the requirement that any lawful firearm in the home be disassembled or bound by a trigger lock makes it impossible for citizens to use arms for the core lawful purpose of self-defense and is hence unconstitutional.e. but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia.. the majority opinion. 174 . The Court’s opinion should not be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill. those in common use for lawful purposes.[164] This dissent called the majority opinion "strained and unpersuasive" and said that the right to possess a firearm exists only in relation to the militia and that the D. stated that the entire Court subscribes to the proposition that "the amendment protects an 'individual' right—i.. written by Justice Antonin Scalia. but does not limit the scope of the operative clause. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution U. Justice Stevens' interpretation of the phrase "to keep and bear arms" was referred to as a "hybrid" definition that Stevens purportedly chose in order to avoid an "incoherent" and "[g]rotesque" idiomatic meeting." Surely it protects a right that can be enforced by individuals. said: The question presented by this case is not whether the Second Amendment protects a "collective right" or an "individual right.[150] Other legal summaries of the court's findings in this case are similar.. the Court assumes that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and does not address the licensing requirement. Similarly. and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms..e.[163] The majority opinion held that the amendment's prefatory clause (referencing the "militia") serves to clarify the operative clause (referencing "the people"). It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose: For example.[165] Justice Breyer. S. or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings. this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self. or laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings.[149][150] (2) Like most rights. said:[162] Although we do not undertake an exhaustive historical analysis today of the full scope of the Second Amendment. 56–64. the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home. But a conclusion that the Second Amendment protects an individual right does not tell us anything about the scope of that right. Miller’s holding that the sorts of weapons protected are those “in common use at the time” finds support in the historical tradition of prohibiting the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons. laws constitute permissible regulation. Pp.[149][150] (3) The handgun ban and the trigger-lock requirement (as applied to self-defense) violate the Second Amendment. concealed weapons prohibitions have been upheld under the Amendment or state analogues.C. nothing in our opinion should be taken to cast doubt on longstanding prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill.[151][152][153][154][155][156] Notes and analysis This has been widely described as a landmark decision. does not limit the right to keep and bear arms to militia purposes." Justice Stevens' dissenting opinion. 54–56.

[169] Reaction to Heller has varied. Cruikshank. This means that the Court ruled that the Second Amendment limits State and local governments to the same extent that it limits the federal government.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution separately enforced. apparently.[4] It also remanded a case regarding a Chicago handgun prohibition.[170] . as we think. 2010. Miller though these earlier rulings did not limit the right to keep and bear arms solely to militia purposes.[167] The majority opinion also stated that: A purposive qualifying phrase that contradicts the word or phrase it modifies is unknown this side of the looking glass (except.[166] Regarding the term "well regulated". one simply cannot add "for the purpose of killing game. family. but rather limits the type of weapon to which the right applies to those used by the militia (i. Assuming he is not disqualified from exercising Second Amendment rights. as the petitioners and the dissent think. Illinois. the Court incorporated the Second Amendment in McDonald v. voted to do so through the amendment's Privileges or Immunities Clause. But if "bear arms" means. the carrying of arms only for military purposes. this prohibition—in the place where the importance of the lawful defense of self.S. by each person on whom it is conferred". a requirement that all firearms in a home be either disassembled or have a trigger lock." The right "to carry arms in the militia for the purpose of killing game" is worthy of the mad hatter. Four of the five Justices in the majority voted to do so by way of the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment. authored by Justice Scalia. with many sources giving focus to the ruling referring to itself as being the first in Supreme Court history to read the Second Amendment as protecting an individual right.. and property is most acute—would fail constitutional muster. those in common use for lawful purposes). in some courses on Linguistics). These three ordinances were a ban on handgun registration. Under any of the standards of scrutiny the Court has applied to enumerated constitutional rights. the majority opinion said: "The adjective 'well-regulated' implies nothing more than the imposition of proper discipline and training. and United States v. gives explanation of the majority legal reasoning behind this decision. Because Heller conceded at oral argument that the District's licensing law is permissible if it is not enforced arbitrarily and capriciously. 3025 (2010). such as from one room to another.e. and licensing requirement that prohibits carrying an unlicensed firearm in the home.[150] 18 McDonald v. Chicago. the District must permit Heller to register his handgun and must issue him a license to carry it in the home. a modifier can limit the purpose of the carriage ("for the purpose of self-defense" or "to make war against the King"). Presser v. The majority opinion.[168] The dissenting justices were not persuaded by this argument.[150] The majority opinion made clear that the recent ruling did not foreclose the Court’s prior interpretations given in United States v. 561 U."[121] The majority opinion quoted Spooner from The Unconstitutionality of Slavery as saying that the right to bear arms was necessary for those who wanted to take a stand against slavery. If "bear arms" means. Chicago On June 28.[150] Heller pertained to three District of Columbia ordinances involving restrictions on firearms amounting to a total ban. while the fifth Justice. simply the carrying of arms. the Court assumed that a license will satisfy his prayer for relief and did not address the licensing requirement. Clarence Thomas.

S. as described in Heller.[179] The court found that the district court erred in perfunctorily relying on Heller's exception for "presumptively lawful" gun regulations made in accordance with "longstanding prohibitions". 551 F. Dorosan. 232. 2009) . the Second Circuit upheld New York's may-issue concealed carry permit law.The Fifth Circuit affirmed the decision of a U. § 922(g)(1) [185]. Hall.C. Chester. convicted of two misdemeanor domestic violence convictions appealed his conviction based on the argument that the prohibition violated the individual rights to bear arms. § 5032 [174]. 2008.On November 28. the Fourth Circuit upheld as constitutional the prohibition of possession of a concealed weapon without a permit. District Court decision in Texas. 334 Fed. 2009. prior to Heller. instead of on government property. 2012. the Fifth Circuit upheld 39 C. The court noted that it had. the First Circuit affirmed the conviction of a juvenile for the illegal possession of a handgun as a juvenile.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution 19 United States Courts of Appeals decisions since Heller Since Heller. the Fifth Circuit affirmed the conviction of Ernie Scroggins for possession of a firearm as a convicted felon. Seventh Circuit • United States v. 628 F. sustaining restrictions on guns outside the home. rejecting the defendant's argument that the federal law violated his Second Amendment rights under Heller. the United States courts of appeals have ruled on many Second Amendment challenges to convictions and gun control laws. the court rejected the request for a strict scrutiny standard of review. 11-3942 . 771 (5th Cir."[175] Second Circuit • Kachalsky v. Moreover. Skoien.3d 257 (5th Cir. § 922(a)(6) [184].On August 31.Steven Skoien. Additionally. 551 F. 583 F.S. and had already. § 922(x)(2)(A) [173] and 18 U. which bans weapons on postal property. 2010. along with summary notes: First Circuit • United States v.3d 803 (7th Cir. 2008. 2010) . 2009) . 350 Fed. determined that restrictions on felon ownership of firearms did not violate this right.C. 2009) . likewise.On December 30.S.On March 4. 2009) . it observed that Heller did not affect the longstanding prohibition of firearm possession by felons. 587 F. 874 (5th Cir.."[176] Fourth Circuit • United States v.On August 4.[171][172] The following are post-Heller cases.S. Rene E.F. ruling that "the proper cause requirement is substantially related to New York's compelling interests in public safety and crime prevention.3d 8 (1st Cir.[177] • United States v.C.[182][183] • United States v.S. despite Second Amendment claims that were dismissed.[177] • United States v. in violation of 18 U.C. 2010) . 2009) . County of Westchester. the Fourth Circuit vacated William Chester's conviction for possession of a firearm after having been convicted of a misdemeanor crime of domestic violence. After initial favorable rulings in lower court .On June 30. Scroggins.R. divided by Circuit. which prohibits "straw purchases. specifically in private vehicles parked in employee parking lots of government facilities.C. The employee's Second Amendment rights were not infringed since the employee could have instead parked across the street in a public parking lot. under 18 U. in violation of 18 U.3d 257 (4th Cir. Appx.3d 673 (4th Cir. identified the Second Amendment as providing an individual right to bear arms.S. Appx." A "straw purchase" occurs when someone eligible to purchase a firearm buys one for an ineligible person. upholding 18 U. § 922(g)(9) [178]. a Wisconsin man. The court cited "the existence of a longstanding tradition of prohibiting juveniles from both receiving and possessing handguns" and observed "the federal ban on juvenile possession of handguns is part of a longstanding practice of prohibiting certain classes of individuals from possessing firearms — those whose possession poses a particular danger to the public. Bledsoe.1(l) [181]. 2010.[180] Fifth Circuit • United States v.

gov/ fdsys/ pkg/ GPO-CONAN-2008/ pdf/ GPO-CONAN-2008.(Bill of Rights). To Keep and Bear Arms. gun shows may take place on county property under the ordinance's exception for "events".Second Amendment to the United States Constitution based on a standard of intermediate scrutiny.. Greenwood. The New York Times. likewise occasionally disarmed Protestants. 139-51.. p. county property. that Protestants would never be disarmed:. cornell. 2012. Under the new interpretation.3d 1107 (8th Cir. The court stayed this ruling for 180 days. 2012 WL 1959239 (9th Cir. On May 2.[196][197][198][199] The April 20 decision had held that the Second Amendment applies to state and local governments. subject to restrictions regarding the display and handling of firearms. ISBN 978-0-7637-5811-0.[186] Skoien was convicted and sentenced to two years in prison for the gun violation and likely will be subject to a lifetime ban on gun ownership. Madigan (Circuit docket 12-1269)[191] .On September 23. p. billofrights. Understanding the Constitution. or possess either while on. each of which referred only to such a right in the home. David E. Constantinos E. 2011. the en banc panel dismissed the case. 526 F. Based on this ruling. . law. .S. It was clearly an individual right.[177] Ninth Circuit • Nordyke v. King. [11] Joyce Lee Malcolm.[186] on July 13. nytimes." pp.222. Adam (28 June 2010). p. 2009.. Cornell University Law School. . gpo. the Eighth Circuit upheld 26 U. that panel ruled that intermediate scrutiny was the correct standard by which to judge the ordinance's constitutionality and remanded the case to the United States District Court for the Northern District of California. 2008. [5] Davies. 209-16..[190] • Moore v. 2011. 2009. 83. pdf). is that of having arms for their defence". 423.[205] On June 1. and the King. Earl (2008). [12] "They accordingly obtained an assurance from William and Mary. 2008 Supplement (Senate document 110-17)" (http:/ / www. [9] Blackstone's Commentaries Book 1 Ch 1 . html). 2012) .[202] On November 28. pp. Heller. The Founders' View of the Right to Bear Arms.[187][188] Pro-gun rights editorials have sharply criticized this ruling as going too far with the enactment of a lifetime gun ban. Retrieved 17 December 2012. "The Role of the Militia. the Seventh Circuit ruled that the Second Amendment protected a right to keep and bear arms in public for self-defense. [4] Liptak. [2] "held that the second amendment protects an individual's right to bear arms. but only after Alameda County officials changed their interpretation of the challenged ordinance." Pollock." Scaros. html?src=me). § 5841 [195].C. so Illinois could enact replacement legislation.This right has long been understood to be the predecessor to our Second Amendment. [3] "The Constitution of the United States. [6] In Part II-A of the Opinion of the Court in District of Columbia v. Jones & Bartlett Publishers. 2012.On December 11. Malcolm. it was an individual right not available to the whole population. 2010. the Seventh Circuit.On July 29.[203][204] On April 4.. com/ 2010/ 06/ 29/ us/ 29scotus. "Justices Extend Firearm Rights in 5-to-4 Ruling" (http:/ / www. [8] Young.[189] while editorials favoring gun regulations have praised the ruling as "a bucket of cold water thrown on the 'gun rights' celebration". having nothing whatever to do with service in a militia. California ordinance that makes it a crime to bring a gun or ammunition on to...[192][193][194] Eighth Circuit • United States v. (2010).. 2008) . Perkins. militias occasionally disarmed Catholics. the en banc panel sent the case to mediation.[200][201] The en banc panel remanded the case to the three-judge panel. the Supreme Court cited this version of the amendment. sitting en banc.[206] 20 Notes and citations [1] "The court held that the second amendment recognized an individual right to possess and carry a firearm unconnected with militia service. the court declared Illinois's ban on the concealed carrying of firearms to be unconstitutional. 484. [7] "United States Constitution" (http:/ / www.. without Parliament's consent. which prohibits the receiving or possession of an unregistered firearm. To be sure. 2012."The fifth and last auxiliary right of the subject . the Ninth Circuit vacated an April 20 panel decision and reheard the case en banc on September 24. in the. The Supreme Court and American Democracy: Case Studies on Judicial Review and Public Policy. the Ninth Circuit vacated the panel's May 2 decision and agreed to rehear the case en banc. ruled 10-1 against Skoien and reinstated his conviction for a gun violation citing the strong relation between the law in question and the government objective. This was an expansion of the Supreme Court's decisions in Heller and McDonald. [10] From the English civil war until the Glorious Revolution. given that it was restricted to . while also upholding an Alameda County. ISBN 978-0-313-36525-6. edu/ constitution/ constitution. Analysis and Interpretation. p.

542. the Second Amendment is not unlimited. [33] Merkel and Uviller. Under the auspices of the 1671 Game Act. 136. pdf [16] Justice Antonin Scalia. [15] "This meaning is strongly confirmed by the historical background of the Second Amendment. uk/ content. 76 (1981). Gun Control. pdf). pp.." pp.. 179 ff. Between the Restoration and the Glorious Revolution. issues: the right of the individual to protect his life. and Mar. 2. "Revolt of the Masses: Armed Civilians and the Insurrectionary Theory of the Second Amendment" (http:/ / scholarship. codified a pre-existing right. pp. Yale Law School. law.” As we (the United States Supreme Court) said in United States v. law. The law is a changing thing.Where the Bill of Rights says that 'the Subjects may have arms for their defence suitable for their condition and as allowed by law'.. The framers' attempt to address all three in a single declarative sentence has contributed mightily to the subsequent confusion over the proper interpretation of the Second Amendment. As with the English law "like most rights. gov/ opinions/ 07pdf/ 07-290. S. pp. that Protestants would never be disarmed: “That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defense suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law. 188 ff. L. qtd.. [13] "1688 c. com/ EBchecked/ topic/ 467289/ police/ 36612/ Collective-responsibility-in-early-Anglo-Saxon-times#ref=ref416705). [31] Dulaney. (1995).uk. 'and as allowed by law' means 'and as allowed by law for the time being'[. 179 ff. and (3) as enabling the people to organize a militia system. the challenge to government of an armed citizenry.”. 183. It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. aspx?activeTextDocId=1518621). supremecourt. namely that the right to have arms for self-defence is limited by the words 'and as allowed by Law'." R v. [23] e. 253-9.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution Protestants. 62. 306. & M. edu/ cgi/ viewcontent. "[T]he Bill of Rights. p. [21] Heyman. pp.. [20] Ely and Bodenhamer. "Finally. like the First and Fourth Amendments. 4." and in particular by the Bill of Rights. but the provisions of the later enactment are contrary to those of the earlier.]" R v. Retrieved 2010-08-30. To Keep and Bear Arms 31–53 (1994) (hereinafter Malcolm). p. L. the latter by implication repeals the earlier. supremecourt. and the preference for a militia over a standing army. [34] Col. [25] Cornell. Cruikshank. Encyclopædia Britannica online (http:/ / www. 183. Jr. 21 . wrote that "the right of the people to keep and bear Arms. ZO. [24] Levy. Charles J. cgi?article=5203& context=faculty_scholarship& sei-redir=1)." From the Opinion of the Court in District of Coöimbia versus Heller http:/ / www. English Bill of Rights. gov. gov/ opinions/ 07pdf/ 07-290." [28] Levy. 2. Burke. 452. [26] Hardy.was declaratory of the common law. "[T]he right to bear arms was articulated as a civic right inextricably linked to the civic obligation to bear arms for the public defense. [18] Thompson. html). law. pp. 62 TENN. The Second amendment declares that it shall not be infringed . See Malcolm 103–106. Mark (1938). 62. [1999] EWCA Civ 923. Rawle. asp). §7. 1237. [19] Malcolm. 67–9. Neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence.” 1 W. Statutelaw. To Keep and Bear Arms. this is a right that is secured by "the constitution. [32] Bogus. statutelaw. 188 ff. not Parliament. 1689. in Maer and Gay. cornell. Law. pp. "That Every Man Be Armed. 155-9. p. 136-7. It contained in it its own words of limitation. [29] Merkel and Uviller. edu/ 17th_century/ england. 239–40. 466. Schwoerer. Blackstone nowhere suggests that the right to arms derives from "the common law. the Stuart Kings Charles II and James II succeeded in using select militias loyal to them to suppress political dissidents. The Declaration of Rights." [22] Avalon Project. Dunlap. See "The history of policing in the West. p. Burke. at Large 441 (1689). The very text of the Second Amendment implicitly recognizes the pre-existence of the right and declares only that it “shall not be infringed. 2. p. "The Second Amendment reflects traditional English attitudes toward these three distinct. REV. p. Constitutional History of England. Dumbauld. A View of the Constitution of the United States of America 122 (1825) (hereinafter Rawle). but intertwined. for example. the Catholic James II had ordered general disarmaments of regions home to his Protestant enemies. 306. 89-91. and like all written English rights it was held only against the Crown. Law and History. We look to this because it has always been widely understood that the Second Amendment. 51. Parliament by statute can repeal the common law. in 3 Eng. 553 (1876). in the Declaration of Right (which was codified as the English Bill of Rights). .2 1 Will. These experiences caused Englishmen to be extremely wary of concentrated military forces run by the state and to be jealous of their arms. 1689. p. Sess. Stat. Collective responsibility in early Anglo-Saxon times". This right has long been understood to be the predecessor to our Second Amendment. They accordingly obtained an assurance from William and Mary. “[t]his is not a right granted by the Constitution. 172. The Bill of Rights and What It Means Today 51 (1957)." [30] Spitzer. p. [17] "Where a later enactment does not expressly repeal an earlier enactment which it has power to override. "An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown" (http:/ / avalon. we should note that (contrary to Kates's assertion). c. [1998] EWHC Admin 913. See E. in part by disarming their opponents." Opinion of the in Heller (http:/ / www. W. "Early Americans wrote of the right in light of three considerations: (1) as auxiliary to a natural right of self-defense. (2) as enabling an armed people to deter undemocratic government. duke.." [27] Malcolm. King Henry II's Assize of Arms and the Statute of Winchester of 1285. edu/ supct/ html/ 07-290.g." Instead. pp.. Malcolm. 2" (http:/ / www. 92 U. shall not be infringed" was a just a controlling one and referred to it as a pre-existing right of individuals to possess and carry personal weapons for self-defense and intrinsically for defense against tyranny. See J. 643. yale. [14] Barnett." District of Columbia v Heller (http:/ / www.

49. Supplement: 1. Retrieved 2011-12-11. 38-41. umkc. org/ ratification/ elliot/ vol3/ june14. "Shay's Rebellion" (http:/ / www. [37] "Boston. cfm?id=L17931222ja& mode=popuplg& pop=L17931222ja_2). maintained by Doug Linder. pp." [35] Pennsylvania Constitution of 1776 (http:/ / Avalon. [49] Henigan. the Appointment of the Officers. p. and for governing such part of them as may be employed in the service of the United States. edu/ faculty/ projects/ ftrials/ conlaw/ interp. p. Article 8 begins: 'The inhabitants of the several states shall have liberty to fowl and hunt in seasonable times. and disciplining the militia. in Halbrook. [43] Merkel and Uviller. p. p. A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government. .. March 17". Retrieved 2009-07-29. "Arms for Their Defence?".org. [58] The Federalist Papers No. Saturday June 14. ? [46] William Blackstone. as it permitted delegates with doubts to vote for it in the hope that it would be amended.. Retrieved 2010-08-30." [53] US Constitution Article 1 Section 8 To provide for organizing. ("Until recently. according to the discipline prescribed by Congress. qtd. the national government could overwhelm the states. Teachingamericanhistory. [42] Vile. A Right to Bear Arms..' article 7: 'That the people have a right to bear arms for the defense of themselves and their own state. p..]" [48] Bogus. prohibit the states from arming their citizens. edu/ 18th_century/ pa08. 1999. [59] Webster. p.. Carl T. (Author cites Robert Bork: "If the Constitution is law. and of training the militia. Commentaries on the Laws of England. by passing a law. like that of all other law. Then having all the armed strength at its command. the Second Amendment was a little-visited area of the Constitution. as a last resort. html). pp. com/ opinion/ contributors/ content/ CT_bogus4_12-04-07_RJ80MH6_v7. The national government has an exclusive right to provide for arming. The states may very properly prescribe regulations and permits governing the use of guns within their borders. as we call it now. 386.. 781. 39. Home of Heroes. . ? [51] "Letter from John Adams to Abigail Adams. The Second Amendment does not give anybody or everybody the right to possess and use firearms. "An Examination of the Leading Principles of the Federal Constitution" (http:/ / Simon and Schuster. 2a87d62. and the Authority of training the Militia according to the discipline prescribed by Congress. Simon and Schuster.when the sanctions of society and laws are found insufficient to restrain the violence of oppression". "Do We Place our Faith in Law or Guns?" (http:/ / www. "The Massachusetts compromise determined the fate of the Constitution. 914. Book 1. 1769. [55] Vile. [36] DeConde. 100. Y. A two thousand-page commentary on the Constitution put out by the Library of Congress in 1973 has copious annotation for most clauses.. 41-4." [61] Foner and Garraty. p. com/ hallofheroes/ 1st_floor/ birth/ 1bc3b. p.. [39] Anderson and Horowitz. p. April 13. 63. reserving to the States respectively. [56] Schmidt et al. [40] Vest. [52] Cooke. University of Missouri-Kansas City Law School. [63] See Theories of Constitutional Interpretation (http:/ / law2. Yale. pages 253-254. 19. 30. org/ digitaladams/ aea/ cfm/ doc. or for the purposes of killing game. "[A] generalized constitutional right of all citizens to engage in armed insurrection against their government. 27. p. J. p.'") 22 .. or national guard. and disciplining. and for governing such Part of them as may be employed in the Service of the United States. page 252. [41] Pole and Greene. 1787 Pamphlet: An Examination into the leading principles of the Federal Constitution. [47] Millis.would threaten the rule of law itself. states. Rose. "The founders sought to balance military. 1980-01-01. p. as they did political. asp). if they should think proper to prescribe any. power. is the meaning the lawmakers were understood to have intended. Retrieved 2012-12-18. organizing. in order to have a pretence of establishing a standing army.") [65] Garry Wills. the Militia. [54] "Elliots Debates Vol 3. projo. A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government. homeofheroes.3. [57] Williams. Masshist." [50] Reynolds. The right protected is really the right of a state to maintain an armed militia. 1787). html). then presumably its meaning. could rise in armed revolt against tyrannical authorities. between people. Retrieved 2010-08-30. and let them perish. "The concept postulates that the Second Amendment was intended to provide the means by which the people. org/ ?option=com_staticxt& staticfile=show. 4. Col. but less than a page and a half for the Second Amendment. 7. N. Noah. libertyfund. 46 (James Madison) (concerning the influence of state and federal governments). arming. The state governments have the power of appointing the officers. masshist. pp. Such a circumstance has never happened.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution . [45] Rakove. 1788" (http:/ / teachingamericanhistory. Should the national government wish to render the militia useless. 79. Virginia Convention. . or the United States.. and nation[. 91-2. Chapter 1 "the fifth and last auxiliary right. [60] Young. html). p. php?title=669& chapter=206205& layout=html& Itemid=27) (October 10. p. [38] Charles. ?. p. [44] McAffee and Quinlan. law.. html).") [64] Garry Wills. p. "This is another protection against a possible abuse by Congress. ("Whitehill deals with guns in three of his fifteen headings. 1999. 22 December 1793" (http:/ / www. In the eighteenth century people feared that Congress might. but this amendment would prevent it. "A Citizen of America (Noah Webster) October 10." [62] Adamson. they may neglect them.

umkc. at 371 (James Madison) (John. 1789) qtd. [86] "United States of America v. gov/ cgi-bin/ ampage?collId=rbpe& fileName=rbpe17/ rbpe178/ 17802600/ rbpe17802600. ed. 1999. in Bickford. . [81] James Monroe Papers. 1999. . gov/ cgi-bin/ ampage?collId=llhj& fileName=001/ llhj001. [90] Annals of Congress (http:/ / memory.. 64. The Debates in the Several State Conventions on the Adoption of the Federal Constitution 97 (2d ed. 2012. Providence Foundation. often at the discretion of country squires.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution [66] Garry Wills.'") [68] Alexander Hamilton. ("The items on the [Whitehill's] list were never discussed in the convention..loc. . . loc. and still keeps a corps in pay to prevent a revival of the spirit of revolt. loc. was as a manpower pool sporadically activated. A Necessary Evil: A History of American Distrust of Government. in Madison. US Constitution. 1787-1788. for purposes of internal police and the suppression of dissent. db& recNum=351). Virginia Ratifying Convention. 418-9. db& recNum=62& itemLink=r?ammem/ hlaw:@field(DOCID+ @lit(hj001114))#0010063& linkText=1). The Congress actually strengthened the military context. Vol. pages 114-115. [91] Journal of the Senate of the United States of America (http:/ / rs6. 2012. Usconstitution. 63. though on different ground. edu/ faculty/ projects/ ftrials/ conlaw/ emerson. 22. 1971) (1888) [78] "The Right to Keep and Bear Arms" (http:/ / providencefoundation. may attempt to tyrannize. net/ articles. Federalist #29. the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed. That State (without waiting for the sanction of Congress. Retrieved 2010-08-30. [74] "US Constitution" (http:/ / www. ("The conduct of Massachusetts affords a lesson on the same subject. html). 23 . Providence Foundation. [92] Letter from Roger Sherman to Simeon Baldwin (Aug. 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Retrieved December 20. law. et al. 1st Session: p. db& recNum=1& itemLink=r?ammem/ rbpebib:@field(NUMBER+ @band(rbpe+ 17802600))& linkText=0). 1st Session: p. 2012. as a preamble stating the scope of the law (the regular function of a 'whereas' introduction): 'A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state. it ought certainly to be under the regulation and at the disposal of that body which is constituted the guardian of the national security") [69] Garry Wills. 1999. 2012. Retrieved 2010-08-30. the people are confirmed by the next article in their right to keep and bear their private arms.

google. Harper & Brothers.justia. 490 and Kopel. com/ us/ 116/ 252/ case. db& recNum=68& itemLink=r?ammem/ hlaw:@field(DOCID+ @lit(sj001133))#0010075& linkText=1). Commentaries on the U. p. p. . pp. Retrieved 2010-08-30. Senate Testimony. Second Amendment Project. Vol. Retrieved 2010-08-30. "The linguistically correct reading of this unique construction is as though it said: 'Congress shall not limit the right of the people (that is." [120] Merkel. p. [104] For two radically different views of Blackstone on the Second Amendment. 107. loc. db& recNum=475). the potential members of the state militia) to acquire and keep the sort of arms appropriate to their military duty. Retrieved 2010-08-30. trained. 305.Second Amendment to the United States Constitution [93] Journal of the Senate of the United States of America (http:/ / rs6. Opinion of the Court. p. 71. db& recNum=302). Chicago-Kent." p. 6. justia. Joseph (1833). [122] "District of Columbia v Heller" (http:/ / supreme. db& recNum=74& itemLink=r?ammem/ hlaw:@field(DOCID+ @lit(sj001133))#0010075& linkText=1). [123] "District of Columbia v Heller" (http:/ / including James Madison and Supreme Court Justice Joseph Story. 40–3. 126. pp. . edu/ supct/ pdf/ 07-290P. et al. p. [98] Merkel and Uviller. [102] 1 Stat. com/ us/ 554/ 07-290/ opinion.S. rather than subject to rules and [132] Cruikshank. 293–4. [133] Doherty. gov/ cgi-bin/ ampage?collId=llsl& fileName=001/ llsl001. Miller''" (http:/ / supreme. [106] Rawle. [129] https:/ / supreme. p. gov/ cgi-bin/ ampage?collId=llsj& fileName=001/ llsj001.S. [118] Shapiro.justia. [105] Rawle. Case No. 194. and controlled militia is the best . at 553. [125] https:/ / supreme. 172-4. Vol.. [114] Merkel and Uviller. 361. p. Heller''" (http:/ / supreme. [119] Volokh. [128] "''District of Columbia v. District of Columbia. p. and Volokh. 150. at 554. 1-21 [116] "Amicus Brief. cornell. loc. 2001 Paladin Press. §1890. 1: p. loc. . html). Senate. ? [112] Right to Keep and Bear Arms. loc. 1: p. ISBN 1-58160-254-5. [113] "United States v. gov/ cgi-bin/ ampage?collId=llsl& fileName=001/ llsl001. ACRU. p. [97] 1 Stat. p. [117] Frey and Wellman. 272 (http:/ / memory. Retrieved 2010-08-30. html). at 552. [107] Story. [131] Cruikshank. 148. pp. html). pdf) (PDF). Supreme. 17-8. html [135] DeConde.justia. so long as the following statement remains true: "an armed. [108] Spooner. [111] Cramer. 24 . [124] Cornell. [103] Tucker. findlaw. pp. p. ZD).way to protect the state government and the liberties of its people against uprisings from within and incursions or oppression from without. 12. Retrieved 2010-08-30. com/ 2A/ LawRev/ 19thcentury. see Heyman. justia. Supreme. "The Second Amendment in the Nineteenth Century" (http:/ / davidkopel. . vs. html [126] Several public officials. Gun Control. [101] DeConde. . 92-3. justia." [121] Heller. Vol. org/ amicusbriefs/ parker_v_DC. 77. . com/ ?id=Fh1tI1WhG-UC& pg=PA265& dq="natural+ defence+ of+ a+ free+ country+ against+ sudden+ foreign+ invasions"). [95] Journal of the House of Representatives of the United States (http:/ / memory. pp. justia. 14. 03-CV-0213-EGS. gov/ cgi-bin/ ampage?collId=llsj& fileName=001/ llsj001. com/ us/ 554/ 07-290/ opinion. Cornell University Law School. 17. U. com/ us/ 18/ 1/ case. [94] Journal of the Senate of the United States of America (http:/ / rs6. justia. law. [134] https:/ / supreme. htm). David B. Supreme. pp. 793. p. 53. Constitution (http:/ / books. because it has a justification clause as well as an operative clause. 1: p. p. html [130] Cruikshank. 125-6. Professor Volokh points out that this structure was actually quite commonplace in American constitutions of the Framing era: State Bills of Rights contained justification clauses for many of the rights they secured. pp. Shelly Parker. "Commonplace. "Well-regulated meant well trained. pp. [96] DeConde. Neither of the two modern theories that have defined public debate over the right to bear arms is faithful to the original understanding of this provision of the Bill of Rights. . [127] "''United States v. [109] Renehan. theacru. Emerson" (http:/ / caselaw. html) (http). com/ us/ 92/ 542/ case. [100] Szatmary. com/ us-5th-circuit/ 1332436. Retrieved 2010-08-30. p.if not the only . com/ us/ 307/ 174/ case. . [99] Merkel and Uviller. Part II-A-2. "The Second Amendment is widely seen as quite unusual. db& recNum=394). [110] Spooner. loc. gov/ cgi-bin/ ampage?collId=llhj& fileName=001/ llhj001.14" (http:/ / www. retained the confusing practice of referring to each of the ten amendments in the Bill of Rights by the enumeration found in the first draft. justia.'" [115] the fifth article is the Second Amendment. 351 (http:/ / memory.

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[169] Greenhouse. Most modern scholars recognize this fact. . . Retrieved 2010-08-30. [167] "''Heller''. Retrieved 2012-09-01. That is probably the most accurate statement that can be made about the case. Cga. glin. p. 139. cornell. "Americans have right to guns under landmark ruling" (http:/ / www. For example. Heller (http:/ / caselaw. [150] "Cornell School of Law Summary of the ''Heller'' Decision" (http:/ / www. at 175. Miller" (http:/ / www. The Detroit News. gov/ 2008/ rpt/ 2008-R-0578. huffingtonpost. Retrieved 2012-09-01.S. com/ us/ 554/ 07-290/ dissent2.. htm) [152] Nathan Moore Summary of the Heller Decision (http:/ / mooredefenselaw. com/ paul-helmke/ one-courts-second-amendme_b_74283. "Justices Rule for Individual Gun Rights . 2008). law.C. 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