NRA Explore
APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Thomas Jefferson on The Right To Bear Arms

Wednesday, January 22, 2003

Thomas Jefferson on

The Right to Bear Arms


"The constitutions of most of our States assert that all power is inherent in the people; that . . . it is their right and duty to be at all times armed."

-- Letter to John Cartwright, 1824. (The Writings of Thomas Jefferson, Memorial Edition (ME), Lipscomb and Bergh, editors, 20 Vols., Washington, D.C., 1903-04, 16:45.

"One loves to possess arms, though they hope never to have occasion for them."

-- Letter to George Washington, 1796. ME 9:341

"I learn with great concern that [one] portion of our frontier so interesting, so important, and so exposed, should be so entirely unprovided with common fire-arms. I did not suppose any part of the United States so destitute of what is considered as among the first necessaries of a farm house."

-- Letter to Jacob J. Brown, 1808. ME 11:432

"No freeman shall be debarred the use of arms (within his own lands or tenements)."

-- Draft Virginia Constitution (with his note added), 1776. Papers 1:353

"None but an armed nation can dispense with a standing army. To keep ours armed and disciplined is therefore at all times important."

-- Letter to -----, 1803. ME 10:365

"A strong body makes the mind strong. As to the species of exercises, I advise the gun. While this gives moderate exercise to the body, it gives boldness, enterprise and independence to the mind. Games played with the ball, and others of that nature, are too violent for the body and stamp no character on the mind. Let your gun, therefore, be the constant companion of your walks."

-- Letter to Peter Carr, 1785. ME 5:85, Papers 8:407

The above were gathered en masse from the website Thomas Jefferson On Politics & Government: Quotations from the Writings of Thomas Jefferson, compiled and edited by Eyler Robert Coates, Sr. of Metairie, Jefferson Parish, La.

The site contains more than 2,700 excerpts from Jefferson`s writings, chosen, Coates says, "not for their historical significance, but as an expression of Jefferson`s PRINCIPLES of government that have relevance for us today."

"The principles of Jefferson are the axioms of a free society."
--Abraham Lincoln
TRENDING NOW
Not The Victim Hillary Needs

News  

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

Not The Victim Hillary Needs

This feature appears in the October ‘16 issue of NRA America’s 1st Freedom, one of the official journals of the National Rifle Association. “Why can’t everyone just have their DNA on file? Then it would ...

California: Governor Brown Takes Action on Final Firearm-Related Bills

Monday, September 26, 2016

California: Governor Brown Takes Action on Final Firearm-Related Bills

Today, Governor Brown made his decision on the final firearm-related bills of the 2016 legislative session that made it to his desk.   Governor Brown vetoed two anti-gun bills, AB 450 and SB 1332, and signed ...

California: Referendum Update

Tuesday, September 27, 2016

California: Referendum Update

On behalf of the National Rifle Association (NRA), we would like to thank all of the volunteers and individuals who participated in the Veto Gunmageddon ballot referendum qualification effort.  Despite the tremendous efforts of all involved, ...

Hillary: Contempt For The Truth And American Freedom

News  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Hillary: Contempt For The Truth And American Freedom

There is no greater danger to American liberty and to the security of our nation than a Hillary Clinton administration. To see the future if Clinton were to take the White House, look no further ...

Trump: The Official NRA Q&A

News  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Trump: The Official NRA Q&A

This year’s race for the White House is like no other in our history. Hillary Clinton has made it clear that, if elected, she will come after our firearm freedoms on her very first day ...

Trump Vows To Protect The Second Amendment

News  

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Trump Vows To Protect The Second Amendment

Never before has there been such a stark contrast between presidential candidates over the future of the Second Amendment. With Donald Trump, the nation’s firearm owners have a true champion who has repeatedly pledged to ...

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

Gun Laws  

Thursday, January 1, 2015

Guide To The Interstate Transportation Of Firearms

CAUTION: Federal and state firearms laws are subject to frequent change. This summary is not to be considered as legal advice or a restatement of law.

News  

Friday, July 1, 2016

California Governor Signs Draconian Gun Control Package into Law

Fairfax, Va.— California Gov. Jerry Brown signed into law on Friday a package of gun bills that were rushed through the state legislature with no regard for proper process. The National Rifle Association Institute for ...

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

News  

Friday, September 23, 2016

War on Terror or a War on Guns?

Sadiq Khan, the mayor of London, was in New York City recently on an official visit. Commenting on the bombs that exploded while he was in town, he opined that such attacks are now simply ...

Pennsylvania: Legislature Leaves Firearms Preemption Legislation in Limbo

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Pennsylvania: Legislature Leaves Firearms Preemption Legislation in Limbo

Yesterday, both chambers of the Pennsylvania General Assembly chose to delay votes on the two critical preemption bills that are pending in the legislature. Legislators are now on recess until Monday, October 17.With only six ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -
NRA ILA

Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.