Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

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
Illinois: House Passes Bill for Firearm Surrender Without Due Process

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Illinois: House Passes Bill for Firearm Surrender Without Due Process

On May 23rd, the Illinois state House of Representatives voted 80-32 to pass House Amendment 2 to House Bill 2354 to allow Second Amendment rights to be revoked without due process.  HA 2 to HB 2354 now ...

Massachusetts: Anti-Second Amendment Bills Rolled into Committee Substitute

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Massachusetts: Anti-Second Amendment Bills Rolled into Committee Substitute

On May 23rd, the Massachusetts state House of Representatives will be voting on House Bill 4517, which would allow firearms to be seized from individuals following baseless accusations without proper due process.

Trump Administration’s Proposed Rulemakings a Win-Win for America's Firearms Industry, National Security

News  

Friday, May 25, 2018

Trump Administration’s Proposed Rulemakings a Win-Win for America's Firearms Industry, National Security

On Thursday, the Trump Administration published two rulemakings designed to enhance the competitiveness of American companies in the firearms and ammunition sectors, remove burdens for small businesses, and modernize export controls for the post-Cold War ...

Washington: NRA Files Legal Challenge Against Misleading Ballot Title for Gun Control Initiative

Thursday, May 17, 2018

Washington: NRA Files Legal Challenge Against Misleading Ballot Title for Gun Control Initiative

Yesterday, NRA filed a legal challenge in the Thurston County Superior Court objecting to the misleading and inadequate ballot title for Initiative 1639, which seeks to further restrict the Second Amendment rights of Washington's law-abiding citizens.  The Thurston ...

Hard Times for Dick's as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

Hunting  

News  

Friday, May 11, 2018

Hard Times for Dick's as Second Amendment Supporters Respond to Company’s Anti-Gun Bent

We have recently been reporting on the bizarre anti-gun activism of one of the nation’s larger firearm retailers, Dick’s Sporting Goods and its affiliated Field & Stream stores. First, the company announced it would stop selling most centerfire semi-automatic ...

Anti-gun Political Correctness Imperils Monument to Medal of Honor Recipient

News  

Friday, May 25, 2018

Anti-gun Political Correctness Imperils Monument to Medal of Honor Recipient

As difficult as it may seem, anti-gun tactics have reached a pathetic new low. We regret to report that some on the anti-gun left, in their fanatical intolerance of all things firearms, now find it ...

Illinois: Gun Control Bills to be Heard This Week

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Illinois: Gun Control Bills to be Heard This Week

The Illinois state House of Representatives can take action any day on House Amendment 1 to Senate Bill 2580 to expand the 72 hour waiting period to all firearms.  On May 24th, the Illinois state ...

West Coast Plutocrats Target Washington State Gun Owners… Again

Friday, May 25, 2018

West Coast Plutocrats Target Washington State Gun Owners… Again

Washington State’s would-be oligarchs are attempting to buy Evergreen Staters’ rights again. Four years after West Coast elites dumped $10 million into the campaign for Initiative 594, which criminalized the private transfer of firearms, some ...

Illinois: House Considering New Bill to Shut Down Your Gun Store

Thursday, May 24, 2018

Illinois: House Considering New Bill to Shut Down Your Gun Store

Today, the Illinois state House Judiciary-Criminal Committee voted 8-3 to pass Senate Amendment 3 to Senate Bill 337, which would shut down your local gun stores with onerous red tape and regulations.  Governor Bruce Rauner ...

Gun Rights Were Expanded: Once Again, No Problems

News  

Second Amendment  

Gun Laws  

Friday, May 25, 2018

Gun Rights Were Expanded: Once Again, No Problems

As readers of our legislative alerts are only too aware, whenever NRA efforts to create more freedoms for law-abiding gun owners, anti-gun lawmakers and activists immediately begin repeating their doom-and-gloom mantra that the streets will ...

MORE TRENDING +
LESS TRENDING -

More Like This From Around The NRA

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.