Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

APPEARS IN Legal & Legislation

Get the Top Source on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the States

Friday, July 2, 2010

Attorneys challenging Chicago’s handgun ban in McDonald v. City of Chicago relied on one key book to explain how the framers of the 14th Amendment intended to protect the right to keep and bear arms against state infringement.  That book is Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, 1866-1876, by Stephen P. Halbrook.

The Supreme Court relied on this book in the McDonald decision, and it was cited several times in the Court's opinion.  Now, you can get your own copy from NRA-ILA.  Now out of print, copies cost $75 or more online, but you can receive your copy, with no shipping charge, for a $25 donation to NRA-ILA.

Stephen P. Halbrook was part of NRA's legal team in the McDonald case, and is one of the leading legal scholars in the country on the Second Amendment and the right to keep and bear arms. He has written extensively on the topic, including The Founders' Second Amendment, That Every Man be Armed, A Right to Bear Arms, and Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, 1866-1876.

In Freedmen, Halbrook provides extensive documentation from Reconstruction sources demonstrating that the Fourteenth Amendment to the Constitution was intended to apply the Second Amendment to the states. In this exhaustive text, Halbrook provides a detailed history of the violence directed against freedmen who possessed firearms in the Reconstruction South, and extensive documentation of the intent of the authors of the Fourteenth Amendment to protect the right of newly freed slaves to possess firearms.

Freedman concludes with an analysis of the Supreme Court's unfinished and incomplete jurisprudence concerning the extent to which the Fourteenth Amendment protects the guarantees of the Bill of Rights, particularly the Second Amendment right of the people to keep and bear arms.

To donate, please click here.

Contributions to NRA-ILA are not deductible for federal income tax purposes.

More Like This From Around The NRA


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.