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Second Amendment & the Right to Keep and Bear Arms

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.

The Second Amendment protects the right of the people to keep and bear arms for defense of life and liberty.

In U.S. v. Cruikshank (1876), Presser v. Illinois (1886), Miller v. Texas (1894) and U.S. v. Miller (1939), the Supreme Court recognized that the amendment protects an individual right. It has never taken a different view. However, in Salina v. Blaksley (1905), the Kansas Supreme Court invented the idea that the amendment instead protected a “right” of a person to keep and bear arms only while serving in a state militia, and in U.S. v. Tot (1942), the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Third Circuit advanced the idea that the amendment protects the “right” of a state to have a militia.

In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court heard its first case specifically centered on whether the amendment protects an individual right to arms. Gun control supporters advanced essentially the "Salina" argument, but the Court, consistent with its previous rulings in Second Amendment-related cases, ruled that the amendment protects an individual right to keep arms and to bear arms "in case of confrontation," without regard to a person’s relationship to a militia.

In McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the court extended the Second Amendment's protection nationwide.

Issue Articles


Thursday, March 15, 2018

Your Right to Free Speech, Like My Right to Self-Defense, Isn’t Open to Debate

Today, some students, teachers, and other Americans who share their views are walking out of classes across the ...

Tallahassee Democrat  

Monday, March 12, 2018

NRA sues Florida over gun bill same day Gov. Scott signed it into law

The National Rifle Association sued in federal court Friday to block a new Florida law, just signed by ...

Associated Press  

Monday, March 12, 2018

Florida’s new gun law attacked by both sides

The political and legal fallout from Florida Gov. Rick Scott’s decision to sign a sweeping gun bill into ...

The Volokh Conspiracy  

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Oregon: Age Discrimination Suit Against Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart for Refusing to Sell Rifle to 20-Year-Old

Oregon is one of the states that bans retailers from discriminating based on age against customers age 18 ...

The Volokh Conspiracy  

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Michigan Lawsuit Against Dick's Sporting Goods for Age Discrimination in Gun Sales

In Fulton v. Dick's Sporting Goods, Inc., filed yesterday, an 18-year-old plaintiff is suing over Dick's refusing -- ...

Associated Press  

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

New Hampshire House Blocks Introduction of Gun Control Bill

The House voted 178-144 Tuesday to prevent the introduction of a bill that would have prohibited those under ...

Associated Press  

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

20-year-old sues Dick’s, Walmart over new gun policies

An Oregon man filed suits Monday claiming Dick's Sporting Goods and Walmart discriminated against the 20-year-old when they ...

National Review  

Tuesday, March 6, 2018

Why the Left Won’t Win the Gun-Control Debate

John Locke described the right of self-defense as a “fundamental law of nature.” It is an unalienable right ...

Monday, February 12, 2018

Florida: Outback Steakhouse: No Rights, Just Rules

Be warned:  Your Second Amendment rights end when you cross the threshold of an Outback Steakhouse.  Further, your ...

USA Today  

Tuesday, February 6, 2018

Second Amendment law lessons: Look beyond the courts for freedom

In 2008, the United States Supreme Court held, in District of Columbia v. Heller, that the Second Amendment ...

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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.