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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

Washington Post  

Friday, September 29, 2017

Appeals court order blocks enforcement of D.C.’s strict concealed carry law

D.C. officials will not be able to enforce the city’s strict limits on carrying concealed firearms on the ...

Herald and News  

Friday, September 8, 2017

Oregon: New law makes it way too easy to take guns away from people without cause

SB 719 calls for the forced confiscation of property (guns) by the police with no due process, no ...

Washington Times  

Thursday, September 7, 2017

Virgin Islands, poised for Irma, preps to seize guns, fight NRA

In the Virgin Islands — the government’s coming for your guns.The governor of the U.S. Virgin Islands signed ...

The Hill  

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

NRA threatens legal action over Virgin Islands firearm confiscation order

The National Rifle Association (NRA) is threatening legal action to stop a seizure of guns and ammunition by ...

NBC News  

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Trump, Clinton Voters Divided Over a Changing America

50 percent of respondents say they are more concerned that the government will go too far in restricting ...


Thursday, August 31, 2017

Michigan: Grandpa sues over rules for guns in foster homes

A federal lawsuit claims the state is violating the rights of Michigan foster parents by imposing too many ...


Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Self-defense rights get boost, but still under attack

Defenders of the Second Amendment rejoiced when Donald Trump, who has been outspoken in his support of gun ...

Washington Post  

Friday, August 25, 2017

D.C. attorney general wants federal judges to look at city’s strict gun rules again

The District’s top lawyer on Thursday asked a federal appeals court to rehear a challenge to the city’s ...

ABA Journal  

Thursday, August 17, 2017

ABA House backs adoption of gun violence restraining orders

Resolution 118B urges state and local governments to enact laws and regulations authorizing courts to issue gun violence ...

Michigan Live  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Michigan foster parents sue to keep gun rights

The Michigan Department of Health and Human Services has rules for foster parents that are so stringent they ...


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.