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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

Hartford Courant  

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Anti-gun Senators Blumenthal, Murphy Concerned About Trump's Supreme Court Pick

Earlier Monday, both of Connecticut’s senators said they were concerned that Kavanaugh would deliver rulings against gun control.

Washington Post  

Monday, July 9, 2018

Trump still pondering Supreme Court pick as big reveal nears

President Donald Trump said Sunday he was still deliberating his decision on a replacement for Supreme Court Justice ...


Monday, July 9, 2018

‘The Super Bowl of politics’: Trump’s team readies for Supreme Court battle

In a sparsely decorated “war room” next to the West Wing on the White House grounds, Trump administration ...

Washington Post  

Thursday, June 28, 2018

President can reshape high court for decades with his next nominee

President Donald Trump and Senate Republicans plan to move quickly to install a new Supreme Court justice to ...

The Hill  

Thursday, June 28, 2018

Trump urges student leaders to stand up 'for your values'

"You have to believe in protecting the entire Constitution, as written, including the right to free speech and ...


Wednesday, June 27, 2018

D.C. Police Chief: Heller Decision 'Didn’t Really Have An Impact On Gun Violence In Our City'

“The Heller decision didn’t really have an impact on gun violence in our city,” D.C. Police Chief Peter ...

Washington Post  

Wednesday, June 27, 2018

‘The culture’s changed’: Gun rights supporters mark 10 years since landmark ruling toppled D.C. gun ban

Dick Heller, a 76-year-old special police officer whose Supreme Court case changed the District’s gun laws a decade ...

Fox News  

Tuesday, June 26, 2018

Ten Years after Heller decision, gun rights continue trend toward more freedom, not more gun control

The cornerstone gun-rights decision, Heller v. D.C., the case in which the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that the ...

Fox News  

Monday, June 25, 2018

The Second Amendment had nothing to do with slavery

For 20 years now, a well-meaning law professor has been peddling the fiction that the Second Amendment – ...


Monday, June 18, 2018

New Jersey: Want to buy a gun? Town officials just made that nearly impossible here

The all-Democratic governing body in Piscataway has unanimously approved an ordinance targeting weapons retailers -- a move apparently ...

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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.