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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

New York Post  

Tuesday, August 15, 2017

Stop putting PC ideology before the needs of foster kids

Bill Johnson is suing Michigan over the rule, which will bar him from carrying a gun if he ...

Associated Press  

Friday, August 11, 2017

Seattle's unusual $25 gun tax upheld in state court

The tax, which took effect in 2016, adds $25 to the price of each firearm sold in the ...

New York Times  

Wednesday, August 9, 2017

Gun Rights and Foster Care Restrictions Collide in Michigan

Bill Johnson’s grandfather taught him how to shoot when he was just 9 years old, and gave him ...

Los Angeles Daily News  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

California gun law had to be halted by federal court

July 1 was the day that law-abiding Californians almost became criminals without leaving their homes or lifting a ...

The Oklahoman  

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

Judge's ruling in California highlights gun control flaws

Critics often argue that gun control policies are both impractical and ineffective. A judge's ruling in a recent ...

Tribune Review  

Monday, July 10, 2017

Supreme disappointment: Gun rights eroded

As some states erode or otherwise restrict citizens' constitutional gun rights, more — not less — illumination is ...

Pacific Standard  

Thursday, July 6, 2017

NRA Scores Two Victories Against California Gun Control Laws

A federal judge ruled last week in favor of the NRA's state affiliate to halt a law, meant ...

Volokh Conspiracy  

Wednesday, July 5, 2017

Federal court enjoins California large-capacity magazine confiscation

A California statute to confiscate large-capacity gun magazines, scheduled to take effect July 1, was enjoined by a ...

Los Angeles Times  

Friday, June 30, 2017

Federal judge blocks new California gun control law requiring disposal of magazines

Many California firearm owners were given a reprieve Thursday from making a tough decision after a federal judge ...

Associated Press  

Friday, June 30, 2017

California: Judge Rules Law Takes Away Second Amendment Rights

California's efforts to strengthen what already are some of the nation's strictest gun laws took two blows this ...


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.