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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


Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kopel: Judge Kavanaugh and the Second Amendment

No nominee to the U.S. Supreme Court has had such a detailed record on Second Amendment as does ...

Fox News  

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kavanaugh's staunch gun-rights defense among hundreds of decisions in spotlight

Hundreds of Brett Kavanaugh’s decisions are now in the spotlight after President Trump formally selected him Monday night ...

Fox News  

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Kavanaugh brings clear reasoning to Second Amendment decisions

If we were to pick one symbol of freedom in today’s politically charged America, it must be the ...

Washington Times  

Wednesday, July 11, 2018

Anti-gun lawmakers decry Kavanaugh's gun ruling

Gun-rights activists are hoping they will have a sympathetic ear from President Trump’s new Supreme Court nominee, pointing ...

USA Today  

Tuesday, July 10, 2018

Kavanaugh: I revere the Constitution

After accepting President Trump's nomination to the Supreme Court, Brett Kavanaugh spoke about the Constitution.

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 ...

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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.