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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
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Sunday, March 9, 2008

NRA-ILA

Protecting our Second Amendment Freedom and Hunting Heritage

News  

Friday, February 22, 2008

A (Really) Brief History of the "Collective" Right to Keep and Bear Arms

As the Supreme Court prepares to hear the case of District of Columbia v. Heller, involving the District’s ...

News  

Friday, February 8, 2008

Statement From Wayne LaPierre And Chris W. Cox On Vice President Dick Cheney Signing Congressional Amicus Curiae Brief In D.C. Case

On behalf of four million NRA members and 80 million American gun owners, we would like to thank ...

News  

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Ten Facts You Need to Know About <I>Heller.</I>

On November 20, the Supreme Court agreed to hear one of the most important Second Amendment cases in ...

News  

Friday, February 8, 2008

The Ten Facts You Need to Know About <I>Heller.</I>

On November 20, the Supreme Court agreed to hear one of the most important Second Amendment cases in ...

News  

Thursday, February 7, 2008

NRA Files Amicus Brief in U.S. Supreme Court, D.C. v. Heller

Fairfax, Va. - The National Rifle Association (NRA) and the NRA Civil Rights Defense Fund today submitted an ...

News  

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Statement of the National Rifle Association By Wayne LaPierre And Chris Cox On The Pending U.S. Supreme Court Case

In the coming months, the U.S. Supreme Court will consider the constitutionality of Washington, D.C.’s ban on handgun ...

News  

Wednesday, January 9, 2008

San Francisco Gun Ban Ruled Null and Void

The California State Court of Appeals announced today their decision to overturn one of the most restrictive gun ...

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Wednesday, December 19, 2007

The Supreme Decision

The U.S. Supreme Court has agreed to hear the D.C. gun ban case, setting the stage for a ...

News  

Thursday, November 15, 2007

Follow the Money

Why does a new report from the International Association of Chiefs of Police read like every gun-ban strategy ...

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NRA ILA

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.