Explore The NRA Universe Of Websites

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 Times  

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Supreme Court Agenda in the Trump Era? A Justice Seems to Supply One

Justice Alito said that even conservative victories remained in peril. He paid tribute to what he called “perhaps ...

Washington Post  

Wednesday, November 23, 2016

Four predictions about President Trump’s Supreme Court

The court may also expand the rights of gun owners beyond its rulings in 2008 and 2010. One ...

Washington Post  

Friday, November 18, 2016

Alito’s guideline on issues of Americans’ liberties: ‘What would Scalia do?’

In a speech before the conservative Federalist Society’s National Lawyers Convention, Alito did not mention the election or ...

Associated Press  

Friday, November 18, 2016

Justice Thomas Calls Conservatives to Continue Scalia's Work

Supreme Court Justice Clarence Thomas says conservatives should make the work of the late Justice Antonin Scalia a ...

Washington Free Beacon  

Friday, November 18, 2016

Gun Rights Activists See Bright Future for Federal Courts

Gun rights activists are excited about the future of the nation’s federal courts.Gun advocates are focusing on who ...

USA Today  

Friday, November 18, 2016

Reconsider stun gun bans

Jaime Caetano started carrying a stun gun after multiple restraining orders against her violent ex-boyfriend failed to keep ...

Dallas Morning News  

Friday, November 18, 2016

Without gun rights, Texans would be serfs, not citizens

Firearms and Texans. Texans and firearms. There are few words in the popular lexicon that go together with ...

Washington Post  

Thursday, November 17, 2016

Sen. Dianne Feinstein will lead Democrats as they take on Trump’s Supreme Court nominees

Sen. Dianne Feinstein — who has taken on the gun industry, the CIA and civil-liberties advocates in her ...

Washington Post  

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

New Jersey concedes that state stun gun ban violates the Second Amendment

Last week, the New Jersey attorney general conceded that the New Jersey stun gun ban violates the Second ...

Washington Times  

Monday, November 14, 2016

Trump promises pro-gun judges

But Mr. Trump, in an interview with CBS News’ “60 Minutes,” stood his ground on Supreme Court picks, ...


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.