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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 Times  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

The Supreme Court’s Next Gun Battle

An appeal filed at the court last week could change that. It asks the justices to decide the ...

Associated Press  

Thursday, January 19, 2017

Appeals court rules restrictions to gun-ranges in Chicago are unconstitutional

The appeals court on Wednesday ruled that city ordinances restricting gun ranges to manufacturing areas in Chicago are ...

Wednesday, January 18, 2017

Florida Alert! Please Read the Excellent Op-Ed by Congressman Matt Gaetz!

Congressman Matt Gaetz has written an excellent op-ed demonstrating his strong support for our Second Amendment freedoms.  He ...

Washington Times  

Tuesday, January 17, 2017

Jeff Sessions will restore justice to the Justice Department

Eric Holder and Loretta E. Lynch have been perhaps the most flagrant partisans ever to hold the office ...

New York Times  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Trump Promises Fast Action on Supreme Court Nomination

Pledging to move quickly to fulfill what he has called the most important promise of his campaign, President-elect ...

Associated Press  

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Arizona: Mayor declares Tombstone ‘Second Amendment City’

City officials have declared Tombstone a gun-friendly city saying guns are an integral part of the Old West.Tombstone ...

Washington Post  

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Trump to inherit more than 100 court vacancies, plans to reshape judiciary

Donald Trump is set to inherit an uncommon number of vacancies in the federal courts in addition to ...

Volokh Conspiracy  

Thursday, December 22, 2016

Second Amendment claim of felon with 25-year-old false statements conviction may go forward

In Hatfield v. Lynch (S.D. Ill. Dec. 20, 2016), the plaintiff sued for a declaration that the government ...

Washington Times  

Friday, December 16, 2016

The U.N. Arms Trade Treaty gives away the rights of all Americans

Another of President Obama’s brazen acts as he leaves office is a “parting shot” at American gun owners ...


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.