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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

Wall Street Journal  

Friday, October 21, 2016

Clinton explains how she’ll gut the First and Second Amendments

Donald Trump is no legal scholar, but at Wednesday’s presidential debate he showed a superior grasp of the ...

Wall Street Journal  

Friday, October 21, 2016

Clinton Misstated Focus of Gun Law in Debate Answer

On the presidential debate stage Wednesday, Democratic presidential nominee Hillary Clinton staked out a position seeking to affirm ...

Washington Times  

Friday, October 21, 2016

Hillary Clinton says D.C. v. Heller disagreement was about keeping guns away from toddlers

During Wednesday night’s presidential debate, Hillary Clinton defended her disagreement with the landmark U.S. Supreme Court decision on ...

Associated Press  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

AP Fact Check: Clinton misstates high court ruling on guns

While Clinton emphasized the protection of children from gun accidents, the main holding in that case was far ...


Thursday, October 20, 2016

New NRA ad calls Clinton a liar

The National Rifle Association is out with one of its hardest hits on Hillary Clinton yet, just in ...

Columbus Dispatch  

Thursday, October 20, 2016

NRA targets women voters in Ohio with ads

The National Rifle Association has targeted Ohio as a top market for its blitz of TV commercials that ...

Washington Times  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Clinton’s vow to push Supreme Court left galvanizes conservatives wary of Trump

Her promise to use Supreme Court nominations to push a left-wing agenda did more than anything Mr. Trump ...

Columbus Dispatch  

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Son of Donald Trump attends 2 Ohio gun events

Donald Trump’s Ohio campaign rolled out a secret weapon to seal the deal for the GOP nominee with ...

Baltimore Sun  

Friday, October 7, 2016

Maryland handgun licensing law challenged in federal court

Gun-rights activists are challenging a Maryland handgun licensing law in federal court.Maryland Shall Issue, a gun store and ...

Radio New Zealand  

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

CNMI governor still keen to amend gun law

The Northern Marianas governor says he is dismayed by many of the rulings of the NMI District Court ...


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.