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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

Chicago Tribune  

Friday, March 24, 2017

Schumer: Democrats will filibuster Gorsuch nomination

Senate hearings on Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch ended Thursday on a confrontational note, with the body's top ...

Washington Post  

Wednesday, March 22, 2017

Pressed on Heller, Gorsuch says it is ‘the law of the land’

Sen. Dianne Feinstein (Calif.), the ranking Democrat on the committee, pressed Gorsuch on the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision ...


Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Lawmakers Set to Grill Trump's U.S. Supreme Court Nominee

Dianne Feinstein, the senior Democrat on the committee, said she wanted assurances that Gorsuch would not seek to ...

Associated Press  

Tuesday, March 21, 2017

Gorsuch confirmation vote expected by April 10

Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley says the Senate is aiming to confirm Supreme Court nominee Neil Gorsuch ...

Town Hall  

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

2nd Amendment Rights – Some Setbacks, and a Few Wins

When the U. S. Supreme Court issued its seminal rulings in Heller (2008) and McDonald (2010), finding that ...

Alaska Dispatch News  

Monday, March 13, 2017

Wayward court rules for backdoor gun control

If ever there were justification to drug test the nation's judges, it would be the 4th U.S. Circuit ...

Washington Post  

Wednesday, March 8, 2017

7th Circuit to lower court and to Chicago: Stop foot-dragging on our gun ranges decision

From yesterday’s decision in In re Ezell:The plaintiffs seek a writ of mandamus to enforce their right to ...


Monday, March 6, 2017

Czech minister wants to guarantee the right to keep and bear arms

A constitutional amendment would enable Czechs to acquire and possess a gun for security purposes. This is a ...

Washington Post  

Monday, February 27, 2017

On gun violence, the 4th Circuit chooses fear over the law

For those who have been paying attention, the court’s decision is unsurprising. The federal judiciary has been undermining ...

California: Firearm and Hunting Legislation for 2017

Wednesday, February 22, 2017

California: Firearm and Hunting Legislation for 2017

Friday, February 17, marked the deadline for bill introductions in California.  A number of firearm- and hunting-related bills ...


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.