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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

Associated Press  

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Michigan: Calley Encourages Gun-Rights Activists at Michigan Capitol

Lt. Gov. Brian Calley says gun owners don't need a "good reason" to exercise their constitutional rights.Calley, who ...

Sacramento Bee  

Wednesday, April 26, 2017

NRA takes aim at California to reverse its gun control laws

A firearms advocacy group has gone to court to challenge the constitutionality of California’s new assault weapons ban, ...

Chicago Sun Times  

Tuesday, April 18, 2017

Chicago: Reluctant aldermen relax rules governing shooting ranges

If the full City Council approves the changes advanced by the License and Zoning Committee, shooting ranges would ...

Associated Press  

Monday, April 17, 2017

N.J. moves closer to ending stun gun ban for residents

New Jersey is closer to settling a lawsuit that would end the state's ban on civilians buying stun ...

Bloomberg Reemerges to Shower Cash on Antigun Causes


Second Amendment  

Friday, April 14, 2017

Bloomberg Reemerges to Shower Cash on Antigun Causes

In 2014, Billionaire Michael Bloomberg pledged $50 million to “take on the NRA.”  Three years later, America’s embrace ...

USA Today  

Monday, April 10, 2017

In gun-taboo China, tourism to U.S. firing ranges grows

Dickson Wong, a marksman with a deep interest in firearms, arranges tours for groups of other Chinese gun ...

New York Times  

Thursday, April 6, 2017

G.O.P. and Democrats Set to Collide on Filibuster and Supreme Court

The Senate barreled toward an institution-rattling confrontation on Thursday over the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil M. ...

New York Times  

Wednesday, April 5, 2017

Senate Formally Takes Up Gorsuch Nomination, and Braces for Turmoil

The Senate on Tuesday began formal debate on the Supreme Court nomination of Judge Neil M. Gorsuch, hurtling ...

Volokh Conspiracy  

Tuesday, April 4, 2017

Firearms technology and the original meaning of the Second Amendment

Gun-control advocates often argue that gun-control laws must be more restrictive than the original meaning of the Second ...

New York Times  

Monday, April 3, 2017

Gorsuch Supreme Court Nomination Gains More Democratic Support

A third Democratic senator announced his support on Sunday for President Trump’s Supreme Court pick, Judge Neil M. ...


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.