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

Los Angeles Times  

Friday, May 19, 2017

NRA files second lawsuit challenging state gun laws, this time targeting ban on high-capacity magazines

A coalition including the National Rifle Assn. on Thursday filed a second lawsuit challenging California’s new gun laws, ...

Fox Business  

Monday, May 15, 2017

GOP lawmakers mark success with rules reversals

Congressional Republicans anxious to show voters they can get something done are hailing their reversal of more than ...

Las Vegas Review-Journal  

Wednesday, May 10, 2017

Nevada: Proposed ban on guns in libraries irks 2nd Amendment supporters

Senate Bill 115 would prohibit the possession of firearms in public libraries without written permission. The Assembly Judiciary ...

Associated Press  

Tuesday, May 9, 2017

Court Upholds Police Refusal to Let Hawaii Man Own Firearms

A federal appeals court has upheld the Honolulu Police Department's refusal to let a man who had been ...

New Research “Discovers” What Everyone Knew


Friday, May 5, 2017

New Research “Discovers” What Everyone Knew

A recent study in the Annals of Internal Medicine attempted to “determine changes in handgun acquisition patterns after ...

Town Hall  

Wednesday, May 3, 2017

Bizarro World Second-Amendment Decisions

In D.C. Comic’s fictional “Bizarro World,” all things are done opposite of here on Earth. According to the ...

Washington Post  

Tuesday, May 2, 2017

New Jersey stun gun ban struck down, by consent order; New Orleans ban repealed

Last week, the New Jersey stun gun ban was officially declared unconstitutional, by consent order between the New ...

Chicago Sun Times  

Monday, May 1, 2017

Chicago Guns Matter founder isn’t done with fight for a gun range

Rhonda Ezell was really sick.Suffering from kidney failure, lung disease and other ailments, she didn’t like to venture ...

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, ...


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.