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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

Spokesman Review  

Friday, September 23, 2016

Washington: Spokane Valley could become a Second Amendment sanctuary city under councilman’s proposal

A city councilman wants Spokane Valley to declare itself a Second Amendment Sanctuary City and symbolically proclaim the ...

Washington Post  

Wednesday, September 21, 2016

Federal appeals court questions D.C.’s restrictions on concealed carry of firearms

Appeals court judges had tough questions on Tuesday for the District’s lawyers about strict limits the city places ...

Desert Sun  

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

California: Palm Springs council to take final gun control vote

The Palm Springs City Council will take a final vote on a controversial firearms ordinance Wednesday, finalizing an ...

Washington Post  

Friday, September 16, 2016

Man who was involuntarily committed 30 years ago might regain Second Amendment rights

This morning’s 10-to-6 decision by the full U.S. Court of Appeals for the 6th Circuit, in Tyler v. ...

Associated Press  

Thursday, September 15, 2016

Judge Merrick Garland is back on the Hill

There was less excitement — and fewer cameras — surrounding Judge Merrick Garland’s visit than when he met ...

Washington Post  

Wednesday, September 14, 2016

The high court struck down D.C.’s gun ban eight years ago, but the fight continues

Nearly a decade after the Supreme Court struck down the District’s long-standing ban on handguns, the city is ...

New York Times  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Joe Biden to Lead New Push for Senate Vote on Merrick Garland

On Thursday, Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. will be on Capitol Hill to join congressional Democrats at ...

Washington Post  

Thursday, September 8, 2016

Can some people who have finished their felony sentences recover their Second Amendment rights?

Federal law indeed bans gun possession by felons — people who have been convicted of any “crime punishable ...


Wednesday, September 7, 2016

Democrats launch new push for Obama U.S. Supreme Court nominee

Supporters of Merrick Garland, President Barack Obama's U.S. Supreme Court selection, on Tuesday launched a new push to ...

Washington Times  

Monday, August 29, 2016

Majority of Americans say gun rights are more important than gun control

A majority of Americans think it is more important to protect the right to keep and bear arms ...


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.