The Constitution (2nd)

More on The Second Amendment

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.

I’ve given the Second Amendment considerable thought and my conclusion is that there is no possible single, unambiguous understanding thereof.

That having been said, there persist popular misconceptions that should be debunked.

For example, people believe the Supreme Court has always held that the people have a right to carry firearms.  Period.  End of story.

Based on my admittedly limited research I say, “Not so.”

For decades the right to keep and bear arms was understood to be for purposes of service in a state militia.

In 2008 the Supreme Court added that a private citizen could keep and bear arms for self defense—but only handguns kept and used in the home.¹

Not any arms, anywhere, any time, for completely self-selected purposes.

In the same decision the Court declared that keeping and bearing a dangerous and unusual weapon was not automatically protected by the Second Amendment.

Also, in the same decision, the Court found that mentally ill persons and felons could be denied the right to keep and bear arms, also that this right could be limited/denied in/around schools and government buildings.

So, no—We the people don’t and never did have an unqualified constitutional right to keep and bear any arms anywhere, anytime, for any purpose.


Disclosure: I have no formal training in law.

¹ District of Columbia vs. Heller

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