The Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution protects the right to keep and bear arms. It was ratified on December 15, 1791, along with nine other articles of the Bill of Rights. In District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), the Supreme Court affirmed for the first time that the right belongs to individuals, for self-defense in the home, while also including, as dicta, that the right is not unlimited and does not preclude the existence of certain long-standing prohibitions such as those forbidding "the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill" or restrictions on "the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons". In McDonald v. City of Chicago (2010) the Supreme Court ruled that state and local governments are limited to the same extent as the federal government from infringing upon this right.The Second Amendment was based partially on the right to keep and bear arms in English common law and was influenced by the English Bill of Rights of 1689. Sir William Blackstone described this right as an auxiliary right, supporting the natural rights of self-defense and resistance to oppression, and the civic duty to act in concert in defense of the state. Any labels of rights as auxiliary must be viewed in the context of the inherent purpose of a Bill of Rights, which is to empower a group with the ability to achieve a mutually desired outcome, and not to necessarily enumerate or rank the importance of rights. While both James Monroe and John Adams supported the Constitution being ratified, its most influential framer was James Madison. In Federalist No. 46, Madison wrote how a federal army could be kept in check by state militias, "a standing army ... would be opposed [by] a militia." He argued that state militias "would be able to repel the danger" of a federal army, "It may well be doubted, whether a militia thus circumstanced could ever be conquered by such a proportion of regular troops." He contrasted the federal government of the United States to the European kingdoms, which he described as "afraid to trust the people with arms", and assured that "the existence of subordinate governments ... forms a barrier against the enterprises of ambition".By January 1788, Delaware, Pennsylvania, New Jersey, Georgia and Connecticut ratified the Constitution without insisting upon amendments. Several amendments were proposed, but were not adopted at the time the Constitution was ratified. For example, the Pennsylvania convention debated fifteen amendments, one of which concerned the right of the people to be armed, another with the militia. The Massachusetts convention also ratified the Constitution with an attached list of proposed amendments. In the end, the ratification convention was so evenly divided between those for and against the Constitution that the federalists agreed to the Bill of Rights to assure ratification. In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court ruled that, "The right to bear arms is not granted by the Constitution; neither is it in any manner dependent upon that instrument for its existence. The Second Amendments [sic] means no more than that it shall not be infringed by Congress, and has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the National Government." In United States v. Miller (1939), the Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment did not protect weapon types not having a "reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia".In the 21st century, the amendment has been subjected to renewed academic inquiry and judicial interest. In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court handed down a landmark decision that held the amendment protects an individual's right to keep a gun for self-defense. This was the first time the Court had ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees an individual's right to own a gun. In McDonald v. Chicago (2010), the Supreme Court clarified that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporated the Second Amendment against state and local governments. In Caetano v. Massachusetts (2016), the Supreme Court reiterated its earlier rulings that "the Second Amendment extends, prima facie, to all instruments that constitute bearable arms, even those that were not in existence at the time of the founding" and that its protection is not limited to "only those weapons useful in warfare". The debate between various organizations regarding gun control and gun rights continues.

View More On
  1. L84Cabo

    New Book: In Defense of the Second Amendment

    So there is a new book out, written by Larry Correia, who is the author of the Monster Hunter books (if you're familiar with them). Just wondering if anyone read this yet...and what you thought? Here is an Amazon linky...
  2. RobMa

    The second amendment is a curse?? Leftist rantings.
  3. gsparesa

    What's Going on in Oregon and Washington in the Fight to Save Your Second Amendment Rights?

    12/26/2022 - Here is the latest news. View Here. If you care, how about donating to the companies, like Federal Way Discount Guns, who are fighting for our gun rights? Donate Here. Yes, I donated.
  4. RobMa


    "Democrats have pushed yet another troubling gun control bill through the House Judiciary committee, setting it up for a floor vote. The bill is H.R.8361 – Preventing Suicide Through Voluntary Firearm Purchase Delay Act."
  5. Soren

    The Second Amendment is My Permit!

    Found this over on Reddit. Front of the card says: Constitutional Arms Permit Pursuant to the United States Constitution, Amendment II, wherein it states "…the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed." This permit in possession of the Bearer Re-affirms the sovereign...
  6. RobMa

    And yet another shooting for the dems to use against the second amendment and millions of law-abiding Americans

    Let the ranting and exploiting begin from the anti-gunners... :s0109:
  7. L84Cabo

    Federalist Society: Bruen’s Preliminary Preservation of the Second Amendment

    Great but long article in the Federalist Society discussing the inherent inconsistency with Bruen and that future 2a cases may not be decided solely on the basis of "text, history, tradition." The glaring problem with Bruen is that there is no relevant text, history, or tradition in 1791 that...
  8. Heyjoe

    Badge for Idaho Second Amendment Alliance members

    We have badges for national lobby groups such as NRA, SAF as well as state lobby groups in Washington and Oregon. I understand us Idaho based members are sort of the red-headed step-child around here but it would be neat to have a ISAA badge as an option. How about it?
  9. bentoncity

    National  FBI Pressured Americans to Waive Second Amendment Rights, Gun Group Says

    I searched the web for this, "FBI Pressured Americans to Waive Second Amendment Rights, Gun Group Says.". I get notices from different gun advocate groups but I've never heard of this before. There's a story on it here. I guess the story came from GOA of which I support. I don't remember seeing...
  10. Kyrsen

    When I think of P17 I think of…

    “Ida B. Wells, the leading journalist opposing lynching, agreed. In the nationally-circulated pamphlet Southern Horrors, Wells documented cases in Kentucky and Florida, "where the men armed themselves" and fended off lynch mobs. "The lesson this teaches," Wells wrote, "is that a Winchester rifle...
  11. po18guy

    Washington  Second Amendment Foundation confronts AG Bob Ferguson

    An email just received from the Second Amendment Foundation. For those wishing to express their indignation or disapproval, here is the contact page for the Washington Attorney General's office: Caution: Be civil, be reasonable, be...
  12. cigars

    The best pro second amendment political campaign ad ever

    Summed up quite nicely. Go Jerone!
  13. CLT65

    Second amendment sanctuary - recall?

    I'm not very political, and I don't mean this to be political (I apologize in advance if this isn't allowed here), but something is happening here that has me curious. There's a recall effort in Yamhill county against a commissioner. Nobody seems to really know what she is supposed to have...
  14. GWS

    Tiffany Smiley Position On The Second Amendment?

    She's the Republican candidate running against Patty Murray for a WA Senate seat. Does anyone know what her position is on our Second Amendment rights? I won't donate any money till I know where she stands on this.
  15. Lennie

    Stop Treating the Second Amendment as a Second-Class Right | Opinion
  16. DivCurlGrad72

    Oregon  Lane County Second Amendment Sanctuary

    Info from OFF: Last Chance for Registered Lane County Voters to Sign the SASA Petition. The Second Amendment Sanctuary Amendment would turn Lane County into a Sanctuary for gun owners. The SASA will not protect felons in the possession of a gun and it does not protect anyone using a gun to...
  17. 3MTA3

    National  Using The Tactics Of The Left To Protect The Second Amendment

    Several states are using the Firearm Sanctuary strategy to prevent Federal erosion of firearm rights. I had no idea that the "Sanctuary" model it's based on began in Oregon. What is great about this approach is that the left can't claim it's invalid without invalidating the "Sanctuaries" they...
  18. Brenton 541

    For the love of the second amendment and enjoying firearms

    Hear to buy sell trade learn and collect
  19. ATCclears

    International  Czech's implement their own Second Amendment

    The amendment states that "the right to defend one's life or the life of others, even with the use of weapons, is guaranteed."
  20. Lennie

    Colion Noir: Liberals want to stack one law on top of another to push out Second Amendment
Back Top