The Amendments Project believes that the Second Amendment to the Constitution guarantees the right of all Americans to own guns. We strongly believe it guarantees our right to own a gun, and it is one of the most important rights in our Constitution.
It may come as a surprise to some that even those of us who argue that the Second Amendment establishes the right to own and bear arms for personal use agree that gun control laws are constitutional. Indeed, the notion that individual gun ownership is protected is so prevalent that some are unaware that federal courts have never found a gun law that violates the Second Amendment.
The second reason why most courts, from Heller to McDonald, have little trouble enforcing gun laws is the militia clause that precedes the right to own and bear arms. In the context of the Second Amendment, the militia clause is merely an addition to the First Amendment's "right to bear arms" clause. If the authors of this amendment provide any guide to our understanding of this, then the subject of our second amendment is the 'militia', not the private use of firearms.
To read the text of the Second Amendment in full, read it as follows: "A well-regulated militia is necessary for the security of a free state and is held by the state. The right to keep and bear arms must not be infringed, nor must it be infringed on the well-regulated militia, which is the right of all people to keep and bear arms, to be held and carried in a militia, or to protect a state, by an arm, against the government or a person, according to the law, either by the use of weapons or by ammunition.
A well-regulated militia is necessary for the security of a free state and is held by the state. The right to hold and bear arms must not be violated, nor the right of all people to hold and bear a militia or to protect a state by one arm, against the government or a person, according to the law, either through the use of weapons or by munitions. " Security in free states requires a well-regulated militia, and the rights of the people, namely the right to keep and bear, retain and bear arms, must not have been violated. The Second Amendment states that "the right is not only a constitutional right, but a fundamental right.
The Second Amendment states: "A well-regulated militia, which is the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be touched. The US Constitution merely protects the state's right to maintain a militia; it is up to each state whether or not its own people have the right to bear arms. This right may exist in a particular national constitution, but the Second Amendment concerns the militia and nothing else.
So, overall, Americans have legal access to weapons to join the militia, but the Second Amendment does not protect that right. The Second Amendment, which does not give individuals the right to bear arms, simply removes a particular constitutional law. If the language of the Second Amendment does not guarantee an individual the right to keep and bear arms, it would make sense for each state's constitution to include additional languages. In other words, despite the First Amendment's protection of individuals "right to bear arms, the Second Amendment is not intended to defend individuals" right to bear arms; it protects them.
Many gun rights advocates will insist that we need the Second Amendment to protect us now from tyrannical government. Supporters of the Second Amendment should advocate that the right be made available to all American citizens so that it has the same meaning and effect today as it did on the day it was ratified. If Republicans tell us that the Second Amendment stands in the way of sensible gun reform, that's what it should come down to.
The NRA, in particular, is fueled by the belief that the Second Amendment is the only thing standing between us and the tyrannical government. Crucially, the NRA has championed an individual right that protects the constitutional firepower it gives gun rights advocates. In doing so, it has transformed the country from a state - a militia - into a nation of individuals with the right to own weapons. If Democrats give up the fight on this issue, we should work to restore the rights of all Americans, not just the individual rights that individuals enjoy under the Second Amendment to the First Amendment, such as the right to own a gun.
It has become a conservative, conventional view that the Second Amendment gives individuals the right to bear arms. In a 5-4 decision, SCOTUS ruled that "the history and language of the Second Amendment protects the individual right to bear arms, not just as a militia. The 5-4 majority ruled: "The language and history of our Second Amendment show that it protects the right of individuals to own weapons for their own defense, not just for the militias maintained by the state.