Do Americans have a right to bear arms?

via Quora – Dec. 2015

Stephen Lee, PhD, Modern European History, specialist in imperialism and revolutions.


1 comment to Do Americans have a right to bear arms?

  • perachtis

    The author starts the legal perspective by reference to DC vs Heller (2008); but for those of us centered on the “militia” segment of the Amendment, perhaps two earlier decisions are fundamental. In United States v. Cruikshank (1876), the Supreme Court of the United States 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” and limited the applicability of the Second Amendment to the federal government. In United States v. Miller (1939), the Supreme Court ruled that the federal government and the states could limit any weapon types not having a “reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia”.

    In an article in the Washington Post by retired Supreme Court justice J.P. Stevens addressing six elements of the U.S. Constitution Amendments, he proposed rewording the 2nd thusly: “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms when serving in the Militia shall not be infringed.”

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