Gun Control

A well regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed."



The fact that the sentence does not make grammatical sense has only added fuel to the debate about what its true meaning is.

Is the key part "a well regulated militia" - meaning that only people who belong to a militia should be armed? And if so, what constitutes a militia in the modern day? In 1791 it represented a group that armed itself against the British army.

Is the key part instead "the people"? And if so, who are "the people"?

It's clear which part of the amendment gun enthusiasts see as most relevant - a sign in the lobby of the National Rifle Association (NRA) Museums in Virginia cuts off the first 13 words and says only: the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed




  • District of Columbia v. Heller, (2008) - The Court ruled the Second Amendment to reference an individual right, holding: The Second Amendment guarantees an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.[1]

  • McDonald v. City of Chicago, (2010) - The Court ruled that the Second Amendment was incorporated against state and local governments, through the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment.

In the decision, the Court said:

In Heller, we held that the Second Amendment protects the right to possess a handgun in the home for the purpose of self-defense. Unless considerations of stare decisis counsel otherwise, a provision of the Bill of Rights that protects a right that is fundamental from an American perspective applies equally to the Federal Government and the States. We therefore hold that the Due Process Clause of the Fourteenth Amendment incorporates the Second Amendment right recognized in Heller.

New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen The Supreme Court is considering whether a gun-control law in New York unconstitutionally restricts the right to bear arms. At the heart of this case is a big question: Do Americans have a Second Amendment right to carry guns outside their homes? (The court ruled in 2008 and 2010 that Americans have a right to keep firearms within their homes.) Nov. 3, 2021 The case is the first major gun-rights case that the Supreme Court has heard in over a decade, it is also the first gun-rights case to be heard by the six-member conservative majority, which include Justices Clarence Thomas, Neil Gorsuch and Brett Kavanaugh who have stated the need in prior opinions for the Supreme Court to review the current stance on 2nd Amendment cases