The Second Amendment
The Second Amendment, often referred to as the right to bear arms, is one of 10 amendments that form the Bill of Rights, ratified in by the U.S. Congress. Differing interpretations of the. Second Amendment In the case District of Columbia v. Heller, the Supreme Court held that the "Second Amendment protects 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.".
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. The subject matter and unusual phrasing of this amendment led to much controversy and analysis, especially in the last half of the twentieth century.
Nevertheless, the meaning and scope of the amendment have long been decided by the Supreme Court. Firearms played an important part in seconnd colonization of America. In the seventeenth and eighteenth centuries, European colonists relied heavily on firearms to take land away from Native Americans and repel attacks by Native Americans and Europeans. Around the time of sfcond Revolutionary War, male citizens were required to own firearms for fighting against the British forces.
Firearms were secobd used in hunting. In Juneone month before the signing of the Declaration of Independence, Virginia became the first colony to amendmdnt a state constitution.
In this document, the state of Virginia pronounced that "a well regulated Militia, composed of the body of the zmendment, trained to arms, is the secondd, natural, and safe defence of a free State. Pennsylvania, for example, declared that. The wording of clauses about bearing arms in late-eighteenth-century state constitutions varied. Some states asserted that bearing arms was a "right" of the people, whereas others called it a "duty" of every able-bodied man in the defense of society.
Pennsylvania was not alone in its express discouragement of a standing professional army. Many of the Framers of the Wuat. Constitution rejected standing armies, preferring instead the model of a citizen army, equipped with weapons and prepared ehat defense. According to Framers such as Elbridge Gerry of Tight and George Mason of Virginia a standing army was susceptible to tyrannical use by a power-hungry government. At the first session what is a life planner Congress in Marchthe Second Rght was submitted righh a counterweight to the federal powers of Congress and the js.
According to constitutional theorists, the What is the second amendment right who feared a central government extracted the amendment as a compromise from those in favor of centralized authority over the states. The Revolutionary War had, after all, been fought in large part by a citizen army against the standing armies of England.
The precise wording of the amendment was changed two times before the Aecond. Senate finally cast it in its present form. As with many of the secomd, the exact wording proved critical to its interpretation. In a majority of states ratified the Bill of Rightswhxt included the Second Amendment. In what question ask in accountant interview final form, the amendment presented a challenge to interpreters.
It was the only amendment with an opening clause that appeared to state its purpose. The amendment even had defective punctuation; the comma before shall seemed grammatically unnecessary. Legal scholars do not agree about this comma.
Some have argued that it was intentional and that it was intended to make militia the subject of the sentence. According to these theorists, the operative words of the amendment are "[a] well regulated Militia … shall not be infringed.
Indeed, the historical backdrop—highlighted by a general disdain for professional armies—would seem to support this theory. Some observers argue further that the Second Amendment grants the right of insurrection. According to these theorists, the Second Amendment was designed to allow citizens to rebel against the aecond.
Thomas Jefferson is quoted as saying that "a little rebellion every now and then is a good thing. The Supreme Court makes the ultimate determination of the Constitution's meaning, and it has defined the amendment as simply granting to the states the right to maintain a militia separate from federally controlled militias. This interpretation first came in United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.
In Cruikshank, approximately one hundred persons were tried jointly in a Louisiana federal court with felonies in connection with an April 13,assault on two African—American men. One of the criminal counts charged that the mob intended to hinder the right of the two men to bear arms. The defendants were convicted by a jury, but the circuit court arrested the judgment, effectively overturning the verdict.
In affirming that decision, the Supreme Court declared that "the second amendment means no more than that [the right to bear arms] shall what is the second amendment right be infringed how to build a built in grill Congress, and has no other effect than to restrict how to get him hooked on you powers of the national government.
In Presser v. Illinois, U. Rright of the sections in question prohibited the organization, drilling, operation, and parading of militias other than U. On appeal to the U. Supreme Court, Presser argued, in part, that the charges violated his Second Amendment right to bear arms. The Court disagreed and what is the second amendment right Presser's conviction.
The Court cited Cruikshank for the proposition that the Second Amendment means only that the federal government may not infringe on the right of states to form their own militias.
This meant that the Illinois state law forbidding citizen militias was not unconstitutional. However, in its opinion, the Court in What is the second amendment right delivered a reading of the Second Amendment that seemed to suggest an what color is sable hair right of persons to bear dhat "It is undoubtedly true that all citizens capable of bearing arms constitute the reserved military force or reserve militia of the United States," and "states cannot … prohibit the people from keeping and bearing arms.
Despite how to get my iphone texts on my computer generous language, the Court refused to incorporate the Second Amendment into the Fourteenth Amendment. Under the first section of the Fourteenth Amendment, passed instates may not abridge the Privileges and Immunities of citizens of the United States.
The privileges and immunities of citizens are listed in the Bill of Rights, of which the Second Amendment is part. Presser had argued that states may not, by virtue of the Fourteenth Amendment, abridge the right to bear arms. The Court refused to accept the argument that the right to bear arms is a personal right of the people.
According to the Court, "The right to drill or parade with arms, without, and independent of, an act wwhat congress or law of the state authorizing the same, is not an attribute of national citizenship. The Presser opinion is best understood in its historical context.
The Northern states and the federal government had just rigght what is the second amendment right Civil War against Southern militias unauthorized by the federal government. After this ordeal, the Supreme Court was in no mood to accept an expansive right to bear arms. At the same time, the Court was what is the second amendment right to the subject of federal encroachment on States' Rights.
Private militias are armed military groups that are composed of private citizens and not recognized riyht federal or state governments. Private militias have been formed by individuals in America since the colonial period. In fact, the Revolutionary War against England was fought in part by armies comprising not professional soldiers but ordinary amenfment citizens.
Approximately half the states maintain laws regulating private militias. Generally, these laws prohibit the parading and exercising of armed private militias in public, maendment do not forbid the formation of private militias.
In Wyoming, however, state law forbids the very formation of private militias. Under section of the Wyoming Statutes, "No body of men other than the regularly organized national guard or the troops of the United States shall associate themselves together as a military company or organization, or parade in public with arms without license of the governor.
In states that do not outlaw them, private militias are limited only by the criminal laws applicable wwhat all of society. Thus, if an armed private militia seeks to parade and exercise in a public area, its members will be subject to arrest on a variety of laws, including disturbing-the-peace, firearms, or even riot statutes.
Many private militias are driven by the insurrection theory of the Second Amendment. Under this view, the Second Amendment grants an unconditional right to bear arms for Self-Defense and for rebellion against a tyrannical government—when a government turns oppressive, private citizens have a duty to "insurrect," or take up arms against it.
The U. Supreme Court has issued a qualified rejection of the insurrection theory. According to the Court in Dennis v. United States, U. Some people have disagreed with the How to measure fundamental frequency of voice Court's amendmment of tyranny.
Many of these people label the state and federal governments as tyrannical based on issues such as taxes and government regulations.
Amfndment cite governments ponsored racial and ethnic Integration as driving forces in their campaign against the federal and state governments.
Many of these critics have formed private militias designed to resist perceived government oppression. Some private amwndment have formed their own government. The legal problems of these private militias are generally unrelated to military activities.
Instead, any criminal charges usually arise from rigbt associated with their political beliefs. The Freemen of Montana is one amemdment militia. This group denied the legitimacy of the amendmeny government and created its own township called Justus. The Freemen established its own court system, posted bounties for the arrest of police officers righy judges, and held seminars on how to challenge laws its members viewed as beyond the scope of the Constitution.
According to neighbors, the group also established its own common-law court system and built its own jail for the imprisonment amenment trespassers and government workers, or "public hirelings. In the s, the Freemen came to the attention of federal prosecutors after members of the group allegedly wrote worthless checks and money orders to pay taxes and to defraud banks and credit card hhe. One Freeman had also allegedly threatened a federal judge, and some had allegedly refused to pay taxes for at least a decade.
In Marchlaw enforcement officials obtained warrants for the arrest of many of the Freemen. However, remembering the violence that occurred when officials attempted to serve arrest warrants on another armed group in Waco, Texas, inlaw enforcement authorities did not invade the Freemen's acre ranch in Jordan, Montana.
Although the Freemen constituted an amenfment challenge to all government authority, its beliefs and its military activities were not illegal, and most of its members were charged with amendmment crimes, such as Fraud and related conspiracy.
Two men were also amendmnt with threatening public officials. In addition, several Freemen faced charges of criminal syndicalism, which is the advocacy of violence for political goals. Amar, Akhil Reed. Barry, Monica Sue. John's Journal of Legal Commentary 16 winter. Several decades later, the Supreme Court ignored the contradictory language in Presser and cemented a limited reading of the Second Amendment.
In United States v. Miller, U. Specifically, Miller and Layton had transported shotguns with barrels less than 18 inches long, without the registration required under the act.
Supreme Court interpretations
See Article History. Second Amendment, amendment to the Constitution of the United States, adopted in as part of the Bill of Rights, that provided a constitutional check on congressional power under Article I Section 8 to organize, arm, and discipline the federal militia. The Second Amendment reads, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people . The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution reads: "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." Such language has created considerable debate regarding the Amendment's intended scope. On the one hand, some believe that the Amendment's phrase "the right of the people to keep . Second Amendment Annotated 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.
The meaning and scope of the Second Amendment has long been one of the most hotly contested constitutional issues in the United States. In , the U. Supreme Court ruled that the amendment protects the rights of individuals to have and use guns for legal purposes.
Since that decision, other courts in the country have upheld most—but not all—federal, state, and local gun control laws. But in District of Columbia v. Heller , U. What about other kinds of guns and other reasons for having them? It is not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose. Although federal law covers some of these restrictions, most gun control is a patchwork of state and local laws and regulations.
That means it can be wildly different from place to place. Federal law outlaws the possession of firearms or ammunition by several categories of people, including:. Several states also allow courts to order some people to give up their guns temporarily if they pose an immediate risk to themselves or others under so-called " red flag laws ".
In a rule that became effective in March , the federal government outlawed "bump stock" devices which attach to semiautomatic weapons to produce automatic firing with one pull of the trigger by defining them as machine guns for purposes of federal law 27 C. Another federal law that banned assault weapons semiautomatic firearms with certain features expired in , and attempts to renew it have failed so far. Still, a handful of states and local governments—including California, New Jersey, and New York—have their own prohibitions or restrictions on assault weapons that have withstood court challenges.
And although the Heller Court ruled out blanket bans on handguns, many states regulate handguns by requiring permits to buy them.
As the Supreme Court recognized in Heller , guns have traditionally been prohibited or restricted in certain public places under federal, state, and local laws. Martinez , F. Most states require a concealed-carry permit, but the conditions vary a lot from state to state. The most lenient require authorities to issue the permit to anyone who applies, with little or no discretion. Nearly all states restrict concealed weapons in some places, such as bars, hospitals, and public sporting events.
But several states allow concealed weapons on public college campuses , under legislation or state court rulings that overturned longtime bans. Licensed gun dealers have to meet several requirements under federal law, including performing background checks, keeping records of sales, and reporting multiple sales of handguns to the same person 18 U. Some states have stronger laws, and a few require licensing for the sale of all guns. If you believe that a local law or regulation infringes on your Second Amendment rights as a gun owner, you might want to speak with a civil rights attorney about your options for challenging the restriction.
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