Yes. When the Founders recognized the natural right to arms in the Second Amendment, there were no limits on the types of arms contemplated. “Shall not be infringed” is not complicated or vague language. The musket was the “military-style assault weapon” of its day. While self-defense and hunting were two obvious purposes for bearing arms in 1791, Madison wrote of the essential nature of an armed citizenry in guaranteeing security from the kind of tyranny his generation had just defeated with privately-owned arms. The idea that the Founders might support the idea that citizens should be limited to arms less capable than those possessed by agents of aspiring tyrants is simply nonsensical.
It is obvious that certain types of weaponry should not be used outside of a military use. I can understand the limitations on Machine guns, and special permit use for those. But my ar 15, and AK 47 are reasonable weapons for me to possess. I don't need full auto. In times of national crisis, I can get a machine gun from an enemy. I just need to kill him.
Anti-gun advocates say no one needs an assault rifle outside of the military. The civilian AR or AK rifle sold is not the same as a military grade firearm. The resemblance is merely cosmetic.
They are efficient designs, nothing more. The receiver, barrel and furniture of civilian ARs and AKs do not use the same materials, durability or construction of military weapons for the most part. That is why one can buy a modern sporting rifle for $600 to $2,500, instead of tens of thousands. The military has to use firearms that can operate in all temperatures, weathers, altitudes and environments without cleaning or repairs for long periods. No civilian rifle could do that and survive.
that is awesome i agree
If civilians are not limited to arms less capable than those possessed by agents of aspiring tyrants would seem to suggest that people can own grenades, shoulder-launched missiles, antiaircraft tanks, and large weaponized drones -- and even nuclear bombs.
Your observation is correct, that is precisely what the 2nd Amendment suggests. The Founders clearly intended that the arms to be beared be sufficient to overcome any aggressor.
It most certainly does, doesn’t it? This is one of many reasons why the Founders decided Art 5 might be a good provision to add to the Constitution. They knew the future might be a little wild and, therefore, their words might have to be changed (through an arduous process) from time to time. They didn’t suspect their words would be conveniently ignored by the will of a few, or even a majority, who think they know what’s best in their heart of hearts. How many Americans would be comfortable with a campaign to ignore the First Amendment freedom of speech or the press because tools the Founders could have never foreseen allow terrorists to communicate with millions in the blink of an eye?
It is exactly the way it was intended. In the days of our founding fathers it was not uncommon to own a cannon for those who had the financial means. Especially if you were involved in trade. Ships had to have cannons. The civilian army also needed cannons. They would absolutely allow today the ownership of grenades and rocket launchers.
I agree citizens have the right to bear arms and there should not be any restrictions as what type of weapons they can own, our Founders knew what they were stating in our Constitution and it should remain as it is....
No honorable Patriot should have their right to own, Bear, carry, process, & to have for protection infringed orquestioned ! Our founding fathers knew what they were including by making the Second Amendment To Defend the First & Other Amendments ! It must be protected , respected & insured by all means necessary !
In my opinion it is less of a black and white answer than you suggest. We already have restrictions on arms (citizens can’t own bazookas, tanks, etc) and I think that is a good thing. We have to evaluate as a society/country where we want to lie on the spectrum of protecting individual rights vs national security. I’m curious, are you suggesting that citizens should be able to own any types of arms (including bazookas? Nuclear weapons?). Where do you draw the line of what is acceptable for citizens to own?
In my opinion hunting rifles, shotguns and fine. A shotgun is a great home defense solution. But to me an AR-15 should be treated like bazookas - it is a tremendously powerful weapon.
In all actuality, one can own a fully operational tank. With the right permits and huge pockets you too can own a tank. I was at a gathering in Kansas last year whete there was only fully automatic weapons being shot along with a handfull of fully operational Sherman Tanks with both the automatic terrot gun a 50 caliber machinegun and its operational 105 mm howitzer cannon. You can also find personally owned tanks on you tube. Look up the M4 Sherman Tank
This link from the AFT spells it out very clearly. Anything launching a projectile with a bore greater than 1/2 an inch is intended to be illegal. Any remotely modern tank gun is much bigger than that.
There may be some oddball loopholes (antiques, etc) but obviously the intent of the law is that citizens should not own fully armed and ready tanks.
The more bans and restrictions our communitees agree to, the more jeopardy our 2ND amendment is at!
It makes me physically ill that y'all can watch people; men, women & children slaughtered by guns & you shrug your shoulders & say it's fine, just as long as no one comes for your guns. Why is your right to bear arms more valuable than the lives snuffed out by them? Why are you okay with that? Why don't you cringe & cry about the lives not realized because of your selfishness? I mean, books & movies are written about villains who value themselves more than others, how do you not recognize yourselves in those scenarios? It's all about the greater good. So what if you have to register your weapons with the gov't if it keeps 1 out of the hands of even 1 bad person and saves even 1 life
Will not be infringed is very simple language. It doesn't include any limitations. Saying that that phrase refers only to muskets is obserd.
While Madison certainly warned against tyranny, isn't it telling that the Second Amendment specifically invokes "the security of a free state"? Even if you agree with Scalia and the Court that such a clause doesn't necessarily constrain the applicability of the Second Amendment, it would seem to be contradictory to assert that Madison's motive was to secure citizens against the state, when the text of the amendment specifically addresses the security of the state.
Part of the security of a free state is that citizens are well armed-as George Washington stated: "A free poeple ought to be armed and also dicsiplined."Pour security IS threatened more and more everytimevwe give in to another gun ban or restriction!
Also part of the origin of that line is that states needed to keep their militias maintained to protect from Federal and congressional control.
Yes the security of the state from federal. States were to remain autonomous from the centralized government. The security of a free State. The state being the people that lie within. It has always been people's security.
We will never know with certainty what the founding fathers would do if they were around today regarding the 2nd amendment. We do know with certainty, however, that they believed the constitution can and should be amended as times evolve. We are in a very different time. We have a track record of over 200 years of a strong democracy and a free press and the internet that are much more effective at stopping potential tyrannical behavior by the US or state governments.
Our government has overstepped boundaries in many recent shootings and police brutality cases. Personally, I’m glad these have been handled mostly through the press and the courts rather than affected groups taking up arms.
But without the 2nd amendment, all the other rights are meaningless. Its because of the ability to defend ourselves and our rights that we remain free.
The Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear arms. But it also allows for good and effective gun control. The Supreme Court has held that some arms are protected by the Second Amendment, such as handguns. But other arms, such as machine guns and grenade launchers, can be banned. And we can certainly restrict access to firearms by felons and the mentally ill. Of course, gun control can go too far and, if it does, it can undermine the Second Amendment. What should be the standard we use to determine which arms are protected and which are not?
Guns have uses that don’t harm society. I think we can identify these uses and limit sales to these kinds of guns. Useful purposes, in my view, are hunting for meat, target shooting for the fun of accuracy and, with locked storage, ownership of historic examples as collectors.
We have lost our way as a country when we allow ourselves to read “shall not be infringed” in the Bill of Rights to mean “shall not be infringed… except when imperfect law-makers believe such infringements would be ‘good’ and ‘effective’.” The brilliant Framers had enough foresight to understand conditions and sentiment would change over time. This is why they provided for a means of changing the Constitution in Art 5. If the Right to Arms is no longer considered important in today’s society, it should be legitimately amended or repealed, not interpreted to mean nothing at all in practical terms. Any gun control that limits the rights of citizens not proven to be a danger goes "too far."
Darren, you do realize that your chances of being killed by an AR15 is close to 0.00001% don't you. You are far more likely to be killed by your partner or doctor. But don't let silly things like facts get in the way of your derangement syndrome.
I feel the same way about cars when people get scared about automation when it kills one person when they walked into the car path yet human driving error kills thousands of people a day. It is critical to focus on the facts and real net outcomes of every decision we make as a society.
I have to respectfully disagree. Saying the right to hear arms is not considred important in modern society is strictly a personal opinion. For tens of Millions is is paramount.
The standard we have now, no more, no less.
If we can allow felons to gain the right to vote back, why can they not also gain this right back as well? Not all felons are convicted for violent offenses. Also, who gets to decide who is mentally ill? Not too long ago, trans people were considered mentally ill. Just how much leeway are you willing to give the government and at what point does it become infringement?
It depends. The Supreme Court's Heller decision stated that "dangerous and unusual arms" are outside the Second Amendment's protection. The Court specifically pointed to machine guns, and similar reasoning would exclude bazookas, sarin gas, nuclear bombs, and so on. The Court said that the Second Amendment protects arms in "common use" that are "typically used by law-abiding citizens for lawful purposes." Paradigmatically, this includes handguns. Properly applied, the Heller test forbids bans (but allows some regulation) for common rifles and shotguns, as well as for edged weapons (e.g. knives), blunt weapons (batons), stun guns, and defensive sprays.
This is certainly the current state of affairs legally but does it really make sense historically and logically? It’s hard to imagine Madison wanting the “people” he loved to be left at a perpetual disadvantage against the technological advancements in weaponry that the aspiring tyrants he so feared would most certainly avail themselves of over time. Didn’t the Miller court in 1939 reject his appeal because the shotgun in question did not serve a “military purpose” according to the Court? Wouldn’t this suggest that the scary-looking arms that gun control most want to ban today (“military-style”) are the same arms that have the greatest degree of protections pursuant to the Second Amendment?
The supreme court does not have the authority to over rule the constitution or amend it.
A concern is that the "common use" test, while seemingly neutral on face, might bias court decisions against restrictions on gun ownership. After all, when evaluating whether a certain arm is in common use, courts are likely to look at areas where such laws are not in place, which are often areas that have a natural tendency towards gun ownership, due to political ideology and value systems as well as simple concern for protection. A related indicator is that gun ownership skyrocketed under Obama's presidency, indicating that those who oppose gun regulations are more likely to own guns as a political calculation, skewing a court's considerations of what arms fall under "common use."
The Threat of Tyranny far outweighs the Threat of Gun Violence so people become aware of the Dangers Buy More Guns, & this is exactly WHY your forefathers recognised the need for the 2ND AMENDMENT PROTECTION that kept up with Technology of the Day and shouldn't be Restricted whether in 'common use' or not. While Nuclear weapons and Ballistic missiles aren't really considered as ARMS let alone something any individual could or should have when even most Nations shouldn't have them anyway & its Dishonest to consider them in the same classification of the 2ND AMMENDMENT
Part of the purpose of having a nationally enforceable Constitution is to set a national baseline for respect for civil rights. Thus, eccentric anti-rights jurisdictions still have to comply with national norms. For example, in the First Amendment, communities can ban "obscene" materials, but the test for what is obscene is based on a national standard, not whatever a censorious local community may not like. Similarly, an eccentric anti-self-defense legislature (e.g., the D.C. Council) can't ban arms that have been broadly accepted and used by the national American public.
The Supreme Court has clearly stated that the Second Amendment doesn’t create an unlimited right. In District of Columbia v. Heller, a case in which the court struck down Washington D.C.’s prohibition on handguns, the Supreme Court specifically stated that the Second Amendment is “not a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” The court went on to acknowledge, “M-16 Rifles and the like – May be banned.” The lower courts have followed this lead, upholding the vast majority of weapon restrictions. The real question is what weapons can the government regulate and how do courts draw the line?
Some limitations with reasonable rational supporting them including location consideration should be considered.
The discussion so far isn’t addressing the question of whether restrictions on certain firearms jeopardize the “legitimacy of the 2A.” It’s more of a discussion of what restrictions might fit within the constraints of a negotiated 5-4, bare-majority opinion of the Court. This is different altogether. The Framers recognized the peoples’ preexisting right to arms to ensure able-bodied men (the “militia”) could provide for the “security of a free state.” In light of this, can anyone argue that denying citizens the same state-of-the-art firearms technology that might be used by whatever forces would disrupt the “security of a free state” does anything but “threaten the legitimacy” of the 2A?
The Founders codified a pre-existing right which was subject to fairly stringent regulations. It was never understood to be unlimited. These regulations included de facto registration and mandatory training through the militia, limitations on the amount of gunpowder which could be possessed in the home, and stringent public carry limitations. It doesn't take away from the legitimacy of the Second Amendment to interpret it the way it was understood at the founding and the way it has been interpreted by the overwhelming majority of state and federal courts from the founding to the present day.
Please show proof of registration? Every male adult was assumed to be the militia and was expected to train with guns so I will give you that one. I have also never heard of a restriction on gunpowder or carry. They did not like concealed carry but open was fine. The exact opposite of today.
Apologies for the slow response. I made the initial post quite a while ago.
During the founding period there was de facto registration of gun owners through the militia. Members of the militia, which in theory included most men, were required to show up at specified times with their militia weapons for training and inspection. Actually registering guns would have been nearly impossible due to the lack of serialization and modern record keeping.
There were stringent laws about gunpowder storage and the carrying of firearms was limited by both statute and common law during the founding era.
A link to a repository of historical firearms regulations is available below for more detail.
Really? Stringent laws about gunpowder storage and the carrying of firearms? History Much?
So how did they register arms without serial numbers? The Militias were never mandatory. Citizen soldiers filed rank at their convenience. Try history 101 again.
Am interested in how the courts make their decisions. Politically or by constitutional process. Or by lobbies
With big payouts.
Heller also says guns in common use cannot be restricted. The AR-15 is one of the MOST popular guns in the USA and based on Heller is protected by the 2A.
This opinion is based upon a SC decision that both sides of this argument agree was steeped in bias.
Not toward pro or con Second Amendment, but biased in favor of the government, not the people.
Each side of course sees the appropriate SC response in their own light.
Regardless, this decision should be considered mute because it was made solely for the convenience of the government by convoluted reasoning vis-a-vis the Second Amendment.
Although it is stated in this Supreme Court case it does not mean it is assumed to be correct. I. Truth people are taking away weapons of civilians and handing them to the same cops that carry out violence.
The interesting thing is the Supreme Court in reality does not issue rulings, They issue opinions.
We don't have an oligarchy on 9 who issue proclamations.
The supreme court may have left some room for some limitations, but they also stated that it's a fundamental right and any restrictions have a very high hurdle to be legitimate.
In the end however it's the people who will have the final say, which leads to this question. https://www.gell.com/question/8Y7MgGAa/is-the-us-headed-towards-a-second-civil-war
If you take away arms from the citizens lawfully buying them you turn it into the hands of the criminals who will always find a way to secure them
In its landmark decision 2008 in U.S. v. Heller, the Supreme Court said: "Like most rights, the right secured by the Second Amendment is not unlimited." It went on to say that dangerous and unusal weapons could be prohibited. In fact, so far the Supreme Court has only decided that the 2A gives individuals a right to keep a handgun in their homes. See pages 54-56 of the Court's opinion, available here: http://www.scotusblog.com/wp-content/uploads/2008/06/07-290.pdf
While Heller is indisputably the law of the land, let me add that I, and many others, believe the Court was wrong in deciding that the 2A gives individuals a right to possess firearms outside of the militia.
The idea that the 2A recognizes anything but an individual citizen’s right isn’t something that was entertained until the mid 20th century. When Madison wrote “the right of the people,” it seems he meant “the right of the people” and not the right of the state or government. His generation wasn’t known as being particularly sloppy in its use of the written word. The word “people” is used in the 1st, 2nd, 4th, 9th and 10th amendments to the Constitution. Why would it mean something completely different in one of the five amendments? There are those who wish government officials could search without probably cause but we don't see them arguing that "people" in the 4A doesn't mean what it says.
Actually, from the time law reviews started being indexed beginning in the nineteenth century until 1960, every law review article that addressed the Second Amendment took the position that it only granted a collective right relating to service within the militia and did not grant an individual right. Every federal court decision - including three Supreme Court decisions - took the same position, from the beginning of the Republic until 2001. Acceptance of the individual right interpretation of the Second Amendment is therefore relatively new. When the Supreme Court adopted that interpretation in 2008, it reversed centuries of precedent to the contrary. See lined article for details.
This is absolutely untrue.
Please show examples, citations, and case law proving your post.
The Amendments were never considered anything but individual rights until the Seventies and the enculcation of the anti-gun movement.
In fact it's well known that lawmakers took specific advantage of the economic hardship and political environment of the depression era to make many sweeping changes to the depth and breadth of federal authority.
Whe did they state the 2nd amendment applied to a "well regulated militia" then? Why didn't they say "every citizen" instead?
The wording was very clear and unambiguous.
Regardless, I think we should always look at our beliefs and laws and see if they need changing. Our constitution allows for amendments for good reasons - sometime we get it wrong... and what is best for a society changes over time.
Canada has very high gun ownership but they have enacted common sense policies to help keep guns out of the hands of criminals and the mentally ill. They have 85% less gun deaths than the US.
It does conflict with the Second Amendment cuz any and all firearms should be included in as one
The Second Amendment truly States the right to own and bear arms shall not be infringed upon by our United States government by law governed by the constitutional right to bear arms anybody that thinks that that constitutional right shouldn't be in effect should leave the US now cuz you already on the United States citizen you are a communist Communists take away arms
US v Miller (1939), the ONLY case decided on 2A grounds prior to DC v Heller (2008) held that "gangster" weapons could be regulated as they had no valid military purpose. Thus, the restrictions imposed by the Nation Firearms Act of 1934 on suppressors (commonly called "silencers"), short barrelled rifles, short barrelled shotguns (the type of weapon at issue in the case), fully automatic weapons chambered in pistol calibers (Thompson submachine gun) COULD be regulated.
Military weapons COULD NOT.
In 1939, the Army didn't use it issue those weapons. Today it does. They are now "military" weapons civilian access to which the Second Amendment was written to guarantee.
The second amendment does not put restrictions on the firearms citizens can own. It states "a well armed..."
That gives us the right own what ever firearm it takes to protect ourselves from anyone we need to, including our own government if it becomes abusive towards the rights and freedoms.
Founding fathers did not anticipate the plethora of weapons that are available today. I believe in the second amendment rights as do most people I talk to. I understand collectors and people with interest in military weaponry. Fine collect the weapons, but why not have hoops you must jump thru. Aften hear the argument that if we were to regulate guns, in extreme opinions..believe your rights will be completely taken away. I agree...treat automatic weapons as we do cars. They can kill as well some say, if in the wrong hands...I say I agree, I had to take a written test and a driving test. I must renew my license and carry insurance. Why not treat automatic weapons the same way?
It can potentially be dangerous. Sadly, I believe one of two things will solve our "gun problem" (A). Switzerland, for example. Every law abiding citizen owns a gun, and they're also automatically on reserve for military service. (B). Amsterdam, for example. Only police and militia are allowed to have firearms. If you're caught with one, its a very lengthy prison sentence. We either need to require all law abiding citizens with a clean bill of health to have a firearm. Or outlaw all firearms.
The esteemed framers of our constitution had just broken free from the monarchy that sought to control firearms in face of the coming revolution. There was no standing military so arms bearing citizens were called to serve. Possession of firearms was critical to survival before the existence of wide-spread local law enforcement. Naturally the fragile new democracy needed to keep its citizens armed to ensure it's freedom (ie War of 1812)
Times have indeed changed. The need for an heavily armed citizenry has passed. The concentration of hand guns creates challenges for our police force which assumes that EVERYONE has a gun. GUN SAFETY should be the primary concern for every gun owner