United States Constitution - Bill of Rights: "Second Amendment"


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 Second Amendment (Amendment II) to the United States Constitution is the part of the United StatesBill of Rights that protects the right to keep and bear arms. It was adopted on December 15, 1791, along with the rest of the Bill of Rights. Two U.S. Supreme Court rulings in 2008 and 2010 clarified the meaning of the Second Amendment. In District of Columbia v. Heller, the Court ruled that the Second Amendment protects an individual's right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawfulpurposes, such as self-defense within the home. It further held that three Washington, D.C. ordinances banningusable firearms in the home were in violation of the Second Amendment. In McDonald v. Chicago, the Courtdetermined that the Second Amendment limits state and local governmental authority to the same extent that it limitsfederal authority. The Supreme Court also stated that its ruling was not to be taken as an indication that all firearm restrictions are unconstitutional. The original hand-written copy of the Bill of Rights, approved by the House and Senate, was prepared by scribe William Lambert and resides in the National Archives.