• If you actually read the section in question, it says "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 right to bear arms is not, then, guaranteed without restrictions, but specifically in the context of the need for a militia to defend the freedom of the nation. Militia, in the context of the framers, means the rough equivalent of what is today called the National Guard, rather than the regular army, such as the British had sent against them. Also please note that the militia is described as being 'well-regulated'. This rules out the idea of the private army, always a danger rather than a support for the freedoms of a nation. In that context, regulation is legitimate on two counts -- the militia should be 'well-regulated' and the aim of the arms should be to produce the kind of citizen-soldier that won the Revolution. Since the citizen-soldier is represented not by the standing army, but by the National Guard, this makes the regulation of arms a state jurisdiction. Ironically, if US law was true to the constitutional framework of the right to keep and bear arms, there would be far more regulation that there is. One could argue, for example, that only those citizens who could serve had the right, and that training in the use of suitable armaments would be mandatory for ownership.
  • The real answer is not the definition of "militia" in the Second Amendment. This is not a settled subject, even in the courts (See the 5th Circuit's ruling on Emerson, for example), and is a raging debate in other circles. The real reason that state gun laws differ across the lines is that the Supreme Court has never ruled that the Second Amendment applies to the states. The Bill of Rights and the subsequent Amendments are an ennumeration of the rights of the individual people (would the first answerer care to explain why the "people" of the rest of the BoR are addressed as individuals but the "people" of the Second Amendment are the National Guard?) and the limitations placed on Federal powers. Through various cases brought before the Supremes, the other Amendments, except the 3rd concerning the quartering of troops in private residences, have been found to apply to the states via the 14th Amendment.
  • The only reason gunlaws differ from state to state is that citizen's rights have been more easily violated and/or suppressed in some states more than others. Example: Even though the US Supreme Courts has ruled abbortions legal throughout the land are there not various states that retrict that "right"??? Militia was and is now defined as all able-bodied men (now men and women) capable of bearing arms.. The NRA isn't trying to hide anything because there is nothing to hide! WE ARE the Militia.. All of us! And what those who would see a police-state always forget to mention is this part of the 2nd Ammendment: "..The Right of the People to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed..." If we used the anti-gun lobby's logic the 1st Ammendment would only apply to established newspapers and publishers.. not THE PEOPLE. This mirkiness occures only when it comes to the 2nd Ammendment by those seeking to disarm the public. The National Guard is a 20th Century entity and wasn't even thought of back when the US Constitution was being written. The National Guard is only a part of the overall Militia. Interesting footnote: The British were marching to Concord to do what? To disarm the Colonists there! So the 77 Minutemen who stood firm at Concord Bridge were there to make sure they kept their Right to Keep and Bear Arms. The 2nd Ammendment is an anti-tyranny law. Not a hunting license nor is it for the creation of the National Guard. It was to make sure that power stays with the people and it's very difficult for tyranny to reign when the people ALL the People guard their Right to Keep and Bear Arms.
  • ...amendments. Without a ruling from SCOTUS that a given amendment is binding on the states, the amendment applies only to the Federal level. The 1st, 4th, and 5th were found to apply via the 14th only after the appropriate case reached SCOTUS for review. The only 2A case to get that far was US v. Miller, in which the Court only ruled that a firearm had to have some military utility to receive 2A protection. For those who don't know, Miller was a moonshiner caught with a sawed-off shotgun, which was made illegal by the National Firearms Act of 1934. The trial and appeal courts found in favor of Miller based on his claim that he was protected under the 2A. Miller disappeared before the case reached SCOTUS and his lawyer did not appear before the court to defend Miller. It's interesting to note that the Feds could not get a ruling that specifically stated that the 2A didn't apply to individuals even when they were the only ones arguing the point in court.

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