The Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution acknowledges the right of the people to "keep and bear arms." What this phrase exactly means remains unresolved and hotly debated. The Supreme Court has yet to define what this phrase means in practice.

Does the Second Amendment Apply to the States?

In June 2010 the US Supreme Court officially decided that the Second Amendment’s right to bear arms does apply to the States. Consequently State gun control laws across the country are now facing questions about their constitutionality. In its decision, the Supreme Court gave few indications as to what types of gun restrictions would be considered constitutional and which would not. As such, more of these laws will have to move through the judicial system to narrow down the specifics of constitutionality.

Gun Advocates for the Right to Bear Arms

Groups debating over the right to bear arms into two general categories:  “pro-gun advocates” (those who support the right to bear arms) and “gun control advocates” (those who wish to limit the right to bear arms).  The following are key points of both pro-gun advocates and gun control advocates.

Pro-gun advocates believe that the Constitution guarantees people the right to possess and carry a firearm. Consequently, they view any legislation infringing upon this right as unconstitutional. The National Rifle Association (NRA) is the preeminent gun advocacy group.

Gun-control advocates believe that the Second Amendment does not grant the people the right to bear firearms, but only guarantees the states the right to form a militia.
Gun control advocates support:

  • More stringent firearm laws
  • More demanding background checks for prospective gun purchasers
  • Longer waiting periods for those purchasing firearms

Gun control advocates firmly believe that these measures will curb gun-related violence.

Should I Contact an Attorney Experienced with the Right to Bear Arms?

If you have been charged with gun possession you need to consult a criminal law attorney. If you feel that your right to carry a firearm has been compromised, a government lawyer experienced in the right to bear arms may be of assistance. Speaking with the proper attorney will inform you of your rights as a gun owner and help protect your interests.