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Briefcase: Bill of Rights, The Second Amendment

Guest, Dr. Melissa Hamilton


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Texas has one of the highest gun ownership rates in America, with over one million residents licensed to carry handguns. Dr. Melissa Hamilton, a visiting scholar at The University of Houston Law Center, explains how the Constitution addresses individual possession of firearms.

"The Second Amendment states that ‘the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' In 2008, the Supreme Court for the first time ruled that the Second Amendment grants a personal right, rather than a collective state right, to bear arms," Dr. Hamilton said. "Courts and state legislatures have differed on how far that right goes."

"Houstonians concerned about guns, in terms of self-protection and restricting criminal access, can tell their state legislators exactly what gun liberties or restrictions they support," Dr. Hamilton continued. "They can also organize community events to educate themselves about these issues."