Briefcase

The Bill of Rights: The Second Amendment

Establishing the Constitutional right to bear arms.

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The Bill of Rights has guaranteed our freedoms and rights for over 200 years. Dean Leonard Baynes with the University of Houston Law Center looks at how they still relate to society today.

“The Second Amendment establishes the constitutional right to bear arms. Historically there's been uncertainty whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right, or only a collective right to bear arms as part of a militia.”

“In 2008, the Supreme Court resolved this uncertainty. It held that law-abiding citizens had the individual right to possess arms for private use, such as self-defense.”

“In 2022, the Supreme Court further expanded gun rights by striking down a New York law requiring a special need to carry a concealed gun in public. The Court said the government must prove that any limits imposed are consistent with the nation's historical regulation of firearms.”

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