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.

Upcoming Live Class:
Second Amendment
Week of May 9

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Constitutional Questions

When can the government limit the individual right to possess guns and other firearms—and when can’t it?

  • Does the Second Amendment protect a right to keep and bear arms only when reasonably connected with militia service? (This is known as the “collective rights” view of the Second Amendment.)
  • Or, does the Second Amendment also protect a freestanding right to keep and bear arms—one not necessarily connected to militia service? (This is known as the “individual rights” view of the Second Amendment.)
  • Which side do you think offers the better reading of the Second Amendment—the collective rights view (gun rights connected to militia service) or the individual rights view (guns rights as an individual right not necessarily connect to militia service)?
  • How have cases in the past defined how guns can be limited and when they cannot?
  • Hypothetical: Can a city pass a ban on carried and concealed firearms, only allowing for the carrying of handguns outside the home if a citizen can show a special need for self-protection?
Video: Scholar Exchange: The Second Amendment - Advanced Level
Video: Scholar Exchange: The Second Amendment - Introductory Level
Video: Scholar Exchange: The Second Amendment with Jeffrey Rosen
Video: Scholar Exchange: The Second Amendment with Clark Neily

Classroom Materials

Second Amendment - Briefing Document

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Second Amendment - Slides

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Second Amendment - Worksheets

Download - Advanced Version (Google Docs)

Read the Interpretations

Common Interpretation

The Second Amendment

by By Nelson Lund and Adam Winkler

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Matters of Debate

The Reasonable Right to Bear Arms

by By Adam Winkler

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Not a Second Class Right: The Second Amendment Today

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