The Right to Bear (Robotic) Arms
Duane Morris LLP
July 26, 2012
117 Penn State Law Review 755 (2013)
Can robotic weapons be “Arms” under the Second Amendment? This Article argues that they can. In particular, it challenges the claim that the Second Amendment protects only weapons that can be carried in one’s hands, which has roots in both Supreme Court Second Amendment doctrine (District of Columbia v. Heller) and scholarship. Scrutinizing these roots shows that Heller did not intend to create such a requirement and that little, if any, constitutional basis for it exists.
This Article also contextualizes robotic weapons within the established Second Amendment framework for arms. Robotic weapons are not yet arms, but there is no legal impediment — nor should there be — to them becoming arms.
Finally this Article presents an alternative theory of Second Amendment protection for robotic weapons based on auxiliary rights, in light of the Seventh Circuit case United States v. Ezell. It posits that Second Amendment auxiliary rights include the right to employ a bodyguard, whether human or robot.
Number of Pages in PDF File: 42
Keywords: Second Amendment, Constitution, Robots, Firearms, Guns, Technology
Date posted: July 27, 2012 ; Last revised: August 5, 2015