Handgun Prohibition and the Original Meaning of the Second Amendment

52 Pages Posted: 18 Apr 2017

Date Written: April 15, 1983

Abstract

This article explores the connection between suggested handgun prohibition or confiscation and the Second Amendment by first resolving the controversy between the individual right view and the exclusively states’ rights view. (The states’ rights view is erroneous.) The article then analyzes the history of the amendment’s proposal and ratification, the philosophical and historical background that gave rise to the Founders’ belief in the necessity for an armed populace, and the contemporary understanding of the Second Amendment. The article then considers the amendment’s subsequent judicial interpretations, and the question of its incorporation against the states, before returning to constitutional limitations on the right to keep and bear arms.

Keywords: Second Amendment, original meaning, Constitution, crime, self-defense, war

JEL Classification: k14

Suggested Citation

Kates, Don B., Handgun Prohibition and the Original Meaning of the Second Amendment (April 15, 1983). Michigan Law Review, Vol. 82, No. 204, 1983, Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=2953447

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