Mental Illness and the Second Amendment

52 Pages Posted: 9 Sep 2018

Date Written: July 28, 2013


Until surprisingly recent times, American laws seldom attempted to regulate the possession of firearms by the mentally ill. Since then, a series of highly publicized mass murders by persons who were, before the crime, identifiably mentally ill have focused attention on the question of how a free society should handle the conflict between the Second Amendment’s “right of the people” and the needs of public safety. This paper examines why regulation suddenly became necessary, the conflicts between civil liberties and public safety, and suggests some strategies to deal with these conflicts.

Keywords: guns, mental illness, mass murder

Suggested Citation

Cramer, Clayton E., Mental Illness and the Second Amendment (July 28, 2013). Connecticut Law Review, Vol. 46, No. 4:1301, 2014. Available at SSRN:

Clayton E. Cramer (Contact Author)

College of Western Idaho ( email )

5500 East Opportunity Drive
Nampa, ID 83687
United States

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