When Two Rights Make a Wrong: Armed Assembly Under the First and Second Amendments
25 Pages Posted: 6 Jan 2021
This Article rejects the proposition that the First Amendment right to assemble and the putative Second Amendment right to public carriage of firearms in non-sensitive places combine to create a right to armed assembly. It argues on textual, historical, doctrinal, and normative grounds that there is no constitutional right of armed assembly. While acknowledging that in some circumstances the courts recognize a hybrid right that is greater than the sum of its parts, the Article finds no basis for concluding that the First and Second Amendments add up to a right to armed assembly.
Keywords: First Amendment, Right to Assemble, Second Amendment, Firearms, Public carriage, constitution, armed assembly, courts
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