The Gun Rights Movement and 'Arms' Under the Second Amendment
Brennan Center for Justice
9 Pages Posted: 13 Sep 2021 Last revised: 12 Jan 2022
Date Written: June 29, 2021
What is an “arm” under the Second Amendment? The Supreme Court has signaled that arms encompass more than just guns, including less lethal alternatives to guns. But for many Americans, the term signifies guns alone. This essay explores the role of the gun rights movement in equating arms and guns, describes how it reflects neither law nor weapons practices, and contends that it could contribute to unduly expansive gun rights. On the eve of the next big Second Amendment case at the Supreme Court, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Corlett, the time is now to put guns and gun rights into a broader perspective.
Keywords: Second Amendment, Popular Movements, Firearms, Supreme Court
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