The Gun Rights Movement and 'Arms' Under the Second Amendment

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

Suggested Citation

Ruben, Eric, The Gun Rights Movement and 'Arms' Under the Second Amendment (June 29, 2021). Brennan Center for Justice, SMU Dedman School of Law Legal Studies Research Paper No. 533, Available at SSRN:

Eric Ruben (Contact Author)

SMU Dedman School of Law ( email )

P.O. Box 750116
Dallas, TX 75275
United States

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