August 21, 2002

MORE ON THE SECOND AMENDMENT: In discussion of whether the Second Amendment protects an individual right to arms, the case of United States v. Miller is often invoked by gun-control advocates, who tend to claim that Miller supports the theory that the Second Amendment protects only a states’ right. Sometimes we are even told that Miller held that the Second Amendment protects only the National Guard.

These statements aren’t true. Brannon Denning and I have an article on Miller in the latest issue of Law and Contemporary Problems, which you can read by following the link. While Miller deserves no prizes for clarity, on close reading — especially in light of what the government argued — it’s extremely difficult to interpret it as providing any support for the states’-right theory of the Second Amendment, and it seems entirely consistent with the individual right approach.

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