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Book: The U.S. Constitution in Five Minutes

Chapter: 37. Does the Second Amendment Give Me the Right to Carry a Gun?

DOI: 10.1558/equinox.43597


William Merkel elucidates competing interpretations and open questions concerning the much discussed Second Amendment. Prior to the Supreme Court’s landmark decision in District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), many scholars and advocates maintained that the Constitution protected only an obsolescent right to arms dependent on service in the lawfully established militia, but Supreme Court caselaw now emphatically protects a private right to possess weapons suitable for self-defense. But is that right unlimited?

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