Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution - Bill of Rights

"A well regulated militia, being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."

Preservation and Proposition

Our mission is to document the pivotal Second Amendment events that occurred in Frontier Mercersburg, and its environs, and to heighten awareness of the importance of these events in the founding of our Nation.

We are dedicated to the preservation of the place where the Second Amendment was "born" and to the proposition that the Second Amendment (the "right to bear arms") is the keystone of our Liberty and the Republic.

Friday, March 23, 2012

2nd Amendment -- Last Frontier

By Glen Wunderlich

Courts Split on Right to Carry Firearms Outside the Home

Unquestionably the hottest issue in Second Amendment litigation today is whether the Second Amendment protects a right to carry firearms outside the home for personal protection—and if so, what might be the limits on that right. Until recently, far too many courts have wrongly claimed that because the Supreme Court’s decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago only struck down bans on handgun possession in the home, that’s all there is to the Second Amendment.

Now, there are signs that this resistance is weakening. In a big win for gun owners’ rights in Maryland, on March 5, a federal judge ruled in the case of Woollard v. Sheridan that a key provision of the state’s gun laws is unconstitutional. Judge Benson Everett Legg declared that Maryland’s requirement for a “good and substantial reason” to obtain a concealed-carry permit violates the Second Amendment protection of the right to keep and bear arms. Though this is not an NRA-funded case, both the result and the reasoning give hope for future progress on the issue.

“The Court finds that the right to bear arms is not limited to the home,” Judge Legg wrote in his 23-page ruling. “In addition to self-defense, the right was also understood to allow for militia membership and hunting. To secure these rights, the Second Amendment’s protections must extend beyond the home: neither hunting nor militia training is a household activity, and ‘self-defense has to take place wherever [a] person happens to be.’’

Judge Legg added, “A citizen may not be required to offer a ‘good and substantial reason’ why he should be permitted to exercise his rights. The right’s existence is all the reason he needs.”

From and the NRA

Thursday, March 22, 2012

Individual or Collective Right – A brief history of the 2nd Amendment

by Gary Wood 

Today we are struggling with people who believe the right to keep and bear arms is somehow a collective right, tied to militia membership, and not an individual natural right. This false assumption is based on today’s understanding and rhetoric. We also have the ambiguous 1939 Supreme Court case, U.S. vs. Miller that significantly fails to embrace the founding generation’s intent. The other area we have is the 2nd Amendment’s preamble that some point to as a reason to support the collective, militia tied concept. Yet history and understanding of bearing arms teaches us what is really the intent – the right to keep and bear arms is an individual natural right!

One key to understanding any rights found in what we know of as the Bill of Rights is the deep tie to our English roots, as a country. The colonial citizens were mostly English citizens serving under the Crown with guidance from the Parliament. Of course, self-rule was also deep rooted due to the fact colonies were separated from England by a little thing called the Atlantic Ocean. The colonists became very independent and felt extremely competent to legislate their daily lives.

Come with me on a swing back in time, before the 17th and 18th centuries, before 1689 when the English Bill of Rights came into existence…back to a time when it was not a right to bear arms…not a right at all but rather a requirement. Our first stop takes us back to the 9th Century under Alfred the Great. As Scott Bradley reminds us “…all of his peoplewere required to be armed with personal weapons and were subject to perform in the defense of the nation.”

Monday, March 19, 2012

2nd Amendment - Right-to-carry lowers violent crime

By John R. Lott Jr.

Among peer-reviewed national studies by criminologists and economists, 18 find that right-to-carry laws reduce violent crime, 10 claim no effect, and just one claims one type of crime temporarily increases slightly. The possibility that permit holders might lead to more crime is easily evaluated by looking at how incredibly law-abiding they are, with them losing their permits for any firearms-related violations (usually trivial ones) at hundredths or thousandths of 1 percentage point.

Forty-one states currently have right-to-carry laws where permits are based on objective criteria, such as passing a criminal background check. These laws have worked well — so well that no state has chosen to repeal the law or even held legislative hearings to reconsider it.

Baltimore Sun Opinion

Friday, March 9, 2012

2nd Amendment - Colleges find ways to foil pro-gun rulings

By Valerie Richardson

DENVER ­ Courts are ruling in favor of allowing those with concealed-carry permits to bring their handguns on campus, but universities are figuring out ways to keep the guns out.

Gun rights advocates recently notched major legal victories in Colorado and Oregon, with courts in both states agreeing that university policies banning firearms on campus must defer to state laws allowing permit holders to carry concealed handguns.

In response, however, university officials in Oregon and Virginia have enacted policies allowing concealed carry on campus but not in buildings, including classrooms, dormitories, event centers and dining halls.

The result is that permit holders may do little more than walk across campus with their handguns, an outcome that circumvents the intent of the court decisions, critics say.

Monday, March 5, 2012

2nd Amendment -- Well Regulated Militias in the Colonies

By Prof. Joerg W. Knipprath

When Paul Revere and his companions alerted the Massachusetts countryside of the movement of British troops, he warned his fellow-British subjects, “The Regulars are coming out.” In contrast to those troops, with their standard drill, formations, equipment, and armament, the Patriot combatants at Lexington and Concord (as well as Revere himself) were “Minutemen,” a lightly-armed, organized rapid-response component of the colonial militia. As all such militias at the time, they were “irregulars,” though the quality of the Minutemen’s equipment and training was superior to that of the militia as a whole. The distinction between such organized parts and the general militia was continued by the states, and, beginning in 1792, in the second federal Militia Act. It is a distinction that, despite changes in the nature of the militia concept, is preserved in current law.