Cornell Law School: Individual Right To Bear Arms Originated In 2008

posted on May 29, 2015

“The Second Amendment has most recently been interpreted to grant the right of gun ownership to individuals for purposes that include self-defense.”—Cornell Law School webpage

Whoever wrote the preceding may need to hit the books a bit harder if they believe an individual right to bear arms is a “recent interpretation.” They could start with U.S. v. Emerson (2001): “We have found no historical evidence that the Second Amendment … applies only to members of a select militia … the Second Amendment applies to and protects individual Americans.” The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (2005), the Firearm Owners Protection Act (1986), the Property Requisition Act (1941) and the Freedmen’s Bureau Act (1866) likewise recognize individual Second Amendment rights. 

In fact, the individual right to self-defense being enumerated as law pre-dates our Bill of Rights by at least 100 years—meaning Cornell missed the mark by only about three centuries.

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