Only the most pathetic of cowards
would deny himself and others the
means to protect themselves and
their loved ones for fear he, himself,
may have to stand up and use them.

                                              Me
Court decisions and Interpretations

Of approximately 300 court decisions in the federal and state courts only 10 have
claimed that the right to keep and bear arms is a collective rather than an
individual right.  The court decision frequently cited by those opposed to firearms
ownership recently is U.S. v Miller.  The following is a portion of the decision.  
Decide for yourself.

U.S. v. Miller
The court said:  “The signification attributed to the term Militia appears from the
debates in the Convention, the history and legislation of Colonies and States,
and the writings of approved commentators.  These show plainly enough that the
Militia comprised all males physically capable of acting in concert for the common
defense.  ….  And further, that ordinarily when called for service these men were
expected to appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in
common use at the time.”
The brief filed by the US government in the appeal to the Supreme Court
contained these comments:
*   “The Second Amendment does not grant to the people the right to keep and
bear arms, but merely recognizes the prior existence of that right and prohibits its
infringement by Congress.”
*   “The “arms” referred to in the Second Amendment are, moreover, those which
ordinarily are used for military or public defense purposes…”
*   “The Second Amendment does not confer upon the people the right to keep
and bear arms; it is one of the provisions of the Constitution which, recognizing
the prior existence of a certain right, declares that it shall not be infringed by
Congress.  Thus the right to keep and bear arms is not a right granted by the
Constitution and therefore is not dependant upon that instrument for its source.”

Consider:

U.S. vs. Emerson, 1999, Nunn v. State, 1 Ga. 243, 250, 251 (1846)

State v. Hart, 66 Ida. 217, 157 P.2d 72 (1945)

U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174, 178-179 (1939)

U.S. v. Hutzel, 8 Iowa, (2000)

State v. Chandler, 5 La.An. 489, 490, 491 (1850)

State v. Nickerson, 126 Mont. 157, 166 (1952)
Return to main page