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Over two hundred years after James Madison wrote the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution, there is still little agreement on the meaning of "the right of the people to keep and bear arms." The debate over this provision has focused on divining the intent of the Framers to determine what was meant by the "militia" in the eighteenth century. Interpreting the past, however, has failed to resolve the issue, evidenced by the fact that both those in favor of and those opposed to a private right to keep and bear arms point to the same authorities for support. This Note argues that rather than continually re-examining historical sources, we should determine whether there are contemporary justifications supporting the individual right of a citizen to keep and bear arms.


File nameDate UploadedVisibilityFile size
6 Sep 2022
1.88 MB



  • Subject
    • Legal History

    • Second Amendment

  • Journal title
    • Boston College Law Review

  • Volume
    • 45

  • Issue
    • 4

  • Pagination
    • 905

  • Date submitted

    6 September 2022