The Founders' Second Amendment

The Founders' Second Amendment
Origins of the Right to Bear Arms

by Stephen P. Halbrook
Updated edition includes new foreword by Nelson Lund.



Do Americans have a constitutional right to bear arms? Or is this power vested solely in government? Recent years have seen a sea change in scholarship on the Second Amendment. Beginning in the 1960s, a view emerged that individuals had a “right” to bear arms only in militia service—a limited, "collective" right. But in the late 1980s Dr. Stephen Halbrook and a handful of other scholars began producing an altogether persuasive analysis that changed thinking on the matter, so that today, even in canonical textbooks, bearing arms is acknowledged as an individual right. (2019ed, 450pp, pb)