Publication Date
November 17, 2021
David B. Kopel
Second Amendment, Supreme Court history
Among legal scholars, it is undisputed that the Supreme Court has said almost nothing about the Second Amendment. This article suggests that the Court has not been so silent as the conventional wisdom suggests. While the meaning of the Supreme Court’s leading Second Amendment case, the 1939 United States v. Miller decision remains hotly disputed, the dispute about whether the Second Amendment guarantees an individual right can be pretty well settled by looking at the thirty-five other Supreme Court cases which quote, cite, or discuss the Second Amendment. These cases suggest that the Justices of the Supreme Court do now and usually have regarded the Second Amendment “right of the people to keep and bear arms” as an individual right, rather than as a right of state governments.

Part I of this Article discusses the opinions from the Rehnquist Court. Part II looks at the Burger Court, and Part III at the Warren, Vinson, and Hughes Courts. Part IV groups together the cases from the Taft, Fuller, and Waite Courts, while Part V consolidates the Chase, Taney, and Marshall Courts.
Recommended Citation
Kopel, David B. and Kopel, David B., The Supreme Court’s Thirty-Five Other Gun Cases: What the Supreme Court Has Said about the Second Amendment (September 23, 1999). 9 St. Louis University Public Law Review 99 (2019), Available at SSRN:

get firearms facts & research

explore our repository