What exactly does the Second Amendment guarantee?

Imagine – it’s the middle of the night, everyone is asleep, but the sounds of an intruder breaks the silence and shakes everyone up. As a person approaches the commotion, handgun in hand, the culprit appears: it’s a raccoon, banging against the house as he rummages through the trash.

While this scenario didn’t end up being dangerous, the person who sensed a threat grabbed their handgun to defend themselves as just in case.

It’s a familiar scene in the United States. About 67% of gun owners bought their gun for protection, according to Pew Research. It is a right widely regarded as guaranteed by the Second Amendment.

The authors wrote: “A well-regulated militia, being necessary for the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms must not be infringed.”

Historians say their intention has been debated since the ink dried in 1791.

With the Revolutionary War still fresh, the founders wrote the Second Amendment to ensure that states could maintain militias capable of fighting any invasion by a tyrannical government.

To this day, many gun advocates argue that the Second Amendment gives individuals a general constitutional right to own firearms that overrides all laws.

But the Supreme Court hasn’t interpreted it that way, at least not yet.

In 2008, the court ruled that the amendment applied to individuals rather than state militias in 2008. In this case, the court ruled that the Second Amendment gives most individuals the right to have a reasonable weapon for them to defend themselves.

But the judges stressed that the rights of the Second Amendment are not unlimited.

Looking ahead, the legal interpretation of the Second Amendment may soon expand again. The court is about to deal with a case that asks whether people have the right to carry a gun in public.

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