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Law Reviews

The Second Amendment: Toward an Afro-Americanist Reconsideration
by Raymond Diamond and Robert Cottrol
Profs. Diamond and Cottrol explore the constitutional and historical roots of the Second Amendment with emphasis on a cultural perspective. "The history of blacks, firearms regulations, and the right to bear arms," they write, "should cause us to ask new questions regarding the Second Amendment."

The Racist Roots of Gun Control
by Clayton Cramer
Historian Cramer makes the case that the American experience provides compelling evidence that racism underlies gun control laws.

The Embarrassing Second Amendment
by Sanford Levinson
Levinson, a law professor at the University of Texas, suggests that the Second Amendment may be an embarrassing contradiction to those who support regulation of firearms and, at the same time, view themselves as committed to zealous adherence to the Bill of Rights.

The Second Amendment and the Personal Right to Arms
by William Van Alstyne (pdf format)
Prof. Van Alstyne discusses how the two clauses of the Second Amendment have been used to reach divergent interpretations of the Amendment`s meaning. He writes: "Until the Supreme Court manages to express the central premise of the Second Amendment more fully and far more appropriately than it has done thus far, the constructive role of the NRA today, like the role of the ACLU in the 1920s with respect to the First Amendment (as it then was), ought itself not lightly to be dismissed."

A Critical Guide to the Second Amendment
by Glenn Harland Reynolds
Writing in 1995, Prof. Reynolds notes that: "Although the Second Amendment was almost completely ignored by the academic community for the first two centuries of its existence, the past several years have seen an explosion of scholarship." In his article, he summarizes and criticizes that scholarship.

The Second Amendment, Political Liberty, and the Right to Self-Preservation
by Nelson Lund
Prof. Lund writes that civil libertarians have generally shown much less enthusiasm about the Second Amendment than about other provisions of the Bill of Rights. His article includes a brief review of the evidence pertaining to the Second Amendment`s original meaning and the case law that has since developed. He discusses the basic principles that should govern the application of the Second Amendment under modern conditions, sketching a Second Amendment jurisprudence that is broadly consistent with the Court's modern treatment of the Bill of Rights.

The Supreme Court's Thirty-five Other Gun Cases: What The Supreme Court Has Said About The Second Amendment
by David B. Kopel
Most legal scholars contend that the Supreme Court has said almost nothing about the Second Amendment. David Kopel suggests otherwise, writing that while the meaning of the Court`s leading Second Amendment case--the 1939 U.S. 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 35 other Supreme Court cases which quote, cite, or discuss the Second Amendment.


Established in 1975, the Institute for Legislative Action (ILA) is the "lobbying" arm of the National Rifle Association of America. ILA is responsible for preserving the right of all law-abiding individuals in the legislative, political, and legal arenas, to purchase, possess and use firearms for legitimate purposes as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution.