The “right to bear arms” is arguably the most controversial and complex liberty found in the United States Bill of Rights. The center of the gun control debate revolves around the ambiguous text found within the 2nd Amendment.
Although only 29 words, the 2nd Amendment’s wording has spawned three different interpretationsUnited States Supreme CourtImportance of Second Amendment in Drafting Laws:semi-automaticfully-automaticvarying state lawsUnited States vs. Heller (1939) the Supreme Court ruled that the 2nd Amendment does not trump the National Firearms Act of 1934, and does not allow an individual to transport an outlawed weapon between state lines.
Heller argued that the 2nd Amendment protects his right to commit such an act, while the Supreme Court ruled that it does not extend such powers to the individual. More recent outcomes, however, have upheld the 2nd Amendment’s guarantee of civil rights. The D.C. handgun ban was ruled unconstitutional in 2007, and District of Columbia vs. Heller solidified that an individual may carry a weapon for lawful purposes (self-protection) in congruence with the 2nd Amendment.