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Constitutional Law — right to bear arms

United States Court of Appeals For the Seventh Circuit


Constitutional Law — right to bear arms

The Second Amendment protects the right to carry a concealed firearm.

“The Second Amendment states in its entirety that ‘a well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed’ (emphasis added). The right to ‘bear’ as distinct from the right to ‘keep’ arms is unlikely to refer to the home. To speak of ‘bearing’ arms within one’s home would at all times have been an awkward usage. A right to bear arms thus implies a right to carry a loaded gun outside the home.”

“And one doesn’t have to be a historian to realize that a right to keep and bear arms for personal self-defense in the eighteenth century could not rationally have been limited to the home. Suppose one lived in what was then the wild west—the Ohio Valley for example (for until the Louisiana Purchase the Mississippi River was the western boundary of the United States), where there were hostile Indians. One would need from time to time to leave one’s home to obtain supplies from the nearest trading post, and en route one would be as much (probably more) at risk if unarmed as one would be in one’s home unarmed.”

Reversed and Remanded.

12-1269 & 12-1788 Moore v. Madigan

Appeals from the United States District Courts for the Central District of Illinois and the Southern District of Illinois, Myerscough Stiehl, JJ., Posner, J.

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