This article examines the development of the Second Amendment debate starting from English law, throughout America's history, and concluding with the Supreme Court's decision in Heller. Robert Cottrol contextualizes the development of the two main interpretations that have emerged, the individual rights view and the collective-rights view. Cottrol also presents the interpretation of the Second Amendment as concerning Black populations in the United States and then incoming immigrant populations in the early 1900s. This article then explores the legal and judicial responses to the Second Amendment debate, noting the relative silence of the Supreme Court, except for certain cases. Cottrol presents the arguments used in Miller and in Heller to conclude that the Second Amendment debate is still-ongoing.
GW Paper Series
GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2019-34; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-34
Cottrol, Robert J., Right to Bear Arms (2009). Robert J. Cottrol, Right to Bear Arms, in 1 THE OXFORD INTERNATIONAL ENCYCLOPEDIA OF LEGAL HISTORY 216 (Stanley Katz, ed., 2009); GWU Law School Public Law Research Paper No. 2019-34; GWU Legal Studies Research Paper No. 2019-34. Available at SSRN: https://ssrn.com/abstract=3403636