Amending the Second Amendment

Here's a suggestion for how to amend and restate the Second Amendment to the US Constitution (new language, proposed, in red):

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; provided, however, that this article shall not constrain the States from regulating handguns or assault rifles.

Some comments:

  • The full force of the original Second Amendment will continue to apply to the Congress; the latitude introduced is to be exercised by the several States.
  • By making contemporary, plain English reference to handguns and assault rifles, the amendment leaves room for legislatures and courts to interpret the original intent of the amendment, as weapons technology changes in the future.
  • Passage of the amendment would be a first step only, but it would be-federalize the issue. Policy-making in each state could reflect the cultural norms of that particular state.

Newtown CT

Photo: Andrew Dallos / Flickr.

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