Academics for the Second Amendment brief in McDonald

Available here. Co-authored by Joseph Olson (Hamline), David Hardy, and Clayton Cramer. Key point: From 1789 to 1860, popular and legal understanding of the Second Amendment became much less militia-centric. Well before Reconstruction, the Second Amendment was considered to be mainly a guarantee of a right to own and carry guns for personal protection. Back in 1998, I wrote a hundred-page article, The Second Amendment in the Nineteenth Century, 1998 BYU Law Review 1359, which focused mainly on cases and treatises. Olson/Hardy/Cramer have gone further, and brought forward extensive evidence about the understanding of the public and of elected public officials. Along the way, the brief also corrects some misunderstandings about the 19th-century Second Amendment which appeared in Justice Stevens’ dissenting opinion in Heller.

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