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Right To Bear Arms

Full Video Transcript

American citizens have the right to bear arms. As most of us know, the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution allows this right to keep and bear arms. While the right to bear arms seems straightforward, there is, however, an important public safety concern associated with this constitutional right, and the government and courts are continuously defining how and when the government can regulate a citizen’s right to bear arms. In 2008, the Supreme Court ruled that people have the right to possess firearms for lawful purposes, such as self defense, and that the federal government cannot limit that right by banning all handguns in private homes. The Court’s decision did emphasize the government’s continued power to limit the right for felons and people with mental illness however to possess firearms. The Court’s decision also reaffirmed the federal government’s ability to limit a citizen’s right to bear arms in sensitive places such as government buildings and schools. This issue is often a hotly debated topic, and so it is often unclear on the kinds of restrictions state and local governments can impose on the right to bear arms. You can learn more from your state bureau or department of firearms.

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