The Right to Bear Arms A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?

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By Stephen P. Halbrook

What Will the U.S. Supreme Court Decide?

PUBLIUS GUEST AUTHOR: Stephen P. Halbrook, is a is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute and author of The Right to Bear Arms A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?

The Right to Bear Arms is the first scholarly study of the history of the right to bear and carry arms outside of the home, a right held dear by Americans before, during, and after the Founding period; it rebuts attempts by anti-gun advocates to rewrite history and “cancel” the Founding generation’s lived experiences bearing firearms.

The U.S. Supreme Court has recognized the individual right to keep and bear arms, but courts in states having extreme gun-control restrictions apply tests that wash the right away. The book could not be more timely with the new SCOTUS case of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. Bruen, as this book demonstrates that the right peaceably to carry firearms is a fundamental one recognized by the text of the Second Amendment and is part of our American history and tradition.

Halbrook’s scholarly work is an exhaustive historical treatment of the fundamental, individual right to carry firearms outside of the home. He traces this right from its origins in England through American colonial times, the American Revolution, the Constitution’s ratification debates, and then through the antebellum and postbellum periods, including the history surrounding the enactment of the Fourteenth Amendment to the U.S. Constitution and up through the twentieth century to today.

The Right to Bear Arms is another important contribution by Halbrook to the scholarship concerning the text, history, and tradition of the Second Amendment’s right to bear and carry arms.

PLUG BOOK: The Right to Bear Arms A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?

BIO: Halbrook is a Senior Fellow at the Independent Institute. He has taught legal and political philosophy at George Mason University, Howard University, and Tuskegee Institute, and he received his J.D. from the Georgetown University Law Center and Ph.D. in social philosophy from Florida State University.

The winner of three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court (Printz v. United States, United States v. Thompson/Center Arms Company, and Castillo v. United States), he has testified before the Subcommittee on the Constitution of the Senate Judiciary Committee, Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Subcommittee on Crime of the House Judiciary Committee, Senate Governmental Affairs Committee, and House Committee on the District of Columbia.

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