Collective Rights Theory

Interpretation #1: Collective Rights Theory

This theory focuses on the first part of the amendment, the militia part. SHORT VERSION: The right to own a gun is a right of individual states, not the federal government. States can decide how to control firearms. LONGER VERISON: A militia was a group of local citizens, as opposed to a national army. The belief in this interpretation is, therefore, that the Framers of the Constitution were saying that each state had a right as a collection of citizens, to defend itself. In this view, citizens do not have an individual right to possess guns. It is local, state, and federal legislative bodies that have the authority to regulate firearms. (Interpretation paraphrased from https://www.law.cornell.edu/wex/second_amendment)