District of Columbia v. Heller (2008)

Decided in favor of individual right theory. The Supreme Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home. They made it clear, though, that the right is not unlimited and does not preclude the such traditional prohibitions such as those forbidding “the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill” or restrictions on “the carrying of dangerous and unusual weapons.” This decision was monumental in that it was the first time in U.S. history that the the right to keep and bear arms was defined as an individual right of Americans. Previously it had been seen as a right possessed by states as a way to ensure that their own militias would not be disarmed by the federal government.