United States v. Miller (1939)

Decided in favor of collective rights theory. The case involved two men, one named Miller, who were charged with violating the National Firearms Act (NFA) of 1934 for transporting a sawed-off shotgun across state lines. The men claimed that the NFA violated their Second Amendment rights. The Supreme Court unanimously agreed that the possession of a sawed-off shotgun “does not have a reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia.” The decision went on to state, “Certainly it is not within judicial notice that this weapon is any part of the ordinary military equipment or that its use could contribute to the common defense.” Thus, the Supreme Court focused on their interpretation of the first part of the Second Amendment; the part dealing with the arming of a state militia and what could reasonably be considered “bearing arms” in that sense.