Does the Second Amendment right to "keep and bear arms" apply to individual citizens or to state National Guard units?
The Second Amendment states: "A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms shall not be infringed." Gun control proponents argue that this does not apply to individual citizens but only to militias, which they claim are now the state National Guard units. However, the Amendment says this is a "right of the people," and the primary author of the Bill of Rights wrote that "being armed" is an "advantage" that "Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation." Furthermore, the Senator who introduced the 14th Amendment stated that it would "restrain the power of the States and compel them at all times to respect" the "personal rights guaranteed and secured by the first eight amendments of the Constitution," including "the right to keep and to bear arms."