Document Type


Publication Date



The Second Amendment is the black sheep of the constitutional family. Paralleling the Amendment's neglect and abuse by commentators is the curious onslaught of misinformation and fear in the public arena. In this Article, Professors McAffee and Quinlan begin the process of restoring the Second Amendment to its rightful place as an individual right enjoyed by the citizenry. Reviewing singular facets of the Second Amendment debate, including the relation between the Militia and Right to Arms Clauses, the meaning of “keep and bear,” the relevance of militia provisions today and the abandonment by the Supreme Court as an active participant in the Second Amendment debate, Professors McAffee and Quinlan conclude that the Second Amendment embodied a fundamental personal right to its adopters and that acceptance of their view is supported, rather than foreclosed, by the entire course of America's constitutional development over the past two hundred years.

Publication Citation

75 N.C. L. Rev. 783 (1997).