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Right to Bear Arms

Right to Bear Arms

Reading Quizzes

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Meaning of the Second Amendment United States v. Cruikshank


1. What was the Court's interpretation of the Second Amendment's intended usage in United States v. Cruikshank?
2. Who has the right to maintain a well-regulated militia?
3. Why did the Court rule against Presser in Presser v. Illinois?
4. What does the legal doctrine of incorporation mean?
5. What happened between the 19th and the 20th centuries that could change the Supreme Court's ideas about the Second Amendment?


1. The Second Amendment had been intended to protect states against a too-powerful federal government, not guarantee an individual's right to bear arms.
2. State governments.
3. Because the court then believed that the Second Amendment only protected state militias, a private militia should then of course be regulated.
4. It states that the restrictions and demands placed on the federal government by the Bill of Rights also apply selectively to the states -- on a right-by-right basis.
5. State militias had been converted into the National Guard, so states lost much of their independence re: militias.