1791 - States ratify the Second Amendment, stating that "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."
May 2, 1792 - The Militia Act of 1792 clarifies the role of the militia and requires all able-
bodied men ages 18 to 45 to be equipped to serve and participate in annual musters.
1871 - The NRA (National Rifle Association) is founded by two Union Veterans.
1934 - the attempted assassination of President Roosevelt, the National Firearms Act is pu
in place to regulate and tax machine guns.
1938 - The Federal Firearms Act reaches beyond earlier legislation to require licensing of
handgun dealers and ban the sale of firearms to criminals.
1949 - The NRA establishes America's first hunter education program.
1965 - Scientist Stephanie Kwolek develops the polymer Kevlar, which revolutionizes the
concept of body armor. Over 2,500 police officers' lives have been saved by Kevlar
1986 - The Law Enforcement Protection Act bans the possession of "cop killer"
bullets that can shoot through bulletproof armor.
1998 - The FBI-run national instant background check for all gun purchases goes
1999- Teen-agers Eric Harris and Dylan Klebold kill 12 students and one teacher at
Columbine High School, fueling a new campaign on gun control.
1999 - President Clinton announces a $15 million federal gun buyback plan
2000 - Members of the gun industry fire back at the federal government, with a
lawsuit opposing a plan to give purchasing preference to manufacturers who agree
to design safer guns.
2000 - Thousands of mothers and children gather in Washington, D.C. and cities
across the country for the Million Mom March, a demonstration for "common sense"
gun control laws
2001 - The Bush administration ends funding for the HUD gun buyback program
2008 - The U.S. Supreme Court rules that Americans have a right to own guns for
self-defense and hunting, the justices' first definitive pronouncement on gun rights in
White house press secretary James S.
Brady became a symbol of courage for
millions of Americans after he was shot in
the head during John Hinckley’s
unsuccessful attempt to assassinate
president Ronald Reagan in March 1981.
He was reported dead by the three major
television networks, but Brady fiercely clung
to life and battled back from massive
injuries. His left arm, and leg was
paralyzed. He returned in the 1980’s to take
on political wars again. James and his wife
Sarah Brady created the “Brady Bill” which
later passed in the mid-1991.
Cruikshank’s lawyers had sought to
show that the indictments were
flawed because neither the
indictment nor section 6 of the
statue mentioned race as an
element of the crimes charged.
William Cruickshank's and his fellow
defendants pro section and
conviction for the murders on Easter
Sunday 1873. The supreme courts
ruling on those conviction three
years later would be seen as
signaling a “retreat” from those
same enforcements polices.
Ultimately officials arrested nine
men and brought them back to New
Orleans for trial. Cruickshank was
one of them. Cruikshank, Hadnut
and Irwin were all charged on first
16 counts and excluded from the
Eric David Harris and Dylan Bennet Klebold were the high school seniors who
committed the Columbine High School massacre. They killed 13 people and
injured 21 others. Three people were also injured as they escaped the attack. Both
Harris, 18 years old, and Klebold, 17, committed suicide at the site of the killings.
Eric was born in Wichita, Kansas. The Harris family relocated often as Eric's
father, Wayne Harris, was a U.S. Air Force transport pilot. Dylan was born
in Lakewood, Colorado.
Charlton Heston was the President of the National Rifle Association during 1998 to
2003. He is most famous for his acting career; some of the movies he was in are
planet of the apes and ben-dur which he won an academy award for best actor. In the
1950s and 1960s he was one of a handful of Hollywood actors to speak openly against
racism and was an active supporter of the Civil Rights Movement. In 1944 Heston
enrolled in the United States air force. He reached the rank of staff Sergeant. At the
2000 NRA convention, he raised a rifle over his head and declared that a potential Al
Gore administration would take away his Second Amendment rights "from my cold,
dead hands." In announcing his resignation in 2003, he again raised a rifle over his
head, repeating the five famous words of his 2000 speech. Millions knew Heston as
one of America's most impassioned, authoritative advocates of Second Amendment
freedom. On April 5, 2008, Charlton Heston passed away at age 84.
William Conant Church and George Wood Wingate established the National Rifle
Association in 1871 .George Wood Wingate was an American lawyer and organizer
of rifle practice. During the Civil War he served in a New York regiment. In 1867
Wingate drew up rules for systematic rifle practice by Company A, 22nd
regiment, New York National Guard, of which he was then captain. The publication
of these rules led to the organization of the National Rifle Association of America, of
which he was first secretary and later president for 25 years. William Conant
Church was an American journalist and soldier. In 1860 he became publisher of the
New York Sun . He then later resigned his journalistic position on his appointment
as captain in the United States Volunteers in 1862, and served for one year,
receiving brevets of major and lieutenant colonel.
The National Rifle Association of America, or NRA, is an American non-
partisan, non-profit organization which lists as its goals the protection of
the Second Amendment of the United States Bill of Rights and the promotion of
firearm ownership rights as well as marksmanship, firearm safety, and the
protection of hunting and self-defense in the United States. The NRA
sponsors firearm safety training courses, as well as marksmanship events. The
NRA is sometimes said to be the single most powerful organization in the United
States. Its political activity is based on the principle that gun ownership is a civil
liberty protected by the Second Amendment of the Bill of Rights, and it claims to
be the oldest continuously operating civil rights organization in the United States.
The National Firearms Act ("NFA") is an Act of Congress passed in 1934 that, in
general, imposes a statutory excise tax on the manufacture and transfer of certain
firearms and mandates the registration of those NFA. The purpose of the 1934
National Firearms Act was to regulate what were considered "gangster weapons"
such as machine guns and hand grenades. Then U.S. Attorney General Homer S.
Cummings recognized that firearms could not be banned outright under the Second
Amendment, so he proposed restrictive regulation in the form of a high tax and
federal registration. Originally, pistols and revolvers were to be regulated as strictly
as machine guns.
The Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act was an Act of the United States
Congress that, for the first time, instituted federal background checks on firearm
purchasers in the United States. It was signed into law by President Bill Clinton on
November 30, 1993, and went into effect on February 28, 1994. The Brady Act
requires that background checks be conducted on individuals before a firearm may
be purchased from a federally licensed dealer, manufacturer or importer - unless an
exception applies. If there are no additional state restrictions, a firearm may be
transferred to an individual upon approval by the National Instant Criminal
Background Check System (NICS) maintained by the FBI.
The Militia Act of 1862 was enacted by the United States Congress in 1862 during
the American Civil War to draft 300,000 eligible soldiers into the Union Armies. It
also allowed African Americans to join the Union Army. While praised by
many abolitionists and black-rights activists as a first step toward equality, it
stipulated that the newly recruited black soldiers primarily be used for manual labor,
not combat. Although black soldiers proved themselves as reputable soldiers,
discrimination in pay and other areas remained widespread. According to the Militia
Act of 1862, soldiers of African descent were to receive $10 a month, plus a clothing
allowance of $3.50. Many regiments struggled for equal pay, some refusing any
money until June 15, 1864, when Congress vacated that portion of the Militia Act
and granted equal pay for all black soldiers.
The Gun Control Act of 1968, is a federal law in the United States that broadly
regulates the firearms industry and firearms owners. It primarily focuses on
regulating interstate commerce in firearms by generally prohibiting interstate
firearms transfers except among licensed manufacturers, dealers and importers.
The Brady Campaign is to Prevent Gun Violence is a non-profit organizations in the
United States. The mission statement of the Brady Campaign is "to enact and
enforce sensible gun laws, regulations, and public policies through grassroots
activism, electing public officials who support gun laws, and increasing public
awareness of gun violence." James Brady and Sarah Brady have been influential in
the movement since at least the mid-80s. Sarah Brady replaced Pete Shields as
chair in 1989. The Brady Campaign emerged from Handgun Control, Inc., originally
the National Council to Control Handguns. The Brady Campaign was the chief
supporter of the Brady Handgun Violence Prevention Act, known as the "Brady Bill" .
United States v. Cruikshank, 92 U.S. 542 (1876).
This was the first case in which the Supreme Court had the opportunity to interpret
the Second Amendment. The Court recognized that the right of the people to keep
and bear arms was a right which existed prior to the Constitution when it stated that
such a right. The Court held, however, that because the right to keep and bear
arms existed independent of the Constitution, and the Second Amendment
guaranteed only that the right shall not be infringed by Congress, the federal
government had no power to punish a violation of the right by a private individual;
rather, citizens had "to look for their protection against any violation by their fellow-
citizens" of their right to keep and bear arms to the police power of the state.
Presser v. Illinois, 116 U.S. 252 (1886).
Although the Supreme Court affirmed the holding in Cruikshank that the Second
Amendment, standing alone, applied only to action by the federal government, it
nonetheless found the states without power to infringe upon the right to keep and
bear arms.Presser, moreover, plainly suggested that the Second Amendment
applies to the states through the Fourteenth Amendment and thus that a state
cannot forbid individuals to keep and bear arms. The statute under which Presser
was convicted did not forbid individuals to keep and bear arms but rather forbade
"bodies of men to associate together as military organizations, or to drill or parade
with arms in cities and towns unless authorized by law . . . ." As the Court had
already held that the substantive right to keep and bear arms was not infringed by
the Illinois statute since that statue did not prohibit the keeping and bearing of
arms but rather prohibited military-like exercises by armed men, the Court
concluded that it did not need address the question of whether the state law
violated the Second Amendment
Miller v. Texas, 153 U.S. 535 (1894)
Miller challenged a Texas statute on the bearing of pistols as violative of the Second,
Fourth, and Fourteenth Amendments. The Court then turned to the claim that the
Texas statute violated the rights to bear arms and against warrantless searches as
incorporated in the Fourteenth Amendment. the Court refused to consider Miller's
contentions. the Supreme Court refused to decide the defendant's claim because its
powers of adjudication were limited to the review of errors timely assigned in the trial
U.S. v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939).
This is the only case in which the Supreme Court has had the opportunity to apply
the Second Amendment to a federal firearms statute. In the absence of any
evidence tending to show that possession or use of a "shotgun having a barrel of
less than eighteen inches in length" at this time has some reasonable relationship to
the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, we cannot say that the
Second Amendment guarantees the right to keep and bear such an
instrument.Thus, for the keeping and bearing of a firearm to be constitutionally
protected, the firearm should be a militia-type arm. The case also made clear that
the militia consisted of "all males physically capable of acting in concert for the
common defense" and that "when called for service these men were expected to
appear bearing arms supplied by themselves and of the kind in common use at the
Lewis v. United States, 445 U.S. 95 (1980).
Lewis recognized -- in summarizing the holding of Miller, supra, as "the Second
Amendment guarantees no right to keep and bear a firearm that does not have 'some
reasonable relationship to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated
militia'" Lewis was concerned only with whether the provision of the Omnibus Crime
Control and Safe Streets Act of 1968 which prohibits the possession of firearms by
convicted felons violated the Second Amendment. Thus, since convicted felons
historically were and are subject to the loss of numerous fundamental rights of
citizenship -- including the right to vote, hold office, and serve on juries. the Court
concluded that laws prohibiting the possession of firearms by a convicted felon "are
neither based upon constitutionally suspect criteria, nor do they trench upon any
constitutionally protected liberties."
For the first time in seventy years, the Court heard a case regarding the central
meaning of the Second Amendment and its relation to gun control laws. After the
District of Columbia passed legislation barring the registration of handguns, requiring
licenses for all pistols, and mandating that all legal firearms must be kept unloaded
and disassembled or trigger locked, a group of private gun-owners brought suit
claiming the laws violated their Second Amendment right to bear arms. The federal
trial court in Washington D.C. said that the Second Amendment applies only to
militias, such as the National Guard, and not to private gun ownership. The U.S.
Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit disagreed, voting two to one that
the Second Amendment does in fact protect private gun owners. In a 5-4 decision,
the Court held that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a
firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that firearm for traditionally
www.firearmsandliberty.com Had all the Court cases that delt with the and
amendment the only thing it lacked was the recent court case.
www.oyez.com Had the Recent court case DC vs Heller
www.usconstitution.com Had information about the history of the second
amendment and info about how it is affecting us now.
Current Biography yearbook 1991 Had information about James Brady and the
Losing the vote in Reese and Cruikshank By Robert M. Goldman Had Information
about Cruikshank and his court case.