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Illinois Resolution Promoting “Militia-Only” Theory of Second Amendment Dies

SPRINGFIELD, Ill. (April 15, 2016) – In a victory for the right to keep and bear arms, a resolution introduced in the Illinois House calling for a mangled interpretation of the Second Amendment has been “tabled,” meaning it’s likely dead for the year.
House Resolution 0855 was an attempt to affirm the anti-constitutional principle that the 2nd Amendment has nothing to do with an individual right to keep and bear arms. If it had passed, the official position of the Illinois legislature would have been to “urge the courts, especially the United States Supreme Court, to adhere to the clear wording of the Second Amendment being a right afforded to state-sponsored militias and not individuals.”

In the resolution are quotes from Justice Stevens’ dissenting opinion in Heller decision.

The Second Amendment was adopted to protect the right of the people of each of the several States to maintain a well-regulated militia. It was a response to concerns raised during ratification of the Constitution that the power of Congress to disarm the state militias and create a national standing army posed an intolerable threat to the sovereignty of the several States. Neither the text of the Amendment nor the arguments advanced by its proponents evidenced the slightest interest in limiting any legislature’s authority to regulate private civilian uses of firearms. Specifically, there is no indication that the Framers of the Amendment intended to enshrine the common-law right of self-defense in the Constitution.”

The resolution likely died an unremarkable death when it was tabled this month, a procedural move that pulls it from any further consideration. It is possible for it to be removed from that status and active again, but this doesn’t happen often.

For our take on this absurd resolution and some of the claims it makes, see here and here and here.

While we consider the fact that the resolution went nowhere a small victory, it is important to note the argument gun grabbers are using.

In trying to twist the meaning of the Second Amendment they’re saying that it grants us our right to keep and bear arms. Their hope is to “change” the meaning of the amendment so that this right no longer exists.

This is wholly incorrect and contrary to the principles of liberty.

Just as the First Amendment does not grant us the right to worship or public newspapers, the Second Amendment is not what gives us our right to keep and bear arms. These amendments merely acknowledge preexisting rights. They were enshrined in the Constitution at the behest of founders like George Mason who wanted explicit guarantees these rights would be protected.

This is why it is critical that gun right advocates never infer or imply that our gun rights come from the Second Amendment or any other document. They are innate rights we posses regardless.

Thankfully, we can preemptively neutralize threats to these rights by having cities, counties and states pass their own Second Amendment Preservation Act.

Please take action today!

Join us, review our model legislation, and spread the word!