Does the 2nd Amendment apply to things other than firearms?


February 1, 2003, 11:53 AM
When the Bill of Rights was first written, the most common personal weapons were still knives and swords. So, when it speaks of Arms is it refering to ALL Arms or just Firearms?

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El Tejon
February 1, 2003, 12:04 PM
All arms, including sharp owie thingies.

February 1, 2003, 01:09 PM
The sword, and every terrible implement of the soldier...

El Tejon
February 1, 2003, 02:25 PM
Jar, in addition to Mr. Coxe, please find, protected weapons include "guns of every kind, swords, bayonets, horeseman's pistols, etc." Hill v. State, 53 Ga. 473, 474 (1874).

There's an Oreygun case on a billy club that I'll find for you as soon as I leave the office today.

Jim March
February 1, 2003, 02:50 PM
The best case law on this so far is the Oregon Supreme Court decision that legalized carry of switchblades based on that state's constitutional RKBA (state constitution):

Section 27. Right to bear arms; military subordinate to civil power.

The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defence (sic) of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power[.]

A very good historical case can be made that the personal right to arms in both the Fed Constitution and various state versions also covers armor, including modern ballistic vests.

The trickiest issue involves concealed arms - the OR ruling allows open-carry of switchblades, but no concealment.

A right to concealed arms was specifically disparaged in a series of cases prior to the Civil War, and that case law hasn't been formally overturned.

The evidence is overwhelming that the 14th Amendment of 1868 was written in large part to restore the right to arms of the newly freed blacks, as an anti-KKK measure. See also Akhil Reed Amar's 1998 book "The Bill Of Rights", or Stephen Halbrook's 1984 "That Every Man Be Armed", or see the various links to shorter articles on the subject linked here:

My personal contribution to that debate goes like this: if the 1868 Federal legislature intended to arm Southern blacks, they would have to realize that concealment of said arms would be critical! The last time the NYPD so much as suspected they had an armed black dude in their sights they flung 41 rounds at him - Southern cops and "militias" (wearing bedsheets) of 1868 could hardly be assumed to be more "enlightened". Concealed arms technology was highly advanced by 1868, with Colt making 31-cal pocket percussion revolvers specifically for CCW by 1860 and the Mormons inventing the big-bore snubby circa 1855ish. By 1868 the patents on the percussion revolver had run out and they were being produced by numerous companies at a variety of price-points, and they all knew that in 1872 S&Ws patent on the through-bored cylinder wheelgun would run out allowing big-bore rimfire and centerfire revolvers.

I actually met professor Amar once and ran that past him...he looked kinda stunned :).

Anyways. If I'm right, the same thinking covers cane-swords, concealed knives, etc.

Mind you, the courts haven't gotten around to admitting that professors Amar and Halbrook (and many other qualified supporters) are correct about the intent of the Privileges And Immunities clause, let alone a "concealed right stemming from that".

February 2, 2003, 09:12 PM
Nuclear ARMS :evil:


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