Militias and the Right to Bear Arms 1939
United States v. Miller
Facts of the case
When Jack Miller and Frank Layton transported a sawed-off double-barrel 12-gauge shotgun in interstate commerce, an Arkansas federal district court charged them with violating the National Firearms Act of 1934 (“NFA”). Miller and Layton claimed that the NFA infringed on their freedom to keep and bear arms under the Second Amendment. The case was dismissed by the district court.
Is an individual’s right to keep and bear a sawed-off double-barrel shotgun protected by the Second Amendment?
The Supreme Court overturned the lower court, ruling that an individual’s right to keep and bear a sawed-off double-barrel shotgun is not guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Justice James Clark McReynolds, writing for the unanimous Court, reasoned that because owning a sawed-off double barrel shotgun has no logical nexus to the preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated militia, the Second Amendment does not protect such possession.
The Primary Holding
Only weapons that have a legitimate relevance to the success of a well-regulated militia are exempt from government restriction under the Second Amendment.
The legality of Gun Control (2008)
The Law Book: From Hammurabi to the International Criminal Court, 250 Milestones in the History of Law (Sterling Milestones) Hardcover – Illustrated, 22 Oct. 2015, English edition by Michael H. Roffer (Autor)