When looking at how gun laws across the United States have changed over the past few years, there's a lot to be hopeful for. Just this year, Nebraska became the 27th state to pass a "constitutional carry" bill into law, following in the footsteps of Florida, which passed similar legislation just a few days prior.
The residents of Florida and Nebraska now join 25 other states where American citizens can freely carry firearms concealed without needing a permit, just as our founding fathers intended when they wrote the Second Amendment into the Constitution.
Those two States won't be the last to pass permitless carry bills either. There are several different bills at different stages of the legislative process in multiple states nationwide.
But let's not forget, just a mere 15 years ago -- the Second Amendment was not considered an individual right. If we look further back to the 1980s, there was only one constitutional carry state, Vermont. In addition, very few states would even allow carrying with a permit.
This is because, before 2008's landmark District of Colombia v. Heller decision, the Second Amendment was considered a collective right that referred to a militia.
This interpretation allowed for all sorts of constitutional infringements, which is why Dick Heller sued Washington, D.C., over its city-wide ban on handguns.
We recently celebrated the 15th anniversary of the Heller decision on June 26th and have Heller to thank for laying the foundation for gun rights to this day.
Of course, no discussion of present-day gun rights would be complete without mentioning NYSRPA v. Bruen, the landmark case currently providing the legal tools for overturning the most egregious gun control nationwide.
The Bruen decision has halted some of the worst gun control passed this year. For example, Oregon passed Ballot Measure 114 by an extremely slim margin, with most of the "yes" votes coming from Portland, and the rest of the state voting "no.". The Ballot measure changed gun law in Oregon to require a permit to purchase a firearm and banned large-capacity magazines.
On this 4th of July, Americans should remember the mentality of the Founding Fathers, who included the Second Amendment in the Constitution. They had just fought a war for independence against a tyrannical government.
From 1768-1775, the British began a policy to disarm American citizens.
In 1777, William Knox, the Under Secretary of State in the British colonial office, advocated for this exact policy, writing:
"The Arms of all the People should be taken away, & every piece of Ordnance removed into the King's Stores, nor should any foundry or manufactory of Arms, Gunpowder, or Warlike Stores, be ever suffered in America, nor should any Gunpowder, Lead, Arms or Ordnance be imported into it without License; they will have but little need of such things for the future, as the King's Troops, Ships and Forts will be sufficient to protect them from any danger."
William Knox sounds a lot like the anti-gun politicians of today.
The Second Amendment guarantees all of our constitutional rights, and it ensures the protection of life and liberty. This is what the Founding Fathers wanted when they declared independence from the British 246 years ago.
We at Gun Owners of America are proud to see gun rights continue to expand, and we will continue working to repeal all infringements on the Second Amendment.
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