The Second Amendment is among the most recognized provisions of the Constitution. It is also perhaps the most misunderstood. Common misconceptions about the amendment - what it forbids, what it permits, how it functions as law - distort the gun debate and America's constitutional culture. In The Positive Second Amendment, Blocher and Miller provide the first comprehensive post-Heller account of the history, theory, and law of the right to keep and bear arms. Their aim is not to pick sides in the gun debate, but rather to show how a positive account of the 'constitutional' Second Amendment differs from its political cousin. Understanding the right to keep and bear arms as constitutional law will challenge many deeply held beliefs. But it may also provide a better way to negotiate the seemingly intractable issues that afflict America's debate over gun rights and regulation.
In The Press
Advance praise: 'Does the Second Amendment protect a right to carry stun guns? Does it allow state lawmakers to proscribe the carrying of concealed firearms by visitors holding concealed-carry licenses from other states? In the decade since the Supreme Court found an individual constitutional right to possess firearms for personal protection in the Heller case, lower courts have been grappling with the ruling's myriad implications. The Positive Second Amendment describes the resulting body of law. Like the Heller decision itself, that body of law does not establish an absolute right. In this engaging tour of the legal landscape, Joseph Blocher and Darrell Miller remind readers that the legal Second Amendment affords citizens considerable room to argue over the appropriate dimensions of federal, state, and local gun-control law and policy.' Michael C. Dorf, Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law, Cornell University Law School