Did you know that even if the Second Amendment was erased from the Constitution, the federal government would still have very little authority to regulate guns?
The federal government can only exercise delegated powers. In simple terms, that means if something isn’t listed in the Constitution, the feds can’t do it.
We find the only power delegated to Congress relating to weaponry in Art. I Sec. 8 – “arming…the Militia.” The Constitution nowhere authorizes any general federal firearms regulating power.
Many in the founding generation argued that the Constitution didn’t even need a bill of rights because the federal government isn’t authorized to do very much. James Madison actually brought this up when he introduced the Bill of Rights to Congress.
“It has been said that in the federal government they are unnecessary, because the powers are enumerated, and it follows that all that are not granted by the constitution are retained: that the constitution is a bill of powers, the great residuum being the rights of the people; and therefore a bill of rights cannot be so necessary as if the residuum was thrown into the hands of the government. I admit that these arguments are not entirely without foundation; but they are not conclusive to the extent which has been supposed.”
Madison goes on to point out that even within its limits, the federal government could conceivably act in ways that violate fundamental rights. For instance, under the original Constitution, the federal government could conceivably regulate firearms in the process of exercising another legitimate power – particularly regulating interstate commerce.
The Second Amendment slams that door closed.
Shall not infringe is absolute. No terms and conditions apply.
I give a complete explanation of the original understanding of the Second Amendment in my book Constitution Owner’s Manual: The Real Constitution the Politicians Don’t Want You to Know About. You can get more information about the book at ConstitutionOwnersManual.com.
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