All Subjects



AP Gov


Unit 3

3.5 Second Amendment: Rights to Bear Arms

1 min readmay 1, 2020


Annika Tekumulla

AP US Government 🏛️

Bookmarked 7.3k • 231 resources
See Units

The Second Amendment contains the right to bear arms. This means that a well-regulated militia is necessary to secure freedom and that individuals have the right to own weapons. Yet again, the courts ruling on the Second Amendment is based upon the balance between individual rights and the safety of society. 

Important Court Cases

The Second Amendment has been disputed in the court case of McDonald v Chicago (2010). Otis McDonald, a resident of Chicago, wanted to purchase a gun but was restricted by the city of Chicago because of the new handgun regulations.
McDonald sued and argued that the laws violated the Fourteenth Amendment due process clause which states that no state can make laws that infringe upon the rights and privileges of its residents. The Supreme Court agreed, using the Second Amendment right to bear arms in order to stop the gun control laws in Chicago. 

The Debate Today

The Second Amendment has become increasingly important in recent years because of the increase in mass shootings in the United States. The debate on the safety of society versus individual rights is yet again relevant as groups such as the National Rifle Association, March for Our Lives, and other groups rally for their opinions on gun control. 
🎥 Watch: AP GOPO - 1st and 2nd Amendments


Was this guide helpful?

Fiveable logo
Join Fiveable for free
Create a free account to bookmark content and compete in trivia
Hours Logo
Studying with Hours = the ultimate focus mode
Start a free study session
FREE AP gov Survival Pack + Cram Chart PDF
Sign up now for instant access to 2 amazing downloads to help you get a 5
Play this on HyperTyper
Practice your typing skills while reading Second Amendment: Rights to Bear Arms
Start Game