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The Second Amendment permits sensible gun laws. Our analysis pushes back on absolutist characterizations of the amendment.

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Why It Matters

In recent years, the Supreme Court has dramatically expanded the scope of the Second Amendment to confer an individual right to bear arms. The result has been to expose countless sensible gun laws to constitutional attack, even as the country reels from an epidemic of gun violence.

The Brennan Center for Justice’s pioneering research on the Second Amendment and its interpretation throughout history is helping lay the groundwork for sensible approaches to the Second Amendment that respect both rights and public safety. The Brennan Center also is a leading voice in speaking out against the outsize political influence of the National Rifle Association, which has stymied meaningful gun reform efforts despite overwhelming public support for action.



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Protests, Insurrection, and the Second Amendment

The extraordinary events of the past year challenge us to assess anew many of our institutions, laws, and freedoms.

Our Experts