The Bill of Rights was never thought necessary by the Federalists, other than as a tool to placate Anti-Federalist resistance to the new constitution. While rejection of militia-powers amendments demonstrates that the Bill of Rights did not address each and every Anti-Federalist concern, the Second Amendment did at least address a different concern: the individual right to arms.
Demands for a bill of rights prevailed in five of seven constitutional ratifying conventions. The only provisions common to all were freedom of religion and the right to arms. New Hampshire’s convention demanded recognition that “Congress shall never disarm any citizen, unless such as are or have been in actual rebellion.”
Robert A. Levy
Clark M. Neily III
February 24, 2008
Respondent’s brief on Writ Of Certiorari to the United States Court Of Appeals for the District Of Columbia Circuit.