The Second Amendment protects an individual right to possess a firearm unconnected with service in a militia, and to use that arm for traditionally lawful purposes, such as self-defense within the home.
The Amendment’s prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clause’s text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms.
Justice Antonin Scalia
June 26, 2008
District of Columbia et al. v. Heller
Certiorari to the United States Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia circuit.