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IPFS News Link • Gun Rights

The Right to Keep and Bear Arms

• by Jacob G. Hornberger

People's rights do not come from either the original Constitution or the Bill of Rights. That's what many in the gun-control crowd do not understand. They think that the reason people have the right to own guns is because of the Second Amendment.

As the Declaration of Independence points out, people's rights come from nature and God. Thus, even if the federal government had never been established, even if the Constitution had never been ratified, and even if the Bill of Rights had never been enacted, people would still have the right to keep and bear arms because people's rights preexist government and are independent of government.

By its very terms, the Constitution does not give anyone any rights, including the right to keep and bear arms. The purpose of the Constitution was simply to call the federal government into existence and to set the powers that it would have. If a power was listed, the government could exercise it. If a power was not listed, it could not exercise it.