Q&A: Guns, 2nd Amendment and Gun Control.
What is the Second Amendment?
The Second Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution. It says:
“A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear arms, shall not be infringed.”
Can a president change a Constitutional Amendment?
No. There are only two ways Constitutional rights can change, and the president has no role in either.
First: The Supreme Court can decide how they apply to new issues.
The Supreme Court has already ruled on gun rights, saying that individuals have the right to own guns. The Supreme Court does not usually change its mind. Its a core element of the court that decisions they have made are very, very hard to change.
The Supreme Court may have some things to say about gun control laws, but probably won’t do anything to limit a general right to own guns.
Second: A new constitutional amendment.
It is REALLY hard to change the constitution. The president plays no role in it.
For a new amendment to become part of the constitution, two-thirds of the House of Representatives AND two thirds of Senators PLUS at least 33 states would have to agree. This is so unlikely that no serious politician has even suggested it.
Why are some politicians saying that Democrats want to “take away your guns”?
Most Democrats strongly favor more gun control laws. But so do most Republicans.
Do gun control laws limit second amendment rights?
No. Most gun control laws are more like driver’s licenses. They try to reduce accidents.
Understanding gun control:
A driver’s license ensures that people know how to safely operate a car (gun), before they are allowed to have one, and don’t allow people who are likely to be unsafe to drive (own a gun).
Car (gun) owners have inspections to make sure their car (gun) is safe to operate. If you are a reckless driver (gun owner), or become incapacitated through age, eyesight or other issue, you can lose your license.
Most proposed gun control laws are very similar to driver’s licenses. Background checks are designed to prevent criminals or those with violent tendencies from owning a gun. Some gun control laws want gun owners to be safety certified. 93% of Democrats and 83% of republicans support background checks.
These too, are very popular with gun owners, Republicans and Democrats.
All the information for this explainer came from these sources: