Document Type


Publication Date

Fall 1996


Until the early 1980s the Second Amendment had received little attention or interest from legal scholars. In 1981 Northwestern University law professor Daniel D. Polsby ridiculed the individual rights view of the Amendment as "a lot of horsedung."

Research conducted through the 1980s has led legal scholars and historians to conclude, sometimes reluctantly, but with virtual unanimity, that there is no tenable textual or historical argument against a broad individual right view of the Second Amendment.

According to the broad individual right view, the right of the people to keep and bear arms is to be treated the same as the other rights of the people specified in the Constitution-no more and no less.

Publication Citation

Randy Barnett, Under Fire: The New Consensus on the Second Amendment, 45 Emory L.J. 1139 (1996).