The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution

First Amendment.

The Second Amendment of the United States Constitution

The United States Constitution was written in 1787 and ratified in 1788 becoming, according to the United States Senate, the “longest surviving written charter of government.” The Constitution organized the country’s government, provided justice and equality, and established checks and balances within the system.

The Constitution is a living and beathing document that allows for changes as required through “amendments.” The first ten amendments are considered the United States Bill of Rights. The Bill of Rights, ratified in 1791, allows for certain limits on governmental power. Many of these amendments today are widely known simply by their amendment number.

The Second Amendment – The Right to Bear Arms

The Second Amendment of the Constitution allows for the right to bear arms and reads:

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.

Today, the Second Amendment is commonly debated in society. Issues include whether or not the right to bear arms allows for the banning of certain weapons for public safety, the possession for individual defense rather than militia defense, and the ability to carry weapons in public. These issues remain at odds between states, political parties, and general members of the public.

How the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment is Applied in Arizona

This right to bear arms is written into Arizona’s state Constitution in Article 2, Section 26:

The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the state shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men.

However, Arizona courts have allowed for the right to bear arms to be reasonably regulated. According to A.R.S. 13-3101, certain firearms are prohibited from being possessed. These prohibited weapons are:

  • Automatic firearms.
  • Short-barreled rifles.
  • Short-barreled shotguns.
  • Sawed-off guns.

It is a class 4 felony to possess a firearm that is prohibited by Arizona law. Offenders of this crime will be charged with misconduct involving weapons, and a first-time offender could face incarceration of up to 3.75 years. Additional charges and harsher penalties may apply for prohibited possessors, repeat offenders, or those involved in serious criminal acts such as terrorism or gang activity.

In Arizona, prohibited possessors are those who are prohibited by law from possessing weapons such as firearms. This includes individuals who are:

  • On probation for domestic violence or a felony conviction.
  • Imprisoned.
  • Convicted of a felony and have not had their right to possess a firearm restored.
  • Guilty except insane or otherwise found to be a danger to themselves or others.
  • Undocumented aliens or non-immigrant aliens who are travelling.



With offices in Lake Havasu City and Scottsdale, our firm serves the entire state of Arizona, with a particular focus on criminal defense, family law, and juvenile cases.

Our goal is for the best outcome for your criminal case, which can include:

  • charges that are reduced or dropped.
  • top experts reviewing your case.
  • aggressive negotiations with the prosecution for plea bargains.
  • fines or probation in lieu of jail time.

At Rideout Law Group, our attorneys are able to expertly examine the evidence in your case to provide a strong strategy for argument that leads to an outcome that is most favorable to you. We have experience in all types of criminal cases for both adults and juveniles, with positive outcomes both in plea negotiations as well as jury trial settings.

Call us today for a free consultation at 480-584-3328.

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