Second Amendment

The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.' The right of the whole people, old and young, men, women and boys, and not militia only, to keep and bear arms of every description, and not such merely as are used by the militia, shall not be infringed, curtailed, or broken in upon, in the smallest degree; and all this for the important end to be attained: the rearing up and qualifying a well-regulated militia, so vitally necessary to the security of a free State. Our opinion is that any law, State or Federal, is repugnant to the Constitution, and void, which contravenes this right.

--[Nunn vs. State, 1 Ga. (1 Kel.) 243, at 251 (1846)]

Bill of Rights

The Constitution preserves "the advantage of being armed which Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...(where) the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms.

--James Madison, The Federalist #46