Document Type


Publication Title

Rutgers Law Journal

Publication Date



Firearms, Constitutional Scholarship, Rights to Firearms, Ninth Amendment, Second Amendment


Traditionally, the debate over the individual right to possess firearms has focused on the origins and meaning of the Second Amendment. Some constitutional scholars have dismissed the idea that the Second Amendment protects an individual right to arms. They argue that it only prevents the federal government from disarming states. Other scholars, focusing on the language of the amendment and its historical context, conclude that it does indeed establish an individual right to firearms. This article examines whether, even absent the Second Amendment, the Constitution restrains government from taking away what may be individuals' best tools of self-defense. The foothold for the analysis is the controversial Ninth Amendment.