Front Page Forums Rights Right to keep and bear arms


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    The proposed right:

    No person shall be denied from keeping and bearing arms in the person’s own home, on the streets and roads, and in the wilderness.


    The definition of arms for this proposal is instruments or weapons of individual combat that are bearable and reusable. Individual combat means that each strike of the weapon is only effective when aimed, meaning the weapon is not an area weapon that inflicts indiscriminate damage or mass casualties; that it is designed to be used against another person or animal, not vehicles or buildings; and that its effective range is limited so each combatant can hear the other’s shouts or yells and has a chance to defend themselves or escape. Bearable means that a person can carry and use the weapon alone, meaning it is an individual weapon and not a team-operated weapon. Reusable means the weapon can be used an unlimited number of times (until it breaks or the ammunition is depleted), meaning it is not an explosive.

    Examples of weapons of individual combat that are protected by the proposed right because they are bearable and reusable include: Non-projectile weapons such as clubs, staves, nunchakus, knives, daggers, swords, and spears; non-firearm projectile weapons such as knives (when thrown), slingshots, and bows; non-automatic firearms such as pistols, rifles, and shotguns.

    Examples of weapons that are not protected by the proposed right include: long-range weapons such as sniper rifles; fully automatic weapons such as automatic rifles, shotguns, machine guns, submachine guns, and machine pistols; explosives such as grenades, missiles, explosive drones, landmines, and any improvised explosive device; weapons that fire or deliver explosives to distant targets such as grenade launchers, shoulder-fired missiles, and bomber drones; artillery such as catapults, mortars, and cannons; rockets, missiles, and drones; lethal vehicles such as tanks, attack helicopters, fighter planes, and warships; remote-controlled or AI-controlled weapons such as drones and robots; chemical weapons such as poisons or poison gas; biological weapons such as intentionally transmittable infectious diseases; and nuclear weapons. These are not protected because they have a long range, are non-reusable, are team-operated, inflict area damage or massive casualties, are designed to destroy vehicles and buildings instead of designed for individual combat, are designed to hurt or kill remotely, have lasting effects that may hurt or kill people who visit the scene after they are fired (such as poison, disease, radiation, and landmines).

    Fully automatic weapons are weapons that automatically reload and continue firing until the trigger is released.

    In this proposal, the government may regulate aspects of legal arms. The government may enact a law that any crossbows may only be used on private property (at home or at the range) or in the wilderness and may not be wielded in public. This would not deny anyone the right to keep and bear arms because other kinds of arms, including other kinds of bows, would be legal at home, on the streets and roads, and in the wilderness, and even the crossbows would be legal in the designated areas. The government may enact a law that automatic firearms or high-capacity magazines are prohibited for civilians and that only militias and the military may purchase and wield them. This would not deny anyone the right to keep and bear arms because other kinds of firearms would be legal at home, on the streets and roads, and in the wilderness. The government may enact a law requiring a license to purchase and keep explosives (because they are useful in some civilian occupations such as demolition). This would not deny anyone’s right to keep and bear arms because explosives such as grenades and landmines are not considered bearable arms. A person must throw them or place them.

    The definition of home for this proposal is the person’s own home or any private residence at which the person is a welcome guest.

    The definition of streets and roads in this proposal are all paths, trails, alleys, dirt roads, paved roads, highways, and the like on which people travel. The inclusion of streets and roads protects the right of a person to carry their weapons from one place to another.

    The definition of wilderness for this proposal is an unsettled and uncultivated region uninhabited by people. A fair or festival taking place anywhere outdoors would not be the wilderness because there are people there organizing or participating in an event. A cabin in the forest would not be the wilderness because it is a cultivated space, but the forest around it may qualify as wilderness.

    The intent is to allow people to defend themselves, their property, other people, and other people’s property against violence, and to allow people to travel with their weapons from one place where they are allowed to another place where they are allowed. For this reason the right is limited to the person’s home, the streets and roads, and the wilderness — all places where they might be attacked and where other people may not be nearby to help. Other destinations where weapons may be allowed but are not protected by this right are the gun range and hunting areas.

    The government may regulate the type of firearms that people may have and the government may require safety training and registration of arms, especially firearms.

    The phrase “no person shall be denied” also means people convicted of violent crimes and people diagnosed with mental illness. It does not mean children (who also lack other rights such as travel without parent’s permission and voting).

    To be clear, the right to keep and bear arms does not mean that a person may keep and bear any arms they want, anywhere they want, anytime they want. The type of arms may be limited, the places may be limited (and they are, in this proposal), and the times may be limited (for example a town might normally allow open carry of arms in public including the fairgrounds when they are not in use but prohibit people from bringing arms into the state fair when it’s active on the same fairgrounds).

    In this proposal, requiring a person to take a class or register a weapon does not amount to denying that person the right to keep and bear the arm unless the government makes the class or registration process unreasonably expensive or unavailable.

    This right intentionally does not include bearing arms in public places or private places that do not allow it. Bearing arms in public and in private is a liberty that may be restricted for certain places like schools, libraries, government buildings, bars, and stores, or activities in public places like festivals and fairs.

    This proposal is not intended to allow prisoners, detainees, or medical patients to keep and bear arms while in that status — the prison, jail, or medical facility is not their home, not a street or road, and not the wilderness.


    This proposal attempts to achieve a balance between the right to keep and bear arms for personal defense and the ability of the government to regulate aspects of weapons ownership to reduce the risk of violent crime.

    This proposal is complemented by the right to a well-regulated militia, which protects the people’s right to organize and train a militia to resist invasion and tyrannical government. The militia would be able to acquire, maintain, and operate more lethal weapons such as automatic rifles, grenades, rocket launchers, and more — things that would be very dangerous if they were allowed to be stored at home.

    A person who was convicted of a violent crime regains all their rights, including the right to keep and bear arms, after serving their full sentence. However, the government may release some prisoners early for a variety of reasons, such as good behavior. In this case, the government may condition the release upon the person entering into a conduct agreement with the government, known as parole. The government may include in the parole conditions that the person may not keep and bear any arms at all. The government may include in the parole conditions limits on the kinds of arms the person may acquire and bear, for example to prohibit projectile weapons such as bows and firearms, or to prohibit blade weapons — but allow the parolee to carry a club or pepper spray for self-defense. The government may include in parole conditions limits on the places that a person may keep and bear weapons, for example only at their home. These are merely examples and the government may include other such conditions in the parole. This does not violate the person’s right to keep and bear arms, because the person is not required to agree to the parole conditions — the person may choose to stay in prison instead. Either way, when the person has served their full sentence, which includes abiding by parole conditions while on parole, the person would regain all their rights.

    A person with a mental illness still has all their rights, including the right to keep and bear arms. However, if a person with mental illness is in a hospital or clinic, they do not have the right to keep and bear arms there because it is not their home, nor the streets and roads, nor the wilderness. If any person is confined against their will because they are a danger to themselves or the public, and this confinement is not at home, the matter is again easily resolved because there is no right to keep and bear arms there. If a person can live safely and freely by themselves, possibly with the help of family and friends or other caretakers, they have the right to keep and bear arms at home but they may not be able to do that in practice because of having to negotiate living conditions with whoever is living with them or helping them.

    This proposal allows the government to enact laws regulating the private ownership and use of firearms and other weapons. It also allows the government to designate areas and activities as weapons-free zones — for example schools, libraries, court rooms, and government buildings — so that the only people who may have weapons in these zones are law enforcement and, to the extent that any such zone is open to the public, militia members in good standing. Schools are generally not open to the public — only enrolled students and staff are allowed. Government buildings are also not generally open to the public, and special permission is required to enter (including organized tours).

    Businesses such as shooting ranges would have the liberty to apply for a license to buy, maintain, safeguard, and allow customers to temporarily operate other kinds of weapons on the shooting range such as pistols, military-style rifles, sniper rifles, grenade launchers, and machine guns. The business owner would be responsible for ensuring all those weapons are safeguarded and accounted for, and that customers operate them safely on the shooting range. It would be a liberty, not a right, because the business would have to demonstrate that it has the funds and personnel and training to comply with regulations, and the occurrence of a grave incident might cause the license to be revoked because it’s a liberty and not a right. People can still learn about and shoot those weapons, but in a controlled manner at a designated location.

    The question of open carry or concealed carry is answered by this proposal — if a person is carrying a protected arm at home, on the streets and roads, or in the wilderness, the weapon may be in the open or concealed. However, in other spaces such as government buildings, malls, or parks, the government or the owner of the land may regulate whether weapons are allowed at all, and if they are whether open or concealed carry is permitted. For example, a bus station or train station may post rules indicating all weapons must be in carrying cases and not wielded in the open nor concealed. Another example, a bar may prohibit all firearms from the premises.

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