The National Rifle Association has been advocating since the 1970s that the late 18th-century language of the Second Amendment supports the right of every American to own a range of modern firearms.
The amendment reads in its entirety:
“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.”
Michael Waldman, a constitutional lawyer who is president of the Brennan Center for Justice, notes that for two centuries the clause and its “bizarre comma placement” were ignored, until the NRA launched a “long crusade to bring its interpretation of the Constitution into the mainstream.” The group has helped fund legal scholarship that underpins court decisions in recent decades limiting state and local gun control regulations. The NRA has been “highly effective” at funding political support for its views, according to the Britannica encyclopaedia.