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Firearms

To know what the Framers intended, we need to understand the historical context.

Editor's Note: We asked Prof. Joseph Ellis, one of the leading scholars on the Founding era, to provide us with historical content for the Second Amendment and what the founders intended when they wrote it. Prof. Read more >>

The Supreme Court left the door open for reasonable regulations of guns if Congress has the will to act.

Editors Note: We asked Prof. Adam Winkler, a nationally recognized expert on Constitutional law and the history of gun control, to give us his thoughts on how we can steer a middle ground between the right to bear arms and strict gun control. Read more >>

Given the recent tragic shootings, historians should play a role in providing dispassionate facts about the history of gun rights and gun control.

Since its founding 70 years ago, American Heritage has stayed out of the fray of partisan politics, focusing instead on a straightforward telling of the American story. Read more >>

Here are the original opinion and dissents in the famous Supreme Court case that defined the modern version of the "right to bear arms" 

CONTENTS Syllabus Opinion (Scalia) Dissent (Stevens) Read more >>

“I don’t want this thing often,” one soldier said of his .45 automatic pistol, “but when I do, I want it damned bad.”

IN COMMON with all good jungle fighters, the Moros liked to work close up. Read more >>

An Unfortunate Affair at Fullerton Which at the End is Amicably Adjusted.

Joe Lyons, the nineteen-year-old son of Isaac Lyons of Orangethorpe, shot and seriously wounded Morris Smith, son of W. J. Smith of the same place, at Fullerton at about half-past 9 o’clock on last Thursday morning. Read more >>
For years passengers travelling the railroad between New York City and Albany were stirred from their reveries by a Scottish castle looming suddenly from the Hudson River. An outpost of nearby West Point? Read more >>

The National Rifle Association and the Right to Bear Arms

Among the most common mechanical possessions in the households of America, outnumbering even the motor vehicle and possibly outnumbered itself only by the flush toilet and the television set, is a device which, having won the West and championed liberty over Read more >>
The Kentucky rifle, which because of its astonishing accuracy earned. A substantial credit for American victories in both the Revolution and the War of 1812, was unknown by that name until after the Battle of New Orleans in 1815. Read more >>

“Then how come they’re digging a grave behind the old corral, Luke?”

“Oh, Sam, what happened?” “Nothing serious, Miss Sally—Luke just picked up a little bit of lead.” “Oh no!” Read more >>

It's the only industrial nation in which the possession of rifles, shotguns, and handguns is lawfully prevalent among large numbers of its population.

Samuel Colt’s life was brief but eventful. He was an imaginative inventor and an ambitious pitchman whose legacy included scandal and success—and firearms that were revolutionary in more ways than one

The funeral of Samuel Colt, America’s first great munitions maker, was spectacular—certainly the most spectacular ever seen in Hartford, Connecticut. Read more >>