The Right to Bear Arms : Throughline In April 1938, an Oklahoma bank robber was arrested for carrying an unregistered sawed-off shotgun across state lines. The robber, Jack Miller, put forward a novel defense: that a law banning him from carrying that gun violated his Second Amendment rights.

For most of U.S. history, the Second Amendment was one of the sleepier ones. It rarely showed up in court, and was almost never used to challenge laws. Jack Miller's case changed that. And it set off a chain of events that would fundamentally change how U.S. law deals with guns.

The Right to Bear Arms

The Right to Bear Arms

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Marc Piscotty/Getty Images
Second Amendment activist Joseph Gabriele of Littleton, Colorado gathers with other activists in support of gun ownership on January 9, 2013 at the Colorado State Capitol in Denver, Colorado.
Marc Piscotty/Getty Images

In April 1938, an Oklahoma bank robber was arrested for carrying an unregistered sawed-off shotgun across state lines. The robber, Jack Miller, put forward a novel defense: that a law banning him from carrying that gun violated his Second Amendment rights.

For most of U.S. history, the Second Amendment was one of the sleepier ones. It rarely showed up in court, and was almost never used to challenge laws. Jack Miller's case changed that. And it set off a chain of events that would fundamentally change how U.S. law deals with guns.


Guests:

Joseph Blocher, Professor of Law at Duke University Law School and co-author of The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation and the Future of Heller.