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© Chuck Klein 2019

In my 2nd Amendment column (June 2002 issue of GUNS & AMMO Magazine), I wrote a proposal to amend our Constitution. It stirred a lot of controversy, both pro and con. Some might think it rather presumptuous that a mere "gunwriter" could draft something so significant as a constitutional amendment. However, since the original Constitution was written by amateurs, and since we, just regular law abiding laymen, are the ones most affected by the new amendment, it stands to reason that one of us should be trusted with its authorship.
In the March 2019 issue of THE GUN MAG this proposal was again published (to inspire a new generation of gun owners). 


PREFACE to 2019 Gun Mag column:

Championed by former SCOTUS Justice John Paul Stevens, there is current push developing to repeal the 2nd Amendment. Instead of defending our sacred right, we might be better off taking the offensive by promoting a new confirmation to the Bill of Rights – one that strengthens the Second and does away with confusing court rulings and federal, state and local laws.

Yeah, I know, the possibility of a (any) new Amendment is remote, but we have to not only let the antis know our resolve, but be ready. Perhaps, a reader will take the initiative to send this to their Congressional Representatives for the purpose of introducing a bill, resolution or amendment. 



Everyone Has The Inherent and Inalienable Right To Keep And Bear Arms Anywhere This Instrument Has Jurisdiction When All Of The Following Apply: The Person Is A Citizen Of The United States, Is Over The Age Of 18, Has Not Been Dishonorably Discharged From Any Branch Of U.S. Military Service, Is Not Under Indictment For, Convicted Of, Or While In The Act Of, Committing Any Felony Crime Of Violence; Or Felony Distribution, Or Trafficking In, Any Illegal Drug Of Abuse; Or Has Not Been Adjudicated As A Chronic Alcoholic, Drug Dependent Or Mental Incompetent; Or Is Not Under The Influence Of Alcohol Or Any Federally Controlled Narcotic Substance.

Any person who is a citizen of the United States (an inducement for those living here as foreign aliens) and does not fall under one or more of the disabilities has the right to own and carry guns. The section does not grant the right, it only recognizes this inherent and intrinsic right to keep and bear arms (a la the 2nd). The right extends to any physical location under the control of the U.S. Constitution. The restrictions on bearing and keeping arms shall be limited to those enumerated in this amendment.

The Bearing Of Arms Is Prohibited, When All Of The Following Apply: Within An Enclosure, Where Notification Is Made Restricting The Bearing Of Arms, Search Provisions Are Operational And Safe And Convenient Provision Is Made To Secure And Retrieve Arms Carried To The Ingress/Egress Point Of Enclosure.

Any public or private entity has the option of forbidding the carrying of arms into or onto its enclosure (building, fenced-in area) as long as said entity posts a notice, operates a metal detector or other means of detection and provides for the arms carrier to safely and conveniently store/retrieve his/her arms. This way, military bases, court houses, police stations and retail facilities, etc., that do not want persons to be armed within their enclosures, must establish a 'coat check' for guns and have detection devices in operation.

Arms Means Any Rifled Or Smooth Barreled, Breech Loading Device With A Bore Diameter Of No More Than One-Inch And Weighing Less Than Twenty Pounds, Unloaded, And Capable Of Discharging By The Action Of An Explosive Or Combustible Propellant, A Non-Exploding Projectile Or Projectiles; Bearing Of Arms Means To Carry, Either Openly Or Concealed; Keeping Arms Means Having Control Of Arms By Possession And/Or Ownership.

Most non-gun and many gun owners would feel uncomfortable with their neighbor hauling around a bazooka or other mega-destructive device. Barrel and stock length and fully automatic arms are not restricted as long as the arm doesn't weigh more than 20 pounds – empty and has a barrel that doesn’t exceed one-inch in diameter. This section does not preclude local governments from enacting and enforcing 'activity laws' such as pointing firearms (assault) or inducing panic such as shooting or waving a gun around in crowded public arenas. Keeping arms is not only protected, but it carries with it an obligation to be sure these weapons don't fall into the wrong hands, i.e., persons prohibited under SECTION I. Other “arms” such as everything from clubs to knives to hat-pins have not been included inasmuch as possession of these common items have been addressed by the courts and have never been subject to registration.

Each Territory Or State Of The United States May License/Test Persons Who Wish To Bear Arms In Public Or Purchase Arms; Fees And Complexity Of Testing For Such Licensing Shall Not Exceed That Which The Licensing State Or Territory Establishes For A Motor Vehicle Operator's License. This License Shall Be Accepted And Recognized By Any And All States And Territories.

Some may object to allowing states to license something one has a constitutional right to do. The state, however, also has rights, such as its need to know who is a citizen - a person entitled to own and carry deadly weapons. Requiring a license to purchase or carry arms, either openly or concealed, greatly enhances the likelihood for ratification. States might be more inclined to ratify a new amendment if they won't lose the income now generated from current licensing fees. More importantly, anyone wanting to purchase or carry instruments of lethal force should be required submit to an investigation to certify they are law-abiding American citizens. Qualifying for and possessing a "permit" card is a mark of citizenship - it is only available to those who are not illegals, drunks, mental incompetents or criminals. Establishing just who is and who is not a citizen when it comes to those who are part of America's First Line of Defense is paramount to a secure country.
Since SECTION I recognizes the right to keep and bear arms, all permits must be on a 'shall issue' basis. The tests and the procedure for securing the license cannot be any more complex than what a state requires for its motor vehicle operator's license, i.e., study a pamphlet and take tests (we can't have those who cannot comprehend use of lethal force laws packing heat). Such a license would nullify the requirement and hassle of background checks for each and every purchase.

No State, Local, Territory Or Federal Government Employee Or Agency Shall Maintain A Registry Of Arms.

Registration of firearms is forbidden by any government person or government agency. This would not preclude private manufacturers and gun dealers from keeping records of the original purchaser in case notification is needed for reasons such as recall or safety - as is already the law.

This Amendment Voids All Previous Federal, State Territory And Local Statutes, Laws, Court Decrees, Executive Orders And Legislative Acts That Pertain To The Keeping And Bearing Of Arms, Except As Applied To Arms Manufacturers And Licensed Arms Dealers In Force At The Time This Amendment Is Enacted; And No Future Restrictions On The Keeping And Bearing Of Arms Shall Be Permitted Except By Amendment To This Constitution.

The final section makes it clear that this new amendment has superseded all other current or future laws, statutes and executive orders and court rulings - federal, state or local! Arms laws pertaining to non-government gun manufacturers and dealers, on the books at the ratification of this amendment, remain in force. There is no need for other controls on firearms as any such would be in violation of this amendment.


REALITY CHECK: In the widely-split political place we call America, such an amendment might not survive even a Republican controlled Congress. However, and regardless of whether it ever reaches a sub-committee, it will cause the antis to take the defensive and refocus their funds and energy on our pro-active stance - a significant advantage for us. In other words, it’s not about defending our rights, it’s about making the other guy defend against the confirmation of our rights. As to licensing, no one wants those who fall under any of the disabilities to have guns; in this day of giga-electronic storage information, the government can easily determine who owns guns now. Licensing is not a registration of the firearms themselves, but a method of proving you are a responsible citizen and do not fall under any prohibitions. This is not so much of a change inasmuch as almost all states now issue concealed carry licenses.


Chuck Klein, a former LEO and retired licensed private investigator, is an active member of the International Association of Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors, NRA Certified Firearms Instructor and the author of INSTINCT COMBAT SHOOTING, Defensive Handgunning for Police, 4th Edition; GUNS IN THE WORKPLACE, A Manual for Private Sector Employees and Employers plus many other books. He may be reached through his web site,