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© Chuck Klein 2002

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.

Therefore I propose this 28th Amendment to the Constitution of the United States of America...



Any citizen of the United States over the age of 21, who is not under indictment for or has not been convicted of a felony crime of violence or felony illegal distribution or trafficking in any drug of abuse; or has not been adjudicated as a chronic alcoholic, drug dependent or mental incompetent mental incompetent; or is not under the influence of alcohol or any federally controlled substance, has the right to keep and bear arms anywhere this instrument has jurisdiction.

Intention of the framer: 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. This section does not grant the right, it only recognizes this inherent and intrinsic right to keep and bear arms. The right extends to any physical location under the control of the United States Constitution.


The bearing of arms is prohibited within an enclosure where notification is made restricting the bearing of arms and safe provision is made to secure such arms.

Intention of the framer: 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 and provides for the arms carrier to safely store his arms. This way, courthouses, police stations and department stores, etc., not wishing persons to be armed within their enclosures can establish a "coat check" for guns.


"Arms" means any breech loading device weighing less than fifteen pounds, unloaded, and capable of discharging by the action of an explosive or combustible propellant, a non-exploding projectile or projectiles of which the projectile [s] is [are] not greater than .505 inches in diameter; "bearing"of arms means to carry, either openly or concealed; "keeping" arms means possessing, collecting or having control of arms.

Intention of the framer: Most non-gun owners and many gun owners would feel uncomfortable with their neighbor hauling around a bazooka or other mega-destructive device. Barrel and stock lengths, calibers (up to .50) and fully automatic arms are not restricted as long as such arms do not weigh more than 15 pounds unloaded. This section does not preclude local governments from enacting and enforcing "activity laws" such as pointing firearms (assault) or including panic by openly carrying arms into crowded public arenas.


Each Territory or State of the United States may license/test persons who wish to bear arms in public; fees and complexity of testingfor such licensing shall not exceed that which the licensing State or Territory establishes for a motor vehicle operators license.

Intention of the framer: By allowing licensing and carrying of arms either openly or concealed, we greatly enhance our chances of ratification while at the same time establishing just who is and who is not a citizen. States might be more inclined to ratify Amendment Twenty-Eight if they believed income could be generated from fees (or not lose the fees they now receive for CCW permits or hunting licenses). Since Section 1 guarantees 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 study a pamphlet, take a written test and demonstrate proficiency. This section only applies to bearing arms in public - it has no control on those who collect or bear arms on private property.


This 28th Amendment voids all previous federal, state and local statutes, laws, court decrees, executive orders and legislative acts that pertain to the keeping and bearing of arms.
Intention of the framer: this section is to make it clear that this new amendment has superseded all other laws, statutes and executive orders and court rulings - federal, state or local.
GUNS & AMMO EDITOR'S NOTE: The opinions expressed here are not necessarily those of the editorial staff of Guns & Ammo. However we felt that author Chuck Klein has offered some very thought-provoking material - which we pay him to do-