2Nd Amendment Day 1

The History and Significance of 2nd Amendment Day

What is 2nd Amendment Day?

2nd Amendment Day is an observance day in the United States meant to promote awareness and support for gun rights under the Second Amendment to the U.S. Constitution. The day recognizes the right to keep and bear arms and the ability of law-abiding citizens to own firearms.

History and Origins

2nd Amendment Day originated in the state of Oklahoma in 2010 after a major Supreme Court case affirmed individual gun rights. Other states, including Pennsylvania and South Carolina, have since enacted their own 2nd Amendment Day commemorations. Grassroots gun rights groups were the early promoters of 2nd Amendment Day as a counter to gun control efforts.

States That Observe It

Currently, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina are the three states that officially observe a 2nd Amendment Day. Each state marks the occasion on a different day of the year significant to its history with gun rights issues. Advocates want to spread observances to more states in the future.

The Second Amendment

Wording and Meaning

The Second Amendment to the Constitution states: “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.” This was adopted in 1791 as part of the Bill of Rights. Advocates see the amendment as enshrining broad gun rights, while critics argue it only applies to militia service.

Interpretations and Debate

There is extensive debate over the wording and original intent of the Second Amendment. Some Constitutional scholars claim it was meant to protect state militias, not individual gun ownership. However, gun rights groups strongly argue that it protects the natural right of people to have guns for self-defense and to resist tyranny. This disagreement fuels the controversy over gun control laws.

Supreme Court Cases

In 2008, the Supreme Court ruling in District of Columbia v. Heller was a landmark case that affirmed an individual constitutional right to keep arms for self-defense in the home. This paved the way for state-level 2nd Amendment Day observances. However, the scope of gun rights protections remains under dispute and subject to new legal challenges.

See also  South Dakota Constitutional Carry

Oklahoma’s 2nd Amendment Day

Date and Reason for June 28

Oklahoma commemorates 2nd Amendment Day each year on June 28. This date was chosen because, on June 28, 2010, the Supreme Court incorporated the Second Amendment’s protections to apply to state and local governments through the McDonald v. Chicago case. This victory for gun rights in Oklahoma prompted the creation of their 2nd Amendment Day.

Activities and Events

Typical 2nd Amendment Day activities in Oklahoma include public rallies, shooting competitions, essay contests, and exhibits about gun history and rights. Some events are staged at the state capitol in Oklahoma City. It is seen by gun rights groups as a day to celebrate freedom and constitutional liberties.

Pennsylvania’s 2nd Amendment Day

Date and History

In Pennsylvania, the state marks 2nd Amendment Day annually on the fourth Tuesday in May. This observance day was enacted in 2014 by House Resolution 676, which proclaimed that citizens have the right to bear arms for the defense of life, liberty, and property.

How It Is Observed

On the fourth Tuesday of each May, citizens in Pennsylvania reflect on their Constitutional freedoms and right to keep and bear arms. Gun rights organizations often hold open carry rallies and speakers in support of broad 2nd Amendment rights. It is also a day to protest any legislation seen as infringing on gun ownership.

South Carolina and 2nd Amendment Day

Second Amendment Education Act

In South Carolina, the state legislature passed the Second Amendment Education Act in 2018. This law declared December 15 as Second Amendment Awareness Day. December 15 is the ratification date for the Bill of Rights in 1791.

Poster and Essay Contest

A key part of South Carolina’s observance is a Poster and Essay Contest for students in all grades. They are encouraged to submit entries on the theme of “The Right to Bear Arms, One American Right Protecting All Others.” This reflects the view that the right to bear arms is crucial to defending all liberties.

The Broader Gun Rights Debate

Views of Gun Rights Advocates

Supporters of broad gun rights see the 2nd Amendment as an absolute protection against all federal or state gun laws and restrictions. They argue that regulations disproportionately affect law-abiding citizens more than criminals. Any licenses, fees, or bans are viewed as unconstitutional.

See also  Gun Purchase Laws

Views of Gun Control Advocates

Those supporting more gun regulations believe that public safety requires limits on weapons designed for mass killing and restrictions to keep guns away from dangerous people. They argue absolute gun rights are an extreme view at odds with reasonable safeguards.

Areas of Compromise?

While polarized, there are some areas of common ground in the gun debate, such as improving mental health services and keeping guns from high-risk individuals through due process. Overall, passions run high on both sides of the 2nd Amendment issue.

The Future of 2nd Amendment Day

Will More States Observe It?

Currently, three states officially commemorate a 2nd Amendment Day. But there are efforts by gun rights groups to convince more state legislatures to enact statewide observances. As public awareness grows, there may be more official adoption in conservative states in the coming years.

Evolving Public Opinions

American views on gun rights and gun control are constantly shifting and complex. Overall support for some firearm restrictions has grown in recent years. However, legally protected gun rights remain popular with many citizens. As attitudes evolve on guns, the way 2nd Amendment Day is perceived may also change.

2nd Amendment foreign responsibilities

The Second Amendment’s protection of state militias reflected worries of excessive federal power over security. Citizens believed local, representative militias could provide necessary defense against invasion or insurrection better than a standing army. States wished to check federal overreach in areas of foreign responsibility.

2nd Amendment foreign and domestic

By protecting state militias and an armed public, the Founders intended the Second Amendment as a system of security against both foreign invasion as well a loyalty test against a tyrannical government turning on its people domestically. It reflects fears of excessive federal power on security.


2nd Amendment Day was created to honor the right to bear arms enshrined in the U.S. Constitution. While not without controversy, these state observances uphold America’s strong gun culture and heritage. Supporters see it as vital to defending liberty, while critics argue its original meaning is being distorted. This observance intersects with the divisive issue of gun regulation and the balance between rights and public safety. As the gun debate continues, 2nd Amendment Day provides a forum to recognize firearms as an indelible part of American history and identity.

See also  Gun Shows in the United States


Q1: What is the Second Amendment?

The Second Amendment is part of the Bill of Rights in the U.S. Constitution. It states: “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.”

Q2: When did 2nd Amendment Day start?

2nd Amendment Day originated in Oklahoma in 2010 after a key Supreme Court case affirmed individual gun rights under the Second Amendment. It has since spread to other pro-gun states.

Q3: What states observe a 2nd Amendment Day?

Currently, Oklahoma, Pennsylvania, and South Carolina are the three states that have official commemorations for 2nd Amendment Day on varying dates.

Q4: What activities happen on 2nd Amendment Day?

Typical 2nd Amendment Day events include rallies, shooting competitions, poster/essay contests, and exhibits celebrating gun history and ownership rights.

Q5: Who supports 2nd Amendment Day?

2nd Amendment Day is promoted primarily by gun rights groups and firearm enthusiasts who want to bring awareness to the right to keep and bear arms.

Q6: Why was the Second Amendment added to the Bill of Rights?

The Second Amendment was added to give citizens the right to bear arms to provide for both collective security through a militia system as well as individual self-defense. There were debates between federalists and anti-federalists over military power.

Q7: Why was the Second Amendment created?

The Second Amendment aimed to balance security needs, allowing a militia system to defend against foreign threats and domestic uprisings while also restricting federal powers over state militias and individual rights. It was influenced by English rights and recent colonial experiences.

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