Which States Have the Right to Bear Arms?

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Forty-four of the states in our union join the Constitution in enumerating provisions for the individual’s right to bear arms. The remaining six states are:

  • Maryland and Minnesota, which have no references to the individual’s right to bear arms.
  • California’s constitution mentions the right to defend life and liberty; to possess and protect property ; and to pursue and obtain safety in Article 1, Section 1. The California Constitution also recognizes the US Constitution as the “supreme law of the land” in Article 3, Section 1.
  • Both Iowa’s and New Jersey’s constitutions contain language about defending life and liberty, possessing and protecting property, and obtaining safety.
  • The final state, New York, contains nothing about the right to bear arms in its state constitution, but does contain language in Article 12, Section 1 about maintaining an organized and unorganized militia. And, in Article 2, Section 4 of the New York Civil Rights Law which reads nearly the same as the Second Amendment.

To learn more about the provisions in the 44 State Constitutions, visit The Second Amendment Foundation’s website.

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