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State Constitutions - (43 of 50 States include a Right to Bear Arms)


Alabama Constitution, Article 1, Section 26:
"That every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state."
Alaska Constitution, Article I, Section 19:
"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. The individual right to keep and bear arms shall not be denied or infringed by the State or a political subdivision of the State."
Arizona Constitution, Article II, Section 26:
"The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself or the State shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain, or employ an armed body of men."
Arkansas Constitution, Article II, Section 5:
"The citizens of this state shall have the right to keep and bear arms for their common defense."
California Constitution, Article I, Section 1:
"VAGUE: All people are by nature free and independent and have inalienable rights. Among these are enjoying and defending life and liberty, aquiring, possessing, and protecting property and pursuing and obtaining safety, happiness and privacy." Emphasis added.
Colorado Constitution, Article II, Section 13:
"The right of no person to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall be called in question; but nothing herein contained shall be construed to justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons."
Connecticut Constitution, Article I, Section 15:
"Every citizen has a right to bear arms in defense of himself and the state."
Delaware Constitution, Article I, Section 20:
"A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home and State, and for hunting and recreational use."
Florida Constitution, Article I, Section 8-a:
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves and of the lawful authority of the state shall not be infringed, except that the manner of bearing arms may be regulated by law."
Georgia Constitution, Article I, Section 1, Paragraph VII:
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed, but the General Assembly shall have power to prescribe the manner in which arms may be borne."
Hawaii Constitution, Article I, Section 15:
"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."
Idaho Constitution, Article I, Section 11:
"The people have the right to keep and bear arms, which right shall not be abridged; but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to govern the carrying of weapons concealed on the person nor prevent passage of legislation providing minimum sentences for crimes committed while in possession of a firearm, nor prevent the passage of legislation providing penalties for the possession of firearms by a convicted felon, nor prevent the passage of any legislation punishing the use of a firearm. No law shall impose licensure, registration or special taxation on the ownership or possession of firearms or ammunition. Nor shall any law permit the confiscation of firearms, except those actually used in the commission of a felony."
Illinois Constitution, Article I, Section 22:
"Subject only to the police power, the right of the individual citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
Indiana Constitution, Article I, Section 32:
"The people shall have a right to bear arms, for the defense of themselves and the State."
Iowa Constitution:
"NONE"
Kansas Constitution, Bill of Rights, Section 4:
"The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be tolerated, and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power."
Kentucky Constitution, Section 1:
"All men are, by nature, free and equal, and have certain inherent and inalienable rights, among which may be reckoned:
The right to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the State, subject to the power of the General Assembly to enact laws to prevent persons from carrying concealed weapons."
Louisiana Constitution, Article I, Section 11:
"The right of each citizen to keep and bear arms shall not be abridged, but this provision shall not prevent the passage of laws to prohibit the carrying of weapons concealed on the person."
Maine Constitution, Article I, Section 16:
"Every citizen has a right to keep and bear arms and this right shall never be questioned."
Maryland Constitution:
"NONE"
Massachusetts Constitution, Part the First, Article XVII:
"The people have a right to keep and to bear arms for the common defence. And as, in time of peace, armies are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be maintained without the consent of the legislature; and the military power shall always be held in an exact subordination to the civil authority, and be governed by it."
Michigan Constitution, Article I, Section 6:
"Every person has a right to keep and bear arms for the defense of himself and the state."
Minnesota Constitution:
"NONE"
Mississippi Constitution, Article 3, Section 12:
"The right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but the legislature may regulate or forbid carrying concealed weapons."
Missouri Constitution, Article I, Section 23:
"That the right of every citizen to keep and bear arms in defense of his home, person and property, or when lawfully summoned in aid of the civil power, shall not be questioned; but this shall not justify the wearing of concealed weapons."
Montana Constitution, Article II, Section 12:
"The right of any person to keep or bear arms in defense of his own home, person, and property, or in aid of the civil power when thereto legally summoned, shall not be called in question, but nothing herein contained shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons."
Nebraska Constitution, Article 1, Section 1:
"All persons ... have certain ... rights, among these are ... the right to keep and bear arms for security or defense of self, family, home, and others, and for lawful common defense, hunting, recreational use, and all other lawful purposes, and such rights shall not be denied or infringed by the state or any subdivision thereof."
Nevada Constitution, Article I, Section II, Paragraph 1:
"Every citizen has the right to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes."
New Hampshire Constitution, Part First, Article 2-a:
"All persons have the right to keep and bear arms in defense of themselves, their families, their property and the state."
New Jersey Constitution:
"NONE"
New Mexico Constitution, Article II,Sec. 6:
"No law shall abridge the right of the citizen to keep and bear arms for security and defense, for lawful hunting and recreational use and for other lawful purposes, but nothing herein shall be held to permit the carrying of concealed weapons. No municipality or county shall regulate, in any way, an incident of the right to keep and bear arms."
New York Constitution, Section 4 of the New York Civil Rights Law provides:
"A well-regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state, the right of the people to keep and bear arms cannot be infringed."
North Carolina Constitution, Article I, Section 30:
"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; and, as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty. they shall not be maintained, and the military shall be kept under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power. Nothing herein shall justify the practice of carrying concealed weapons, or prevent the General Assembly from enacting penal statutes against that practice."
North Dakota Constitution, Article 1, Section l:
"All individuals...have certain inalienable rights, among which are...to keep and bear arms for the defense of their person, family, property, and the state, and for lawful hunting, recreational, and other lawful purposes, which shall not be infringed."
Ohio Constitution, Article I, Section 4:
"The people have the right to bear arms for their defense and security; but standing armies, in time of peace, are dangerous to liberty, and shall not be kept up; and the military shall be in strict subordination to the civil power."
Oklahoma Constitution, Article II, Section 26:
"The right of a citizen to keep and bear arms in defence (sic) of his home, person, or property, or in aid of the civil power, where thereunto legally summoned, shall never be prohibited; but nothing herein contained shall prevent the Legislature from regulating the carrying of weapons."
Oregon Constitution, Article I, Section 27:
"The people shall have the right to bear arms for the defence (sic) of themselves, and the State, but the Military shall be kept in strict subordination to the civil power."
Pennsylvania Constitution, Article I, Section 21:
"The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the State shall not be questioned."
Rhode Island Constitution, Article I, Section 22:
"The right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed."
South Carolina Constitution, Article I, Section 20:
"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."
South Dakota Constitution, Article VI, Section 24:
"The right of the citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and the state shall not be denied."
Tennessee Constitution, Article I, Section 26:
"That the citizens of this state have a right to keep and to bear arms for their common defense; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms with a view to prevent crime."
Texas Constitution, Article I, Section 23:
"Every citizen shall have the right to keep and bear arms in the lawful defense of himself or the State; but the Legislature shall have power, by law, to regulate the wearing of arms, with a view to prevent crime."
Utah Constitution, Article I, Section 6:
"The individual right of the people to keep and bear arms for security and defense of self, family, others, property, or the state, as well as for other lawful purposes shall not be infringed; but nothing herein shall prevent the legislature from defining the lawful use of arms."
Vermont Constitution, Chapter I, Article 16th:
"That the people have a right to bear arms for the defence of themselves and the State - and as standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, they ought not to be kept up; and that the military should be kept under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power."
Virginia Constitution, Article I, Section 13:
"That a well regulated militia, composed of the body of the people, trained to arms, is the proper, natural, and safe defense of a free state, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed; that standing armies, in time of peace, should be avoided as dangerous to liberty; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to, and governed by, the civil power."
Washington Constitution, Article I, Section 24:
"The right of the individual citizen to bear arms in defense of himself, or the state, shall not be impaired, but nothing in this section shall be construed as authorizing individuals or corporations to organize, maintain or employ an armed body of men."
West Virginia Constitution, Article 3, Sec. 22:
"A person has the right to keep and bear arms for the defense of self, family, home, and state, and for lawful hunting and recreational use."
Wisconsin Constitution:
"NONE"
Wyoming Constitution, Article I, Section 24:
"The right of citizens to bear arms in defense of themselves and of the state shall not be denied."


State Constitutions / Revised January 1997