"What then, is he protected in the right to keep and thus use? Not every thing that may be useful for offense or defense, but what may properly be included or understood under the title of “arms,” taken in connection with the fact that the citizen is to keep them, as a citizen. Such, then as are found to make up the usual arms of the citizen of the country, and the use of which will properly train and render him efficient in defense of his own liberties, as well as of the State. Under this head, with a knowledge of the habits of our people, and of the arms in the use of which a soldier should be trained, we hold that the rifle, of all descriptions, the shot gun, the musket and repeater, are such arms, and that, under the Constitution, the right to keep such arms cannot be infringed or forbidden by the legislature."
| || |