Biden’s false claim that the 2nd Amendment bans cannon ownership

“And I might add: The Second Amendment, from the day it was passed, limited the type of people who could own a gun and what type of weapon you could own. You couldn’t buy a cannon.” The president offered this aside as he made a litany of his regular points about the need for background checks and what he says was the effectiveness of bans on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines that expired. Parenthetical asides from a prepared text often trip up presidents, especially Biden. In this case, he repeated a claim — that Americans were prohibited from owning cannons — that has already been fact-checked as false when he made it during the presidential campaign. The cannon element is what mostly interests us here, but we should also address Biden’s framing about the Second Amendment , which was part of the Bill of Rights adopted in 1791. The meaning of the Second Amendment — “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” — has long been debated. But experts said Biden especially mischaracterized it. “Everything in that statement is wrong,” said David Kopel , the research director and Second Amendment project director at the Independence Institute. After 1791, “there were no federal laws about the type of gun you could own, and no states limited the kind of gun you could own.” Not until the early 1800s were there […]

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