The American Legion Supports The Second Amendment

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Resolution NO: 243

The resolution below as passed at the seventy-fourth National Convention of The American Legion in Chicago, August 1992:


WHEREAS,

1991 was the bicentennial of the adoption of the Bill of Rights of the Constitution of the United States; and

WHEREAS,

James Madison stated in Federalist paper #46: "Besides the advantages of being armed, which the Americans possess over the people of almost every other nation...notwithstanding, the military establishments in the several kingdoms of Europe, which are carried as far as the public resources will bear, the governments are afraid to trust the people with arms," and

WHEREAS,

it is estimated that 60-65 million individuals, representing half of the households in America, have chosen to exercise the right to keep and bear arms; and

WHEREAS,

Millions of American soldiers, including the hundreds of thousands of American soldiers involved in Operation Desert Storm in the Middle East, have fought to protect those rights, including the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms; and

WHEREAS,

The Persian Gulf War--along with efforts to disarm persons in the Baltic states and the Tianamen Square massacre in Beijing, China--is further proof that free people everywhere, at home and abroad, must be allowed to counteract violent aggression and that the need for citizens to be able to defend themselves, their families, their country and their freedom never dies; and

WHEREAS,

Training provided by the Department of the Army's Director of Civilian Marksmanship has given these American soldiers, both past and present, invaluable assistance in the performance of their duties and has even been shown to have saved their lives, and

WHEREAS,

Handguns are used 645,000 times and firearms are used 1,000,000 times each year by law-abiding citizens to thwart crimes; and

WHEREAS,

Certain laws have assumed the guilt of all firearm owners without addressing those who misue and criminally abuse firearms, contrary to the principles of American Jurisprudence, which assume innocence until guilt is proven; and

WHEREAS,

Such proposals also disregard the overwhelming evidence that the Second Amendment guarantees for law-abiding citizens an individual right to keep and bear arms; now, therefore, be it

RESOLVED,

By the American Legion in National Convention assembled in Chicago, Illinois, August 25, 26, 27,1992, that the American Legion reaffirms its recognition that the Second Amendment to the Constitution of the United States guarantees each law-abiding American citizen the right to keep and bear arms; and be it further

RESOLVED,

That the American Legion recommends the rejection of further restrictive firearms laws that only serve to limit law-abiding citizens in the exercise of their Constitutionally guaranteed rights while having little effect on the activities of the criminal element in our society; and, be if further

RESOLVED,

That the membership of the American Legion urges our nation's lawmakers to recognize, as part of their oath of office, the Second Amendment as guaranteeing law-abiding citizens the right to keep and bear arms, as do the millions of American veterans who have fought, and continue to fight, to preserve those rights.




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