United States v. Miller (307 U.S. 174)

United States v. Miller (307 U.S. 174) by James Clark McReynolds

United States v. Miller, 307 U.S. 174 (1939), was the first Supreme Court of the United States decision to directly address the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution. Miller is a controversial decision in the ongoing American gun politics debate, as both sides claim that it supports their position. Excerpted from United States v. Miller on Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.

United States Supreme Court

307 U.S. 174

The United States  v.  Jack Miller

No. 696.  Argued: March 30, 1939. --- Decided: May 15, 1939.

Appeal from the District Court of the United States for the Western District of Arkansas.

The National Firearms Act, as applied to one indicted for transporting in interstate commerce a 12-gauge shotgun with a barrel less than 18 inches long without having registered it and without having in his possession a stamp-affixed written order for it, as required by the Act, held:

1. Not unconstitutional as an invasion of the reserved powers of the States. Citing Sonzinsky v. United States, 300 U.S. 506, and Narcotic Act cases. P. 177.

2. Not violative of the Second Amendment of the Federal Constitution. P. 178.

The Court cannot take judicial notice that a shotgun having a barrel less than 18 inches long has today any reasonable relation to the preservation or efficiency of a well regulated militia, and therefore cannot say that the Second Amendment guarantees to the citizen the right to keep and bear such a weapon.

APPEAL under the Criminal Appeals Act from a judgment sustaining a demurrer to an indictment for violation of the National Firearms Act.

Mr. Gordon Dean, of Washington, D.C., for the United States.

No appearance for appellees.

Mr. Justice McREYNOLDS delivered the opinion of the Court.


This work is in the public domain in the United States because it is a work of the United States federal government (see 17 U.S.C. 105).