original proposed draft
the right to keep and bear arms
of the BILL of RIGHTS
(17 TH of 20 amendments)
on display at the Karpeles Manuscript Library
Santa Ana, California
"That the people have a right to keep and bear arms; 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. That standing armies in time of peace are dangerous to liberty, and therefore ought to be avoided as far as the circumstances and protection of the community will admit; and that in all cases the military should be under strict subordination to and governed by the civil power."