Citation(s) from the Gun Policy News media archive
U.S. Gun Rights Truly Are American Exceptionalism
7 March 2013
Guatemala, Mexico and the U.S…. are among the very few countries throughout history whose constitutions have guaranteed the right to bear arms.
Our study of constitutions going back to 1789 shows that only a minority has ever included gun rights… [and] the number has dwindled…
Twenty-four constitutions from nine countries have included gun rights in some form since 1789… [most] countries that had the right have actively chosen to reject it in subsequent constitutions.
17 percent had the right in 1875. Since the early 1900s, however, the proportion has been less than 10 percent and falling…
Today, only three out of nearly 200 constitutions contain a right to bear arms…
The Nicaraguan constitution provided… "the right to arm themselves in defense of their sovereignty, independence and revolutionary gains. It is the duty of the state to direct, organize and arm the people to guarantee this right."
The U.S. constitution is alone in omitting any written conditions under which the government can regulate arms and munitions. In other countries, the right is typically limited to self-defense, either of the home or the state itself. Guatemala gives its citizens the right to own weapons for personal use in the home and states that citizens can only be forced to relinquish guns by judicial order. Haiti gives citizens the right to use guns to defend the home but explicitly denies a general right to bear arms.