In a historic 5-4 decision Thursday, the Supreme Court declared for the first time that the Second Amendment protects an individual right — not a collective or militia right — to keep and bear firearms for self-defense.

The ruling ended the Court’s nearly 70-year aversion to considering the meaning of the Second Amendment’s oddly constructed language: “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.”

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