The History of the Right to Bear Arms - The English Bill Of Rights

parliament monarchy time poor

In 1660 the English monarchy was restored with the coronation of Charles II, but the battle between Parliament and the monarchy continued. King James II was deposed in 1688, and the following year, his daughter, Mary, and her husband, William, were invited to leave Holland to occupy the throne of England. When the pair took their oaths of office, they were presented with a new Bill of Rights, which outlined the relationship of Parliament and the monarchy to the people. This Bill of Rights included a specific right of "Protestants [to] have arms for their defense suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law." The Bill of Rights also condemned abuses committed by standing armies and declared "that the raising and keeping of a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against the law." The Bill of Rights removed the word "guns" from the list of items the poor were forbidden to own by the Game Act of 1671. From this time on, the right to keep and bear arms belonged to all Englishmen, whether rich or poor.

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