In regards to the 2A, gov’t has never defined the term “infringement.”
@umgud wrote: In regards to the 2A, govt has never defined the term infringement.
First off, umgud, the word is infringed ... not infringement [see next]
Second, the Virginia Bill of Rights reads:
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, therefore, the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed...
... shall NOT be Infringed... [EMPHASIS added]
Now, where have we read that before? ;-)
Third, Heller cleared up that the Right to Keep and Bear Arms does NOT require membership in a well regulated militia:
The [Second] Amendments prefatory clause announces a purpose, but does not limit or expand the scope of the second part, the operative clause. The operative clauses text and history demonstrate that it connotes an individual right to keep and bear arms.
The Prefatory Clause:
A well regulated militia being necessary to the security of a free state,
The Operative Clause:
. . .the right of the people to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
District of Columbia, et al. v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008)
Now, as to that term infringed:
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.
(The text as ratified by the states and authenticated by Secretary of State Thomas Jefferson.)
In law and statutes, the word shall has the following meaning:
An imperative command; has a duty to or is required to. For example, the notice shall be sent within 30 days. Usually shall used here is in the mandatory sense.
When used in statutes, contracts, or the like, the word shall is generally imperative or mandatory.
[Independent School District No. 561 v. Independent School District No. 35, 284 Minn. 426, 436-37, 170 N.W.2d 433, 440 (1969)]
In common, or ordinary parlance, and in its ordinary signification, the term shall is a word of command, and one which has always, or which must be given a compulsory meaning; as denoting obligation. It has a peremptory meaning, and it is generally imperative or mandatory. It has the invariable significance of excluding the idea of discretion, and has the significance of operating to impose a duty which may be enforced, particularly if public policy is in favor of this meaning, or when addressed to public officials, or where a public interest is involved, or where the public or persons have rights which ought to be exercised or enforced, unless a contrary intent appears; but the context ought to be very strongly persuasive before it is softened into a mere permission, etc.
[People v. O’Rourke, 124 Cal. App. 752, 759 (Cal. App. 1932)]
The Founders use of the word shall removes all doubt as to its being a command not subject to any other interpretation.
Their use of the adverb not is yet another command word.
Their use of the verb be means “occur or take place.
And their use of the verb infringed cannot have any other meaning than a intentional violation or breach of a legal right, contract, or statute.
All the above simply means that any law, code, statute or ruling which prevents or prohibits an individual from purchasing or otherwise receiving, owning or carrying a firearm; _any_ firearm; or other arms; is to be considered patently unconstitutional and not to be used to deny that individual’s sacrosanct 2nd Amendment Right to Keep and Bear Arms: unless and until that individual’s right is individually and specifically subjected to being modified or removed by a court of law after using due process.
Adding to the above:
No law is automatically Constitutional
The general misconception is that any statute passed by legislators bearing the appearance of law constitutes the law of the land. The Constitution of the United States is the supreme law of the land, and any statue, to be valid, must be in agreement. It is impossible for both the Constitution and a law violating it to be valid; one must prevail. This is succinctly stated as follows:
The general rule is that an unconstitutional statute, though having the form and name of law, is in reality no law, but is wholly void, and ineffective for any purpose; since unconstitutionality dates from the time of its enactment, and not merely from the date of the decision so branding it.
An unconstitutional law, in legal contemplation, is as inoperative as if it had never been passed. Such a statute leaves the question that it purports to settle just as it would be had the statute not been enacted.
Since an unconstitutional law is void, the general principals follow that it imposes no duties, confers no rights, creates no office, bestows no power or authority on anyone, affords no protection, and justifies no acts performed under it . . .
A void act cannot be legally consistent with a valid one.
An unconstitutional law cannot operate to supersede any existing valid law.
Indeed, insofar as a statute runs counter to the fundamental law of the land, it is superseded thereby.
No one is bound to obey an unconstitutional law and no courts are bound to enforce it.
American Jurisprudence, Second Edition, Section 177. (late 2nd Ed. Section 256)
SCOTUS has never acknowledged the phrase "shall not be infringed".