For an analysis similar to what I quoted below -- down to the analogy between the limits on the right to bear arms and the limits on the freedom of the press, see the argument of Ichabod Bartlett (a leading New Hampshire lawyer, Congressman, and speaker of the New Hampshire House of Representative) in Upham v. Hill (1830):
What is liberty of person? — liberty of speech? Are we not free? But have we a right to knock down and trample upon all whom we may dislike? ... We have too the right of bearing arms. And if we are not permitted to throw a brand into our neighbor's dwelling — or discharge our rifle upon the passers by in the street — we could as well complain of being enslaved — as to say the press is shackled, because it may not, by falsehood, assault the character of any and every citizen, when and where its conductors may choose.
This clearly assumes the right to bear arms as an individual right to possess or carry a gun (it's not clear which). This is weaker evidence than the views of Judge Martin, because it's only a lawyer's argument to a jury. But a skilled lawyer such as Bartlett would make such an argument (especially given the easy availability of other analogies) only if he thought the right to bear arms would be uncontroversially seen as an individual right by the jurors.
Note also that this had to be a reference to the Second Amendment or to some national consensus about the right to bear arms, and not to a state constitutional provision: New Hampshire had no right to bear arms provision in its state constitution until 1982.
Related Posts (on one page):
- An 1869 Data Point on the Second Amendment:
- Two More Early References to the Right To Bear Arms,
- An 1831 Source Supporting the Individual Rights View of the Second Amendment:
- An 1830 Source Casually Assuming the Individual Rights View of the Second Amendment:
- Another Early 1800s Source Supporting the Individual Rights View of the Second Amendment: