The right to keep and bear arms was considered a fundamental, individual right in the original 14 states (the 13 colonies and Vermont) from the pre-Revolutionary period through the adoption of the federal Bill of Rights in 1791. A Right to Bear Arms is the first book to demonstrate the deprivation of this right as a causal factor to the American Revolution. The book also examines the significance of the right to bear arms in each of the first states and the state influences on the adoption of the Second Amendment to the federal Constitution. This is the first book ever published on the immediate origins of the right to bear arms in the state and federal bill of rights. The work relies primarily on original sources such as period newspapers, constitutional convention debates, and the writings of the framers of the first state constitutions. The epilogue, "Constitutional Conventions in the Nineteenth and Twentieth Centuries," accounts for changes in the bills of rights that have affected the issue of the right to bear arms. Considering the bicentennial of the federal Bill of Rights, being celebrated in 1989-1991, and the current "gun control" controversy, this book is a valuable source to historians, political scientists, law libraries, and special interest groups.