Preexistent

The American right to arms existed well before that right had been secured by our constitution in 1789. In fact the American colonists had that right [supposedly] secured when we were still English subjects. And that right had been secured for 100 years prior to becoming citizens of the United States:

English Bill of Rights 1689

An Act Declaring the Rights and Liberties of the Subject and Settling the Succession of the Crown

Whereas the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons assembled at Westminster, lawfully, fully and freely representing all the estates of the people of this realm, did upon the thirteenth day of February in the year of our Lord one thousand six hundred eighty-eight present unto their Majesties, then called and known by the names and style of William and Mary, prince and princess of Orange, being present in their proper persons, a certain declaration in writing made by the said Lords and Commons in the words following, viz.:

Whereas the late King James the Second, by the assistance of divers evil counsellors, judges and ministers employed by him, did endeavour to subvert and extirpate the Protestant religion and the laws and liberties of this kingdom;

By assuming and exercising a power of dispensing with and suspending of laws and the execution of laws without consent of Parliament;

By committing and prosecuting divers worthy prelates for humbly petitioning to be excused from concurring to the said assumed power;

By issuing and causing to be executed a commission under the great seal for erecting a court called the Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes;

By levying money for and to the use of the Crown by pretence of prerogative for other time and in other manner than the same was granted by Parliament;

By raising and keeping a standing army within this kingdom in time of peace without consent of Parliament, and quartering soldiers contrary to law;

By causing several good subjects being Protestants to be disarmed at the same time when papists were both armed and employed contrary to law;

By violating the freedom of election of members to serve in Parliament;

By prosecutions in the Court of King’s Bench for matters and causes cognizable only in Parliament, and by divers other arbitrary and illegal courses;

And whereas of late years partial corrupt and unqualified persons have been returned and served on juries in trials, and particularly divers jurors in trials for high treason which were not freeholders;

And excessive bail hath been required of persons committed in criminal cases to elude the benefit of the laws made for the liberty of the subjects;

And excessive fines have been imposed;

And illegal and cruel punishments inflicted;

And several grants and promises made of fines and forfeitures before any conviction or judgment against the persons upon whom the same were to be levied;

All which are utterly and directly contrary to the known laws and statutes and freedom of this realm;

And whereas the said late King James the Second having abdicated the government and the throne being thereby vacant, his Highness the prince of Orange (whom it hath pleased Almighty God to make the glorious instrument of delivering this kingdom from popery and arbitrary power) did (by the advice of the Lords Spiritual and Temporal and divers principal persons of the Commons) cause letters to be written to the Lords Spiritual and Temporal being Protestants, and other letters to the several counties, cities, universities, boroughs and cinque ports, for the choosing of such persons to represent them as were of right to be sent to Parliament, to meet and sit at Westminster upon the two and twentieth day of January in this year one thousand six hundred eighty and eight [old style date], in order to such an establishment as that their religion, laws and liberties might not again be in danger of being subverted, upon which letters elections having been accordingly made;

And thereupon the said Lords Spiritual and Temporal and Commons, pursuant to their respective letters and elections, being now assembled in a full and free representative of this nation, taking into their most serious consideration the best means for attaining the ends aforesaid, do in the first place (as their ancestors in like case have usually done) for the vindicating and asserting their ancient rights and liberties declare

That the pretended power of suspending the laws or the execution of laws by regal authority without consent of Parliament is illegal;

That the pretended power of dispensing with laws or the execution of laws by regal authority, as it hath been assumed and exercised of late, is illegal;

That the commission for erecting the late Court of Commissioners for Ecclesiastical Causes, and all other commissions and courts of like nature, are illegal and pernicious;

That levying money for or to the use of the Crown by pretence of prerogative, without grant of Parliament, for longer time, or in other manner than the same is or shall be granted, is illegal;

That it is the right of the subjects to petition the king, and all commitments and prosecutions for such petitioning are illegal;

That the raising or keeping a standing army within the kingdom in time of peace, unless it be with consent of Parliament, is against law;

That the subjects which are Protestants may have arms for their defence suitable to their conditions and as allowed by law;

That election of members of Parliament ought to be free;

That the freedom of speech and debates or proceedings in Parliament ought not to be impeached or questioned in any court or place out of Parliament;

That excessive bail ought not to be required, nor excessive fines imposed, nor cruel and unusual punishments inflicted;

That jurors ought to be duly impanelled and returned, and jurors which pass upon men in trials for high treason ought to be freeholders;

That all grants and promises of fines and forfeitures of particular persons before conviction are illegal and void;

And that for redress of all grievances, and for the amending, strengthening and preserving of the laws, Parliaments ought to be held frequently. . . .

But the actual security of that right under England was a mere smokescreen:

“This may be considered as the true palladium of liberty. … The right of self defense is the first law of nature: in most governments it has been the study of rulers to confine this right within the narrowest limits possible. Wherever standing armies are kept up, and the right of the people to keep and bear arms is, under any color or pretext whatsoever, prohibited, liberty, if not already annihilated, is on the brink of destruction. In England, the people have been disarmed, generally, under the specious pretext of preserving the game: a never failing lure to bring over the landed aristocracy to support any measure, under that mask, though calculated for very different purposes. True it is, their bill of rights seems at first view to counteract this policy: but the right of bearing arms is confined to protestants, and the words suitable to their condition and degree, have been interpreted to authorize the prohibition of keeping a gun or other engine for the destruction of game, to any farmer, or inferior tradesman, or other person not qualified to kill game. So that not one man in five hundred can keep a gun in his house without being subject to a penalty….”–U.S. District Court Judge St. George Tucker, View of the Constitution of the United States with Selected Writings [1803].

[Mr. Tucker was a Lawyer and Professor of law at the College of William and Mary. He was appointed one of the committee to revise the laws of Virginia, and he served with James Madison and Edmund Randolph as Virginia commissioners to the Annapolis Convention. In 1803 Tucker became a judge of the highest court in Virginia. In 1813 he was appointed by President James Madison to be the United States district judge for Virginia. Tucker also, as District Court judge, sat with Chief Justice John Marshall on the U.S. Circuit Court in Richmond.).]

Photocopy of the permit required by the Massachusetts governor in 1775 which specifically forbids Arms and Ammunition.

In fact, one of the major causes of our Revolution was British ‘gun control’; permitting systems, illegal searches, stop and frisks, as well as the actual disarming of people:

The Inhabitants of Boston being confined within that Town by the General their Governor, and having in order to procure their Dismission, entered into a Treaty with him, it was stipulated that the said Inhabitants having deposited their Arms with their own Magistrates, should have Liberty to depart, taking with them their other Effects. They accordingly delivered up their Arms, but in open Violation of Honor, in Defiance of the Obligation of Treaties, which even savage Nations esteem sacred, the Governor ordered the Arms deposited as aforesaid, that they might be preserved for their Owners, to be seized by a Body of Soldiers; detained the greatest Part of the Inhabitants in the Town, and compelled the Few who were permitted to retire, to leave their most valuable Effects behind.

A DECLARATION By the Representatives of the United Colonies Of NORTH-AMERICA, now met in General Congress AT PHILADELPHIA, Setting forth the CAUSES and NECESSITY Of their taking up ARMS. By Order of CONGRESS, JOHN HANCOCK, President. Philadelphia, July 6th, 1775.

Molon labe (Greek: μολὼν λαβέ molṑn labé; Ancient Greek: [molɔːn labé]; Modern Greek: [moˈlon laˈve]), literally meaning “come and take”. It has become the classical expression of defiance. That had reportedly originated from King Leonidas I. Which was in response to the Persian army’s demand that the Greeks surrender their weapons at the Battle of Thermopylae. The Persian army was a vastly larger force and had superiority in arms. The Greeks did unfortunately lose that particular battle. However the Persian army suffered a major defeat later that year, and was utterly defeated one year later.