About AEP

Enough Is Enough. Let’s Make The 2nd Amendment The Solution, Not The Problem.


What is AEP?

The American Enlightenment Project (AEP) is a pro-gun-reform 501(c)(3) nonprofit focused on ending America’s gun epidemic from a truly different perspective.

People think there are two approaches to the gun debate:

1. Gun rights
2. Gun control

This is wrong. There are three, and we are the New Approach.

The gun-rights movement favors the individual’s unrestricted right to own guns. The gun-control movement hopes to limit this supposed ‘right.’ AEP’s approach is unique: we are focused on an accurate understanding of the 2nd Amendment to build widespread recognition that it did not elevate a common-law right to guns for self-defense to a constitutional guarantee.

We cannot state this clearly enough – the 2nd Amendment does not guarantee an individual right to own guns.

Through AEP’s meticulous reappraisal of the Amendment’s full text and founding history, we can finally put to rest the claim that there is a constitutional right for Americans to own guns. It’s simply not true, and here’s why.

What AEP Does?

Launched on the 10th anniversary of District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), AEP opened a long-needed front in the battle against the epidemic of gun violence that erupted after Heller and McDonald v. Chicago (2010) announced a constitutional right to own a gun.

AEP’s groundbreaking work challenges common wisdom by showing:

  • How Heller turned a gun problem into an epidemic, blocked and marginalized reform, and “desperately needs” to be overruled, as dissenting Justice Stevens has since urged
  • How to overturn Heller as a historic legal blunder; having overlooked pivotal constitutional text (and founding history), Heller cannot legally stand
  • The real origins and meaning of the 2nd Amendment, especially in the courts, who created and must correct this dangerous ‘right’

As long understood but never proven, the Amendment protects only state militia. It has nothing to do with an individual right to guns that, as America has always known, turns everyday impulses that normally end in words into our country’s new normal: worsening gun violence.

The AEP Mission

AEP is dedicated to ending America’s gun epidemic by refocusing the misguided gun debate and courts on the 2nd Amendment’s true meaning.

Our approach is three-fold:

  • Educating the public on Heller’s deadly effects and the forgotten meaning of the 2nd Amendment
  • Leading legal challenges to overturn Heller: a Supreme Court decision so flawed it can have no binding effect
  • Reinstating legislative choices that Heller took “off the table,” to enact sensible gun reform based on empirical judgments that legislatures, not courts, are best suited to make

Our Appeal to YOU

Besides the courts, our mission is rooted in educating the public and persuading leaders to listen. Your support is vital in helping us introduce our pivotal New Approach to the misguided mainstream gun debate.

Whether you can help us raise funds to bring critical and historic legal challenges or add your voice to help us reach the people that matter in the gun debate, you are important to our work.

AEP can lead the way to safer communities, but only with your support. Consider the different ways you can help us change the course of today’s America.

Find out more about ending the gun epidemic. Donate to support our work.