The right to keep and bear arms in jurisdictions operating under English Common Law follows a precedent that predates the invention of firearms, originating contemporaneously with the jury trial and the emergence of the common law system, during the reign of Henry II, who promulgated the Assize of Arms in 1181, which required knights and freemen to keep arms and to bear them in service of the king.. England, The United Kingdom, the Colonies in North America (which became the United States), Canada, and Australia all received this Common Law inheritance and long maintained a right to keep and bear arms tradition originating from this common basis. Over time, this requirement developed in the common law as a presumption that every person has the right to liberty and security of person. This Common Law right was further strengthed in the English Bill of Rights of 1689 (also known as the English Declaration of Rights), at least for Protestants. Subsequent to this, over the last 80 years, in all these countries except the United States, Parliamentary supremacy has permitted statutory law to be developed that extinguishes the historical common law right to keep and bear arms.
Assize of Arms
1. Let every holder of a knight's fee have a hauberk, a helmet, a shield and a lance. And let every knight have as many hauberks, helmets, shields and lances, as he has knight's fees in his demise.
2. Also, let every free layman, who holds chattals or rent to the value of 16 marks, have hauberk, a helmet, a shield, and a lance. Also, let every free layman who holds chattals or rent worth 10 marks have an aubergel and a headpiece of iron and a lance....
4. Moreover, let each and every one of them swear before the feast of St. Hilary he will possess these arms and will bear allegiance to the lord king, Henry, namely the son of empress Maud, and that he will bear these arms in his service according to his order and in allegiance to the lord king and his realm..."