A frequently expressed opinion by those wanting more gun control and/or restrictions is that the Second Amendment was meant to include only firearms that used the technology common to that period. That position totally ignores the fact that the Founding Fathers were very intelligent and forward-thinking people well versed in the rapid rate of technological advancement taking place, not just in America, but especially in Europe, where firearms technology was spurred by the ongoing conflicts between nations, kingdoms and empires.
Firearms were a very important world export product for several European countries. Men like Jefferson and Franklin were certainly attuned to these developments, and both were credited with inventions that spawned products widely used today. It was the American firearms industry that developed the basis for most modern manufacturing methods such as interchangeable parts and mass production using powered machinery. This in turn, stimulated the growth of the industries supplying materials and equipment to the gun makers.
It’s unimaginable that men who could conceive a document as brilliant as our Constitution would believe that all technology would not continue to develop far beyond the practices and capabilities of their day. That would be like saying the Wright brothers believed that they had taken aeronautical engineering as far as it would ever reach, or that Daimler thought he had reached the pinnacle of personal transportation with his first crude vehicle.
Like almost every other human development, firearms have constantly evolved as knowledge, materials and demand have allowed. Bleeding, potion, and leeches were common practices in 18th -century medicine, but thanks to those who thought there might be a better way, medicine, like firearms development, continues and will keep on doing so.