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About Jake Charles

Former Center Executive Director.  Charles writes and teaches on the Second Amendment and firearms law. His primary academic interests include the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological issues confronting nascent Second Amendment jurisprudence and the immunity and related questions surrounding affirmative litigation against the firearms industry. His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Virginia Law ReviewNorth Carolina Law Review, and Law & Contemporary Problems, among others.

Written by Jake Charles

The Confused Ninth Circuit Decision Striking Down Hawaii’s Butterfly Knife Ban

Posted by on August 21, 2023

In Teter v. Lopez, a Ninth Circuit panel struck down Hawaii’s ban on butterfly knives in an opinion that is hard to understand. The underlying result was presaged in the oral arguments, as this prior post suggests, but the final opinion is still confounding to me. It would not be surprising to see this case […]

One Year of Bruen’s Reign: An Updated Empirical Analysis

Posted by on July 7, 2023

The Bruen decision brought about a sea change for Second Amendment law, and the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Rahimi case next year brings questions about its methodology to the forefront. Many scholars are writing about the Bruen decision and its effects. My own contribution, The Dead Hand of a Silent Past: Bruen, Gun […]

Court Battles Over Assault Weapon Bans—And A New California Ruling

Posted by on May 30, 2023

Restrictions on select kinds of semi-automatic firearms (often labeled assault weapons) are back in the news after the Supreme Court last week declined to halt Illinois’s new law. The request to the Court came on the justices’ so-called shadow docket, where the challengers were seeking emergency relief before the Seventh Circuit had even considered the […]

The Most Disputed Federal Law Post-Bruen

Posted by on May 3, 2023

One federal law has generated more dissensus in the lower federal courts post-Bruen than any other: 18 U.S.C. § 922(n). That provision bars individuals under felony indictment from shipping or transporting guns or ammunition in interstate commerce or receiving guns or ammunition that have been shipped or transported in interstate commerce. Just over a week […]

By the Numbers: How Disruptive Has Bruen Been?

Posted by on March 27, 2023

I try to answer that question with a new data set that I compiled and have now incorporated into my forthcoming Duke Law Journal article, The Dead Hand of a Silent Past: Bruen, Gun Rights, and the Shackles of History (current version available here; prior version with the data from this blog post available here). The […]

Fifth Circuit Strikes Down Domestic-Violence Prohibitor in United States v. Rahimi (Part 2)

Posted by on February 8, 2023

Andrew’s post on the Fifth Circuit’s recent decision in United States v. Rahimi summarizes it well and criticizes some of the more problematic aspects. I want to take a step back and see what light it sheds on Bruen’s test. To my mind, there are two levels at which to consider the Fifth Circuit’s decision: […]

Bruen, Private Property & the Second Amendment

Posted by on December 2, 2022

In the decade and a half since Heller, there has been a considerable amount of scholarship and litigation about the spaces where the Second Amendment extends. Bruen settled some of those questions by granting a right to publicly carry with no showing of need. And it suggested there could be permissible restrictions in certain sensitive […]

Guns on Campus Post-Bruen

Posted by on November 21, 2022

Last Monday, many of us awoke to the terrible news about a shooting at the University of Virginia on Sunday night that left three students dead and two others injured. Another public college not far away, Virginia Tech, was the site of a horrific mass shooting in 2007 that killed 32 people and injured 17 […]

New York Federal Courts Split on How Expansively To Read the Second Amendment

Posted by on November 4, 2022

One of the most wide-ranging challenges to New York’s comprehensive post-Bruen gun regulatory framework was brought in Antonyuk v. Bruen. There, the court struck down many provisions of the new law. I wrote about the court’s ruling for Slate and, as you can tell from the piece, I think the Antonyuk court bungles much of […]

Worrying Trends In the Lower Courts After Bruen

Posted by on September 30, 2022

There are several extremely worrying trends from what I’ve seen in the still nascent post-Bruen Second Amendment case law. These concerns don’t arise from disagreement with constitutional originalism or with the Supreme Court’s interpretation of the Second Amendment. They are concerns about lower courts’ capacity (and perhaps willingness) to apply a historical method in a […]

State Court Justice Questions How to Apply Bruen

Posted by on September 23, 2022

In a recent case pending before the Ohio Supreme Court, State v. Philpotts, a majority of the justices sua sponte ordered the parties to file supplemental briefs addressing Bruen’s effect on the case. The challenged Ohio law in that case bars those under indictment for violent felonies from possessing firearms pending the disposition of the […]

Federal Judge Strikes Down Texas Gun Law Governing Under-21-Year-Olds

Posted by on August 31, 2022

Last week, in Firearms Policy Coalition v. McCraw, Judge Mark Pittman of the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Texas struck down a Texas law that prohibited those under 21 from carrying handguns in public. The case illustrates many of the hallmarks that are likely to characterize post-Bruen litigation over contemporary gun laws. […]

Federal Court Declines to Enjoin San Jose’s Gun Liability Insurance Mandate

Posted by on August 10, 2022

Last week, in National Association for Gun Rights v. San Jose, a federal judge in California declined to preliminarily enjoin a San Jose ordinance that requires gun owners to obtain and maintain liability insurance and pay an annual fee. The case is significant not only for its discussion of the constitutionality of mandated gun insurance, […]

Taylor & the Surprising Success of Gun Crime Defendants at the Supreme Court

Posted by on July 22, 2022

In a decision this past June, United States v. Taylor, the Supreme Court ruled that the mandatory minimum penalties in 18 U.S.C. § 924(c) could not be applied to a man convicted of an attempted federal robbery offense. The decision comes as one in a string of victories at the Supreme Court for gun-crime defendants […]

Bruen, Analogies, and the Quest for Goldilocks History

Posted by on June 28, 2022

On June 23, 2022, the Supreme Court issued its first major Second Amendment decision in a dozen years. In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, the Court declared New York’s restrictive may-issue licensing law unconstitutional. The 6-3 decision written by Justice Thomas supercharges the Second Amendment and upends a host of settled […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 6/27/22

Posted by on June 27, 2022

Last Thursday, the Court issued Bruen, declaring NY’s concealed carry law unconstitutional. We’ll have much more coverage on the blog, starting later this week. Now, we’ll wait to see whether any of the held cases are taken up or sent back to lower courts. Petitions Pending Case Ct. Below Pet. Filed Implicated Law/Issue Status New […]

The Bruen Opinion

Posted by on June 24, 2022

Yesterday the Supreme Court issued its Bruen decision, holding that NY’s strict concealed carry law is unconstitutional and mandating that lower courts assess Second Amendment claims by reference only to history. We’ll be writing much more about it here, but today we have the Center’s annual firearms law works-in-progress workshop, so I’ll just post a link […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 6/20/22

Posted by on June 20, 2022

It’s coming down to the last few weeks of the Term, and we’re expecting Bruen any day now. When the Court issues Bruen we will also get better insight into whether it plans to send the held cases back down or take one or more of them up. Petitions Pending Case Ct. Below Pet. Filed […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 6/13/22

Posted by on June 13, 2022

In its orders last week, the Court denied cert in the McCloskey’s Second Amendment challenge to their state bar discipline. There’s also one new cert petition based on a license revocation in D.C. Petitions Pending Case Ct. Below Pet. Filed Implicated Law/Issue Status New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen (20-843) 2d Cir. […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 6/6/22

Posted by on June 6, 2022

We’re down to the last few weeks of SCOTUS opinions and awaiting Bruen any day. The Court has 4 cases it is holding pending Bruen as well, so we will likely see what happens to those soon as well—either the Court takes one or all of them up for plenary review or sends them all […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 5/30/22

Posted by on May 30, 2022

At its conference last week, the Supreme Court considered whether to hear Duncan, another challenge to a ban on magazines holding more than 10 rounds. The Court will release orders tomorrow from that conference, but I suspect the case will be held like the similar challenge in ANJRPC. And, since the Court didn’t act on […]

Shinn, Jimenez-Shilon, and the Hierarchy of Rights  

Posted by on May 26, 2022

Earlier this week, in United States v. Jimenez-Shilon, the Eleventh Circuit rejected a Second Amendment challenge to the federal law barring undocumented immigrants from possessing firearms. Dru Stevenson will be guest posting about the case on this blog. But I want to highlight a few aspects of Judge Newsom’s majority and separate concurring opinions—and compare […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 5/23/22

Posted by on May 23, 2022

At conference last week, the Court considered the cert petition in Bianchi, challenging Maryland’s assault weapons ban. Today’s order list has no mention of the case, which signals the Court is likely holding the case pending the outcome in Bruen. This marks the second case in the category of “what arms are protected” (along with ANJRP) that […]

Ninth Circuit Strikes Down CA’s Law Restricting Young Adult’s Ability To Purchase Rifles

Posted by on May 18, 2022

Last week, in Jones v. Bonta, a split panel of the Ninth Circuit ruled that California’s restriction on rifle purchases by 18- to 20-year olds violates the Second Amendment. The case is a major victory for gun-rights proponents, but that victory is likely to be short-lived. The en banc Ninth Circuit tends to reverse panels […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 5/16/22

Posted by on May 16, 2022

There weren’t any new cert petitions filed this past week, but in its order list this morning, the Court denied cert in the Cassidy and Turner cases. Petitions Pending Case Ct. Below Pet. Filed Implicated Law/Issue Status New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen (20-843) 2d Cir. 17-Dec-20 Challenge to New York’s good […]