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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

Missouri Supreme Court Revives Lawsuit Against State Second Amendment Protection Act

Posted by on April 29, 2022

Missouri enacted what it called a “Second Amendment Protection Act” (SAPA) in 2021. As I’ve written previously about the law, it not only bars state officials’ assistance with the enforcement of federal gun laws, but also purports to nullify some of those laws in the state. The law has faced a number of lawsuits, including […]

Ghost Guns, History, and the Second Amendment

Posted by on April 27, 2022

The Biden Administration recently pushed out a new rule to restrict “ghost guns”—firearms without a serial number. The rule would require that kits for homemade do-it-yourself firearms are manufactured only by federal firearm licensees (FFLs) and that the kit’s frame or receiver be marked with a serial number. It also requires that any FFLs or […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 4/25/22

Posted by on April 25, 2022

No new cert petitions filed this week. The Court had scheduled Morin v. Lyver for conference last Friday, but then asked for a response, which is due May 12. We’re also still waiting for something to happen with Aposhian. Other than that, two pending case have been scheduled for conference and we await Bruen any day […]

A Fascinating New Case on Parking Lot Laws

Posted by on April 22, 2022

In a remarkably interesting decision issued a few weeks back, a federal district court in Kentucky declined to dismiss a lawsuit for wrongful discharge based on Kentucky laws that forbid employers from taking adverse action against employees who store guns in their cars in the company’s lot. In Sheard v. Novo Nordisk, Inc., No. 3:20-CV-152-BJB […]

Exporting Open Carry Bans?

Posted by on April 20, 2022

Many states are becoming territorial about their residents. So territorial, in fact, that at least some legislators are proposing ways to functionally use their state’s criminal code extraterritorially. Proposals to criminalize conduct that facilitates women seeking abortion care outside the state have cropped up in Missouri. Other states target different sorts of conduct they deem […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 4/18/22

Posted by on April 18, 2022

Just one new firearms-law petition that’s really only tangentially related, and is likely to go nowhere. In Turner v. Brannon-Dortch, the petitioner asks the Court to decide whether “a defendant who legally possesses a firearm for the purpose of self-defense can, consistent with the second amendment, be accused in his criminal murder trial of illegally […]

Announcing A New Center Research Affiliate: Joshua Aiken

Posted by on April 15, 2022

We are thrilled to announce the Center’s new Research Affiliate for the 2022-23 year: Joshua Aiken. Josh is a J.D./Ph.D. in History and African-American Studies at Yale. Below is his description of the dissertation project he’s working on. We’re happy to welcome Josh to his affiliation with the Center! My dissertation project, tentatively titled The […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 4/11/22

Posted by on April 11, 2022

No new petitions this week, and the Court didn’t hold a conference last week, so no new orders list. Aposhian is still lingering in a strange limbo. A couple of the cases have had some pretty significant cert-stage amicus action, including Bianchi, Duncan, and GOA, with each of those cases garnering multiple amici plus an […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 4/4/22

Posted by on April 4, 2022

In its order list this morning, the Supreme Court denied cert in two pending firearms law cases—Marshall and Rodrigues. Neither were much of a surprise, but readers of this blog will remember that Marshall was a huge decision when the 4th Circuit struck down the federal law barring handgun purchases from federally licensed gun dealers […]

Essays from Privatizing the Gun Debate Conference

Posted by on April 1, 2022

On March 18th, the Center hosted a conference at the law school on Privatizing the Gun Debate. We were grateful to be joined by a dozen scholars, practitioners, and public officials to discuss the ways that firearms are increasingly being regulated outside legislative channels through actions like tort lawsuits and business policies. The keynote address was deliver […]

THT and Analogy

Posted by on March 30, 2022

On his Legal Theory blog, Larry Solum recently highly recommend a piece by Frederick Schauer & Barbara A. Spellman, Precedent and Similarity, forthcoming in T. Endicott, H. Kristjansson & S. Lewis (eds), Philosophical Foundations of Precedent (Oxford University Press). The piece describes a problem endemic in legal reasoning—the difficulty of establishing just what makes one […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 3/28/22

Posted by on March 28, 2022

No new cert petitions this week, but the list of pending cases has grown. Aposhian was recently (and, to me, inexplicably) rescheduled for its ninth conference. Two cases that I think have a fairly low chance of cert grant are heading to conference this Friday (Marshall and Rodrigues) and briefly continues in several others. Petitions […]

Scholarship Highlight: New Firearms Law Drafts on SSRN

Posted by on March 23, 2022

Here are a few new articles posted on SSRN in the last few weeks that draw connections between existing legal doctrine and the cultural and statutory changes in gun rights. Tyler Smotherman, Troubleshooting the Gun-Free School Zones Act: A Call for Amendment in the Age of Constitutional Carry When Texas became the most recent state […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 3/21/22

Posted by on March 21, 2022

One new petition this week: Cassidy v. Massachusetts, a pro se challenge to convictions for possessing firearms in the home without a permit. 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 cause public carry regime […]

Litigation Highlight: Smith & Wesson v. Attorney General of New Jersey

Posted by on March 16, 2022

Last Thursday, the Third Circuit partially vindicated Smith & Wesson in its ongoing battle with the New Jersey Attorney General. In Smith & Wesson v. Attorney General of New Jersey, the panel reversed the district court’s dismissal of Smith & Wesson’s lawsuit against the NJAG, which arises out of the AG’s administrative subpoena for business […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 3/14/22

Posted by on March 14, 2022

This week, I added two new petitions. The first is new to the list but not a this-week update: Rodrigues v. County of Hawaii was filed in December, but the corrected petition was just uploaded on March 10, so it didn’t get on my radar sooner. It concerns (at least in the petitioner’s telling) how […]

Scholarship Highlight: Impact of Rehaif on 922(g) Prosecutions

Posted by on March 11, 2022

We’ve written a number of times about the Supreme Court’s 2019 decision in Rehaif v. United States and its aftermath. That decision requires the government to prove, in order to secure a conviction for unlawfully possessing firearms, that the defendant knew he belonged to the category of persons who is prohibited from possessing firearms. A […]

Wooden, ACCA, and Supreme Court Gun Crime Jurisprudence

Posted by on March 9, 2022

On Monday, the Supreme Court released its opinion in Wooden v. United States, ruling unanimously in favor of the criminal defendant. At issue in the case is the different-occasions provision in the Armed Career Criminal Act (ACCA), which imposes a mandatory minimum 15-years in prison when a person convicted of unlawfully possessing a firearm has […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 3/7/22

Posted by on March 7, 2022

There’s a major new cert petition just filed: Duncan v. Bonta. As I’ve written on the blog, Duncan challenges California’s ban on magazines that hold more than 10 rounds of ammunition. (Two and a half years ago, when the district court opinion striking down the ban was first appealed, we called the case one to […]

Stronger than PLCAA: Civil Immunity for Unlawful Conduct

Posted by on March 4, 2022

The 2005 Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act (PLCAA) is in the news lately, due in large part to the recent settlement between the now-bankrupt Remington Arms and the families of the Sandy Hook victims. I recently wrote about how I see that case as a turning point in gun litigation, with more potential […]

A Florida Movie Theater and Lethal Self-Defense

Posted by on March 2, 2022

On February 25, 2022, a Florida jury acquitted the former police officer who shot and a killed the man he argued with in a movie theater in 2014. Curtis Reeves wasn’t just any retired police officer, but a former SWAT commander. His defense counsel even argued that his past informed his perceptions of the threat […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 2/28/22

Posted by on February 28, 2022

In its order list on Tuesday, the Court denied cert in the Zaitzeff case. The Aposhian case had been scheduled yet again to go to conference last Friday, but was rescheduled another time. It has now been distributed for conference 6 times—the first in December 2021—only to be rescheduled just days before each time. It […]

Commonality Redux

Posted by on February 25, 2022

Many Second Amendment questions remained open after Heller. The Court clarified that the right to keep and bear arms guarantees a private, individual right to have a handgun at home for purposes like self-defense, but it left open a host of questions about where people can take their weapons, what weapons can be restricted, and […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 2/21/22

Posted by on February 21, 2022

The only news we’re expecting this week is from Zaitzeff, which went to conference on Friday. Tomorrow’s order list may have some news on that. It’s also possible we finally figure out what’s happening in Aposhian—which increasingly seems like it must be held up pending a justice’s separate writing. Petitions Pending Case Ct. Below Pet. […]

Scholarship Highlight

Posted by on February 18, 2022

Several new or forthcoming firearms law articles are now available: Ann E. Tweedy, Tribes, Firearm Regulation, and the Public Square, UC Davis Law Review, Vol. 55, 2022 Abstract: This paper explores tribal policies towards firearm regulation through four different lenses. First, tribal participation in recent state and federal legislative debates regarding firearm regulation is explored. […]