Duke Center for Firearms Law
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About Saul Cornell

Professor of History, Fordham University.  See profile: https://www.fordham.edu/info/20762/faculty/6385/saul_cornell

Written by Saul Cornell

The Myth of Non-enforcement of Gun Laws in Nineteenth Century America: Evidence vs Ideology in Second Amendment Scholarship

Posted by on June 1, 2022

In his Bruen oral argument, former solicitor general Paul Clement erroneously claimed that there was no evidence of enforcement of restrictive gun laws before the Civil War. The non-enforcement thesis is the latest example of ideology distorting Second Amendment scholarship. Indeed, during the oral argument in Bruen, Justice Breyer took the unusual step of characterizing […]

Race, Regulation, and Reconstruction: Setting the Historical Record Straight

Posted by on September 24, 2021

The complex relationship between firearms regulation and racial politics during Reconstruction will likely figure in the upcoming Supreme Court case, NYSRPA v. Bruen. Gun rights advocates have leaned heavily into the argument that gun control is inherently racist and was inescapably tainted by this insidious motive during Reconstruction. Unfortunately, this claim rests on a combination […]

Guns and Lattes: Lethal Analogies and the Future of the Second Amendment

Posted by on December 20, 2019

In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York, New York, the first gun case to reach the high court in almost a decade, gun rights advocates pushed their conception of the scope of the right in a novel direction.  The city regulation being challenged in the case restricted New […]

Book Mini-Symposium Part I: Militias, Bearing Arms, and the Forgotten Language of Eighteenth-Century Rights

Posted by on July 30, 2019

Although most modern Americans could easily dispense with the militia clause of the Second Amendment, eighteenth-century Americans generally believed that the preamble’s affirmation of the necessity of a well-regulated militia was far more important than asserting a right to keep and bear arms. Indeed, most of the first state constitutions did not even mention the […]