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New Research from the UC Davis Symposium: The Theoretical Lethality Index, Reconstruction Regulation and Enforcement

Posted by on October 22, 2021

On October 1, the University of California at Davis Law School, in partnership with Giffords Law Center, put together a fabulous hybrid in person/virtual symposium:  “The 2nd Amendment at the Supreme Court: ‘700 Years of History’ and the Modern Effects of Guns in Public.”   There were some terrific panels, and I learned a lot from […]

Sir John Clonvowe & Social Norms of Bearing Arms in 1391

Posted by on September 29, 2021

The original public meaning of texts like the Second Amendment, or of the 1328 Statute of Northampton, includes the social context, and social norms, of the relevant period.  The semantic meaning of the words in these legal texts must be situated within the context of norms that people took for granted.  The crucial role of […]

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 […]

Scholarship Highlight: New Work on Who the Second Amendment Protects

Posted by on September 22, 2021

The past few weeks have led to a host of new scholarship, including ones that centrally focus on issues of who the Second Amendment protects. Ben Ramberg, Prior Involuntary Institutionalization Does Not Justify a Lifetime Second Amendment Ban: An Originalist Approach to 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(4), Kansas Journal of Law & Pubic Policy, 2021 Forthcoming Abstract: […]

Observations Regarding the Interpretation and Legacy of the Statute of Northampton in Anglo-American Legal History

Posted by on September 17, 2021

The Statute of Northampton of 1328 remains central to the current debate surrounding the limits and protections the Second Amendment provides to carry arms in public.[1] The Statute provided that “no man great nor small, of what condition soever he be, except the king’s servants in his presence…come before the King’s justices, or other of […]

Guns in America: Annenberg Classroom Releases Film on the Second Amendment

Posted by on September 8, 2021

The Annenberg Public Policy Center of the University of Pennsylvania has released a new film about Guns in America just in time for Constitution Day (Sept. 17). The short film includes a fair amount of perspective from all sides of the debate and is a great resource for a quick overview of the history and […]

Scholarship Roundup: Guns & Race, Public Carry, and More

Posted by on August 27, 2021

Several more articles and works in progress have been published or posted publicly in the last few weeks. They all raise thought-provoking arguments, and I was especially interested to see Patrick Charles’s article (again, no relation to me) on guns and race–it adds new texture to the competing paradigms that characterize either all gun control […]

Zoning, Outliers, and the Second Amendment

Posted by on August 20, 2021

Earlier this week, in Drummond v. Robinson Township, the Third Circuit concluded that a Pennsylvania township’s zoning changes plausibly violated the Second Amendment. At issue in the case were two changes that Robinson Township made to the rules governing property on which a shooting range had previously existed and on which a new owner wanted […]

Scholarship Highlight: New Works on Firearms Law

Posted by on August 18, 2021

As we gear up for the Supreme Court’s hearing of New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen in November, other firearms law and Second Amendment issues continue to be litigated in lower courts and debated in the literature. Here are new pieces that take on the issue of public carry (just recently posted to […]

A Historian’s Assessment of the Anti-Immigrant Narrative in NYSRPA v. Bruen

Posted by on August 4, 2021

In the upcoming Supreme Court case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen (20-843), the petitioners and several accompanying amici are characterizing New York’s 1911 Sullivan Law as having deep anti-immigrant roots. In one section of petitioners’ brief it is alleged that “New York was at the forefront of this new wave of […]