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Eleventh Circuit Upholds Federal Firearm Prohibitions For Aliens Unlawfully Present

Posted by on May 27, 2022

On May 23, in United States v. Jimenez-Shilon, the 11th Circuit rejected a Second Amendment challenge to 18 U.S.C. § 922(g)(5)(A), which prohibits firearm use or possession by any “alien” who is “illegally or unlawfully in the United States.”  The holding itself is in some ways unremarkable – it joins every other federal circuit court […]

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 […]

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 […]

Text, History, and Tradition: A Workable Test that Stays True to the Constitution

Posted by on May 4, 2022

Last week Professor Charles highlighted the burgeoning legal controversies involving “ghost guns” (homemade firearms that have no serial numbers) to illustrate what he perceives to be problems with a judicial test based on text, history, and tradition (THT). As an advocate of the THT Test, I offered a response, which Professor Charles graciously accepted. I […]

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 […]

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 […]

The Road to The Sandy Hook Settlement

Posted by on April 8, 2022

Over a recent five week period, $430 million was awarded to victims of gun violence in court cases:  a federal judge in Texas ordered the Air Force to pay $230 million to victims of the Sutherland Springs church shooting; the U.S. Department of Justice agreed to pay $127 million to victims of the Parkland High […]

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 […]

The Problem with Assumptions: Reassessing the Historical Gun Policies of Arkansas and Tennessee

Posted by on January 20, 2022

Scholarship on the subject of historical firearm laws has, whether knowingly or not, tended to take certain ideas for granted. Chief among these assumptions is that post-Civil War public carry laws have been the primary vehicle for creating a racially inequitable right to arms. There is also widespread acceptance of the notion that openly carrying […]

Native Nations and The Right to Bear Arms in a Post McGirt World

Posted by on January 12, 2022

In 2012, I published an article examining the interplay between Indians (Indigenous Americans) and guns.[1] That article traced the relationship between Indians – individually and as members of Native Nations – and firearms, stretching from the earliest days of contact between Natives and colonizers, up to present day. The complex historical and legal dynamics discussed […]