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Virginia Court Partially Enjoins New Private-Sale Background-Check Requirement

Posted by on July 21, 2020

In 2020, the Virginia legislature passed a host of new gun regulations: limiting purchases of handguns to one a month, requiring the reporting of lost/stolen firearms, giving local autonomy over gun restrictions on government property, creating an extreme risk protection (aka red flag) law, and others. These new laws, in a state that had previously […]

Scholarship Highlight: Jennifer Tucker on Public History and Guns

Posted by on July 17, 2020

Second Amendment scholars naturally spend a great deal of time and energy focusing on questions about the history of gun rights and regulation, but less time investigating questions about how that history is or should be presented to the public in venues like museum exhibits. Historian Jennifer Tucker (Wesleyan) has done as much as any […]

A Police Powers Defense to Second Amendment Challenges?

Posted by on June 26, 2020

In a recent article in the Chicago Law Review, The Origins of Substantive Due Process, Ilan Wurman argues against the notion that antebellum courts enforced limits on state or local legislative power through a doctrine of substantive due process. Instead, limits on this legislative power—apart from state constitutional rights guarantees—operated through three principal doctrines: (1) […]

A Court in Denial

Posted by on June 19, 2020

Justice Brett Kavanaugh joined the Supreme Court in October 2018, taking over the seat from retiring Justice Anthony Kennedy. In January 2019, after nearly a decade of declining to hear a Second Amendment case, the Court granted review in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. City of New York. Many observers—myself certainly included—thought […]

Parking Lot Laws: A History

Posted by on June 17, 2020

Parking lot laws, also called “bring your gun to work” or “guns-at-work” laws, are state laws that prohibit property owners or employers from preventing individuals from storing firearms in their parked vehicles in the property owner or employer’s parking area. These laws subordinate employers and property owners’ right to regulate their own property to the […]

Gunpowder, Plague, and Tradition

Posted by on April 2, 2020

In 1720, writer and self-designated medical expert Joseph Browne published his A Practical Treatise of the Plague, in which he extolled the benefits of the “firing of Guns, especially Cannon” to “purify” an atmosphere laden with pestilence.  In recommending this approach, Browne had significant company.  It appears that igniting gunpowder had been the folk medicine […]

Scholarship Highlight: Cottrol & Diamond on Public Safety and the Second Amendment

Posted by on February 6, 2020

Robert Cottrol and Ray Diamond have posted on SSRN a new piece on Public Safety and the Right to Bear Arms. In the piece, Cottrol and Diamond provide a detailed and thorough examination of the debates and historical understanding that influenced codification of the Second Amendment and its interpretation in the ensuing years, decades, and […]

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 […]

More on Text, History, and Tradition and NYSRPA

Posted by on December 18, 2019

Much of the oral argument in NYSRPA v. New York City dealt with mootness: whether there was even a case or controversy before the court, as required by Article III of the United States Constitution.   But someday, whether in NYSRPA or some other case, the Court will have to address the question of which method […]

The “Text, History, and Tradition” Alternative

Posted by on December 5, 2019

I’ve written previously about the surprising agreement among courts of appeals interpreting and applying the Second Amendment. They all agree, for instance, that the standard two-part framework is the best way to analyze Second Amendment challenges. Under that framework, the first question is whether the challenged law burdens conduct protected by the Constitution; if it […]