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Litigation Highlight: Sixth Circuit Hears Oral Argument in Shooting Range Zoning Challenge

Posted by on December 1, 2023

This guest post does not necessarily represent the views of the Duke Center for Firearms Law. In the past year, federal district courts across America have seen Bruen-fueled challenges to all manner of gun regulation. Whether the topic is a firearm insurance mandate, an administrative rule reclassifying certain pistols as rifles, or restrictions on carrying […]

Litigation Highlight: Federal Judge Enjoins Pistol Brace Rule and Finds Irreparable Harm based on Likely Second Amendment Violation

Posted by on October 25, 2023

On October 2, District Judge Reed O’Connor of the Northern District of Texas granted a motion for preliminary injunction in Mock v. Garland.  Judge O’Connor’s decision enjoined an ATF rule that subjects stabilizing braces to heightened regulation, including a registration requirement, under the National Firearms Act (NFA) by categorizing them as “short-barreled rifles,” or SBRs.  […]

Litigation Highlight: Split Fifth Circuit Panel Renews Injunction Against ATF’s Stabilizing Brace Rule

Posted by on September 1, 2023

This guest post does not necessarily represent the views of the Duke Center for Firearms Law. On August 1, a split Fifth Circuit panel issued a decision in Mock v. Garland that breathed new life into an emergency injunction previously granted against ATF’s recent rule on stabilizing pistol braces. (I previously blogged about the early […]

Was There a “Hearing” on the Protective Order in Rahimi?

Posted by on August 30, 2023

Earlier this summer, the Supreme Court granted certiorari in United States v. Rahimi, in which the Fifth Circuit invalidated the federal ban on those subject to certain domestic violence restraining orders (or DVROs) possessing firearms for the duration of the order.  We previously covered the Fifth Circuit’s decision here and here.  On August 14, the […]

Litigation Highlight: Fifth Circuit Panel Strikes Down Federal Unlawful User Ban

Posted by on August 23, 2023

On August 9, a unanimous Fifth Circuit panel invalidated the federal ban on unlawful users of controlled substances possessing firearms, as applied to a habitual user of marijuana, in United States v. Daniels.  While a handful of district courts had reached similar conclusions on this provision of federal criminal law—including the February decision in Harrison […]

The Confused Ninth Circuit Decision Striking Down Hawaii’s Butterfly Knife Ban

Posted by on August 21, 2023

In Teter v. Lopez, a Ninth Circuit panel struck down Hawaii’s ban on butterfly knives in an opinion that is hard to understand. The underlying result was presaged in the oral arguments, as this prior post suggests, but the final opinion is still confounding to me. It would not be surprising to see this case […]

Litigation Highlight: Federal Judge Grants Motion to Dismiss Claims Challenging San Jose Gun Insurance and Fee Requirements

Posted by on August 16, 2023

In August 2022, shortly after Bruen was decided, Judge Beth Labson Freeman of the Northern District of California denied a motion for a preliminary injunction of a San Jose ordinance that requires gun owners to maintain firearm liability insurance and pay an annual gun harm reduction fee.  Jake covered that decision here, including how the […]

The Gun Industry and the New Anti-Boycott Laws

Posted by on August 4, 2023

[This is a guest post based on a paper that was presented at the 2023 Firearms Law Works-In-Progress Workshop.  The Workshop is held each year on a home-and-away basis with the University of Wyoming Firearms Research Center.  This post does not necessarily represent the views of the Duke Center for Firearms Law.]  It was a great […]

Litigation Highlight: Split Sixth Circuit Panel Allows Retaliation Claim based on Zoom Rifle Display to Proceed

Posted by on July 21, 2023

The Sixth Circuit recently cleared the way for a district court case that will address the complicated interplay of gun displays, online speech, and qualified immunity. On January 20, 2021, the Grand Traverse County (Michigan) Board of Commissioners held a public meeting over Zoom where the Commissioners, including Ron Clous, were visible on video. During […]

Thoughts on Judge Carlton Reeves’ Critique of Text, History, and Tradition

Posted by on July 19, 2023

On June 28, District Judge Carlton Reeves issued a decision in United States v. Bullock granting a motion to dismiss by a criminal defendant charged with possessing a firearm as a convicted felon.  Judge Reeves found that the government had failed to offer sufficient historical support for the federal ban on felon gun possession (as […]

Litigation Highlight: Federal Judge Rejects Challenge to New York’s Church Gun Ban

Posted by on July 12, 2023

On June 28, Judge Vernon Broderick of the Southern District of New York issued a decision in Goldstein v. Hochul denying a motion for preliminary injunction of New York’s post-Bruen law designating places of worship as sensitive locations where guns are prohibited.  The plaintiffs in the case wish to carry concealed firearms—for which they have […]

One Year of Bruen’s Reign: An Updated Empirical Analysis

Posted by on July 7, 2023

The Bruen decision brought about a sea change for Second Amendment law, and the Supreme Court’s decision to hear the Rahimi case next year brings questions about its methodology to the forefront. Many scholars are writing about the Bruen decision and its effects. My own contribution, The Dead Hand of a Silent Past: Bruen, Gun […]

An Update on Legal Challenges to New York’s Red Flag Law

Posted by on July 5, 2023

In an earlier post, I examined a number of recent decisions suggesting that the Second Amendment only permits individuals to be disarmed based on criminal—rather than civil—process.  Of course, that view has profound consequences for extreme risk protection order laws (also known as ERPO, or “red flag,” laws) that establish civil proceedings in which a […]

Litigation Highlight: En Banc Third Circuit Holds Felon Prohibitor Unconstitutional in Certain Applications

Posted by on June 21, 2023

In a June 6 decision in Range v. Attorney General, a majority of judges of the en banc Third Circuit held 922(g)(1)—the federal statute banning possession of firearms by convicted felons—unconstitutional under the Second Amendment as applied to an individual convicted of making a fraudulent statement in an application to obtain food stamps.[1]  Last November, […]

Litigation Highlight: Virginia Judge Strikes Down Provisions of Federal Law that Prohibit Federally Licensed Dealers from Selling Handguns to Those Under Age 21

Posted by on June 2, 2023

On May 10, Judge Robert Payne of the Eastern District of Virginia issued a decision in Fraser v. ATF invalidating the statutory framework that prohibits federally licensed firearm dealers (or FFLs) from selling handguns to individuals under the age of 21.  Federal law makes it unlawful for an FFL to sell or deliver a handgun, […]

Court Battles Over Assault Weapon Bans—And A New California Ruling

Posted by on May 30, 2023

Restrictions on select kinds of semi-automatic firearms (often labeled assault weapons) are back in the news after the Supreme Court last week declined to halt Illinois’s new law. The request to the Court came on the justices’ so-called shadow docket, where the challengers were seeking emergency relief before the Seventh Circuit had even considered the […]

Litigation Highlight: Southern District of Illinois Strikes Down Illinois Assault Weapons and LCM Ban

Posted by on May 17, 2023

On April 28, a judge in the Southern District of Illinois issued a decision in Barnett v. Raoul granting a preliminary injunction of Illinois’ ban on assault weapons and large-capacity magazines (LCMs) enacted earlier this year—the Protect Illinois Communities Act, or PICA.[1]  Two federal judges in the Northern District of Illinois had previously denied motions […]

Litigation Highlight: Federal Judge Upholds D.C. Law Banning Large-Capacity Magazines

Posted by on May 12, 2023

On April 20, a federal judge in the District of Columbia denied a motion for a preliminary injunction of a Washington, D.C. law banning the possession, sale, and transfer of magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds of ammunition in Hanson v. D.C.  The decision continues a trend of federal courts upholding large-capacity magazine, […]

District Judge Strikes Down Minnesota Law Restricting 18-to-20-Year-Olds from Carrying Handguns in Public, but Issues Stay Pending Appeal

Posted by on May 5, 2023

On March 31, U.S. District Court Judge Katherine Menendez issued a decision in Worth v. Harrington finding portions of a Minnesota statute unconstitutional and enjoining the state from enforcing the statute in the future. The provision struck down in Worth is a part of the state’s permit-to-carry statute. In Minnesota, a permit is required to […]

The Most Disputed Federal Law Post-Bruen

Posted by on May 3, 2023

One federal law has generated more dissensus in the lower federal courts post-Bruen than any other: 18 U.S.C. § 922(n). That provision bars individuals under felony indictment from shipping or transporting guns or ammunition in interstate commerce or receiving guns or ammunition that have been shipped or transported in interstate commerce. Just over a week […]

Second Amendment Sanctuaries, Preemption, and Lessons from the Immigration Context

Posted by on April 26, 2023

Over the past several decades, two trends in gun regulation at the state and local level have come into conflict with one another.  First, beginning in the 1980s, states increasingly adopted broad preemption laws that limit the authority of local and municipal governments to regulate firearms.  As Rachel Simon describes, “[f]orty-five states have adopted express […]

Litigation Highlight: Third Circuit Considers the Scope of PLCAA’s Predicate Exception

Posted by on April 21, 2023

Shortly after Bruen was decided, New Jersey enacted a statute (A1765, codified at N.J. Stat. § 2C:58-35) authorizing the state attorney general to bring lawsuits against gun manufacturers who “knowingly or recklessly create, maintain, or contribute to a public nuisance in this State through the sale, manufacturing, distribution, importing, or marketing of a gun-related product.”  […]

Litigation Highlight: En Banc First Circuit Clarifies Rehaif’s Application to 922(g)(9) Prosecutions

Posted by on April 14, 2023

In its March 24, 2023 en banc decision in United States v. Minor, the First Circuit wrestled with the application of Rehaif v. United States to Section 922(g)(9) charges – the heart and soul of the federal domestic violence initiative. In a nutshell, 922(g)(9) prohibits the possession of firearms and/or ammunition by a person convicted […]

Litigation Highlight: Eighth Circuit Rejects Challenge to Illegal-Alien Prohibition at Bruen Step One

Posted by on April 12, 2023

On April 4, the Eighth Circuit issued a published decision in United States v. Sitladeen rejecting a post-Bruen challenge to the federal ban on “alien[s] . . .  illegally or unlawfully in the United States” possessing firearms.  The decision employed a different “step one” analysis than the Fifth Circuit panel in Rahimi, ultimately focusing on […]

Litigation Highlight: Federal Judge Strikes Down California Law Requiring Certain Safety Features for Handguns

Posted by on April 7, 2023

On March 20, a judge in the Central District of California granted a motion to preliminary enjoin a California law requiring that handguns have certain features before becoming eligible for the roster of handguns permitted to be sold in the state.  The plaintiffs in Boland v. Bonta challenged three specific provisions of California’s Unsafe Handgun […]