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Scholarship Highlight: First Amendment and Racial Dimensions of Bruen

Posted by on May 10, 2023

This is the fifth entry in our ongoing series summarizing new legal scholarship regarding the Bruen decision (see the earlier highlights here, here, here, and here). In a paper recently published in the Pepperdine Law Review, Michael Smith and Alexander Hiland draw a connection between Justice Clarence Thomas’ call to revisit the Supreme Court’s 1964 […]

Scholarship Highlight: Operation Choke Point and Gun-Industry Lending Laws; Carceral Reform for Gun Crimes

Posted by on December 19, 2022

Today’s post highlights two new pieces of firearms-related scholarship.  First, in an upcoming article in the Administrative Law Review, Dru Stevenson critically examines the link between Operation Choke Point and gun-industry antiboycott laws.  Second, a forthcoming piece by Mugambi Jouet in the Arizona State Law Journal proposes avenues for possible bipartisan cooperation to address the […]

District Judge Considers Appointing an Expert Historian to Evaluate Arguments under Bruen

Posted by on November 9, 2022

In a six-page order issued on October 27, Judge Carlton Reeves of the Southern District of Mississippi directed the parties in a case challenging the constitutionality of the federal felon-in-possession ban to submit briefs on the issue of whether the court “should appoint a historian to serve as a consulting expert.”  Judge Reeves noted that […]

What the Panthers Meant By Self-Defense: Race, Violence, and Gun Control

Posted by on August 9, 2022

NOTE:  Portions of this blog post are reformulations of my Master’s Thesis “Picking Up The Gun” completed for the M.St. in U.S. History at the University of Oxford in 2015. [This is a guest post based on a paper that was presented at the Center’s 2022 Firearms Law Works-In-Progress Workshop.] The Supreme Court in Bruen […]

Illegal Firearm Possession: A Reflection on Policies and Practices that May Miss the Mark and Exacerbate Racial Disparity in the Justice System

Posted by on January 19, 2022

Introduction Justifiably, there has been considerable attention and focus by the public, scholars, policy makers, and criminal justice and public health practitioners on violent crimes involving firearms. However, much less attention has been paid to the crime of illegal possession of firearms. Part of this reflects dramatically different definitions of this behavior across the states […]

The Dangerous Expansion of Stand-Your-Ground Laws and its Racial Implications

Posted by on January 18, 2022

I. Introduction Recently, there have been several high-profile trials that underscore the intersection of guns and race in America. In Georgia, Greg and Travis McMichael (father and son), and William “Roddie” Bryant, stood trial for fatally shooting Ahmaud Arbery, a Black man whose race seemed to be the only provocation the three white men needed […]

Some Thoughts on Addressing Racist History in the Second Amendment Context

Posted by on January 14, 2022

The claim that all gun control is inherently racist is relatively new. The claim grew to prominence in gun rights circles in the 1990s after Robert Cottrol and Raymond Diamond published their seminal 1991 article “The Second Amendment: Toward an Afro-Americanist Reconsideration.” That same year National Rifle Association (NRA) assistant counsel Stefan B. Tahmassebi proclaimed […]

“The People”, Citizenship, and Firearms

Posted by on January 13, 2022

The relationship between citizenship and gun rights continues to vex federal courts.[1] In turn, the answer to whether gun rights are citizen-only rights implicates other core constitutional protections. Accordingly, courts and commentators must critically re-examine the alarming judicial trend towards excluding noncitizens from the ambit of the Second Amendment. The Court’s 2008 District of Columbia […]

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 […]

When CRT Meets 2A

Posted by on January 11, 2022

Forty-four reasons come to mind Why a motherfuckin’ brother is hard to find He been walkin’ on the streets and fuckin’ with mine Stupid punk can’t fuck with a mastermind See, I never take a step on a Compton block Or L.A. without the AK ready to pop ‘Cause them punk motherfuckers in black and […]

Disarming the Police: Blue Lives, Black Lives and Guns

Posted by on January 6, 2022

The theory of interest convergence, articulated first by Professor Derrick Bell in a Harvard Law Review article, states that “the interests of blacks in achieving racial equality will be accommodated only when it converges with the interests of whites.”[1] Using the landmark school desegregation case of Brown v. Board of Education[2] as an example, Bell […]

The Racial Justice Gambit

Posted by on January 5, 2022

Racial justice has become a pawn in Second Amendment litigation. In New York State Rifle & Pistol Association, Inc. v. Bruen, both petitioners and respondents raised the racialized history of gun regulation to support their positions on the constitutionality of New York’s concealed carry licensing scheme. Moreover, groups from across the ideological spectrum filed amicus […]

Essays on Race and Guns in America

Posted by on January 4, 2022

We are excited to begin rolling out the essays from the Center’s recent roundtable on Race and Guns in America. The essays are impressively rich and thoughtful, offering various descriptions and diagnoses (and some prescriptions) for the persistent problems that arise in a country flooded with guns and saturated with systemic racism. Starting tomorrow, we […]

Scholarship Highlight: Felons, Bump Stocks, and More

Posted by on December 10, 2021

Here are some new and interesting firearms law and adjacent pieces of scholarship published recently, including some really insightful student notes and an especially timely and in-depth look at the bump stock ban. Mia Romano & Dru Stevenson, Litigating the Bump-Stock Ban, 70 U. Kan. L. Rev. 243, (2021) From the Introduction: If a law […]

Center Roundtable on Race and Guns in America

Posted by on December 3, 2021

In mid-November, the Center hosted a roundtable discussion on Race and Guns in America. The conversation addressed difficult and timely issues surrounding issues of policing, public carry, vigilante actors, and self-defense.  In January, we will be publishing the essays from the participants that came out of the event. From the discussion, it is clear those essays […]

Center’s March 2022 Symposium with Harvard Law Review

Posted by on November 17, 2021

We are excited to announce our next symposium will be hosted at Harvard Law School on March 25, 2022 in coordination with the Harvard Law Review. The theme is Guns, Violence, and Democracy. The events of the past several years—including pandemic-produced uncertainty and economic instability, antiracism protests, and assaults on free and fair elections—have confirmed […]

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 […]