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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, […]

Scholarship Highlight: Federal Firearms Crimes, Product Safety Regulations and the Quaker Role in Second Amendment Debates

Posted by on June 1, 2023

In a new article that is forthcoming in the University of Pennsylvania Journal of Constitutional Law, Brandon Beck seeks “to create a holistic framework for thinking about the modern federal approach to firearms by situating it, historically and conceptually, as a fundamentally distinct era within the larger story of federal firearms criminalization.”  Beck separates the […]

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 […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 5/22/23

Posted by on May 22, 2023

On May 17, the Court denied the pending emergency application to reverse a district court decision upholding Illinois’ assault weapons and large-capacity magazine ban pending appeal in Bevis v. Naperville.  There was no explanation for the denial, and there were no written dissents or statements issued.  It’s not surprising to me that the Court declined […]

Student Note Scholarship Highlight: Perspectives on NY’s Concealed Carry Law and a Comparative Evaluation of American and Australian Gun Regulation

Posted by on May 19, 2023

This highlight focuses on recently-published pieces of law student scholarship.  With the end of the academic year, we are going to run a short series highlighting new student notes on firearms-related topics.  First, a note by rising third-year student Morgan Band in the Fordham Law Review evaluates the “Concealed Carry Improvement Act” that New York passed shortly […]

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 […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 5/15/23

Posted by on May 15, 2023

The emergency application to reverse the district court decision denying a preliminary injunction of Illinois’ assault weapons and LCM ban in Bevis is now fully briefed and ready for decision.   The state’s response, which was filed on May 10, argues that the Court should deny the application due to the interlocutory posture of the case, the […]

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, […]

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 […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 5/8/23

Posted by on May 8, 2023

On April 26, the plaintiffs in a case challenging Illinois’ new law banning assault weapons and large-capacity magazines filed an application for an emergency injunction with the Supreme Court.  Judge Virginia Kendall of the Northern District of Illinois denied a motion to preliminarily enjoin the Illinois law on February 17, and the plaintiffs appealed her […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 5/1/23

Posted by on May 1, 2023

The Court has requested a response in Vullo and set the response deadline for May 24, although a motion was filed to extend that date to June 23.  In Cargill, a case dealing with ATF’s rule criminalizing possession of bump stock devices, the Court granted a motion to extend Cargill’s response deadline to June 7.  On April […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 4/24/23

Posted by on April 24, 2023

The Court denied certiorari today in Gazzola, a challenge to certain New York regulations on the commercial sale of firearms, noting that the petition had been filed “before judgment.”  Vullo, a First Amendment challenge involving state government guidance and press urging banks and insurance companies to consider the reputational risks of doing business with gun-rights […]

What do the Fourteenth Amendment Debates Reveal about the Historical Reference Point for Incorporated Second Amendment Challenges?

Posted by on April 19, 2023

Imagine that, tomorrow, a historian unearths a trove of documents including written notes from congressional debates in 1788 and 1789 regarding the proposed Bill of Rights—debates that no one knew had occurred.  The documents include detailed statements by James Madison describing the intent and meaning of the provisions in the Bill of Rights, including the […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 4/17/23

Posted by on April 17, 2023

On April 6, the federal government filed a petition for certiorari in Cargill v. Garland.  In January, an en banc Fifth Circuit struck down the Trump-era ATF rule prohibiting bump-stock devices after finding that ATF lacked statutory authorization to ban bump stocks because “a bump stock is excluded from the technical definition of ‘machinegun’ set […]

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 […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 4/10/23

Posted by on April 10, 2023

As the Rahimi response deadline approaches on April 20, there were two new amicus briefs filed last week in Vullo.  Montana and 17 other states filed a brief in support of the NRA, asserting an interest in “a vibrant and robust right of free private expression.”  The states argue that, “[i]f the Second Circuit’s decision is […]

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 […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 4/3/23

Posted by on April 3, 2023

The major date to keep an eye on in the coming weeks is April 20, when Rahimi’s response to the government’s petition for certiorari is due.  Per Court guidance, any amicus briefs filed at the cert stage should be due 30 days after the response is filed. The Court heard argument in Lora v. United States last […]

Scholarship Highlight: Presumptively Lawful Regulations, Insurance Mandates, and Categorical Bans

Posted by on March 31, 2023

This is the fourth post in our series summarizing new legal scholarship regarding the Bruen decision (see the earlier highlights here, here, and here). In a new paper forthcoming in the Belmont Law Review, Kevin Schascheck considers how Heller’s list of presumptively lawful regulations might continue to influence Second Amendment jurisprudence post-Bruen.  Schascheck observes that, […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 3/27/23

Posted by on March 29, 2023

The Rahimi petition is now reflected on the Court’s docket, and Rahimi’s response to the government’s petition for certiorari is due on April 20.  In Vullo, a group of financial and business law scholars filed an amicus brief in support of the petitioner on March 21.  The brief argues that the Second Circuit’s decision rejecting […]

By the Numbers: How Disruptive Has Bruen Been?

Posted by on March 27, 2023

I try to answer that question with a new data set that I compiled and have now incorporated into my forthcoming Duke Law Journal article, The Dead Hand of a Silent Past: Bruen, Gun Rights, and the Shackles of History. The short answer is that the decision has been extremely disruptive, with courts declaring more […]

Litigation Highlight: Eleventh Circuit Upholds Florida’s Under-21 Purchase Ban

Posted by on March 24, 2023

On March 9, the Eleventh Circuit issued a published decision in NRA v. Bondi holding that Florida’s law prohibiting those under the age of 21 from purchasing (but not possessing) firearms is consistent with the Second Amendment post-Bruen.  The case deals with a Florida statute enacted in 2018, after the February 14, 2018 mass shooting […]

Litigation Highlight: Legal Challenges to ATF Rule on Stabilizing Braces

Posted by on March 22, 2023

In January of this year, the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms, and Explosives (ATF) published Final Rule 2021R-08F, “Factoring Criteria for Firearms with Attached ‘Stabilizing Braces.’” The new rule changes the operative definition of “rifle” in the Code of Federal Regulations such that most pistols with attached stabilizing braces (often called “pistol braces”) will now […]

SCOTUS Gun Watch – Week of 3/20/23

Posted by on March 20, 2023

There was major news from the Supreme Court on Friday, as the federal government filed a petition for certiorari in United States v. Rahimi.  In Rahimi, a Fifth Circuit panel struck down as unconstitutional § 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(8)—which prohibits gun possession by those subject to certain domestic-violence protective orders issued after notice and a hearing (we covered […]

Can the Federal Legislative Efforts to Combat Domestic Violence Survive Bruen?

Posted by on March 17, 2023

In the aftermath of the Bruen decision, some courts have struck down legislative initiatives passed in recent decades specifically designed to combat domestic violence. (Andrew Willinger and Jake Charles summarized one such recent decision, United States v. Rahimi, here and here.)  These federal, state, local and tribal initiatives share one overarching goal: to protect domestic […]