In The Gunning of America, Pamela Haag challenged the idea that “guns are part of the American identity,” and argued that in the United States, “the gun culture was forged in the image of commerce. . . it was etched strongly by the character, ambition, and will of gun capitalists rather than by diplomats, politicians, […]
In Heller II, the D.C. Circuit claimed that long gun registration requirements are novel, not historic. Heller III reiterated this line, stating that the registration requirement for long guns lacks the “historical pedigree” of the registration requirement for handguns. But is this entirely right? Historical American firearm registration laws suggest that long gun registration is […]
The historical record suggests: Maybe not.
I’ve been thinking and writing about the Second Amendment for a decade, but this past year was the first time I’ve ever actually taught a course on firearms law—a seminar called “Second Amendment: History, Theory, and Practice.” The first three weeks covered some basic history and empirics, and an overview of the opinions in District […]
An enjoyable feature of teaching Second Amendment is the flexibility and variety of possible approaches. A professor can use a wide variety of materials, depending on learning objectives. Social science, current policy debates, and political philosophy are easily included, if one wants. I use our textbook Firearms Law and the Second Amendment. It aims to […]
We taught a two-credit Second Amendment/Regulation of Weapons seminar at NYU School of Law in spring and fall 2019. We used the regulation of weapons as a powerful exemplar of the institutional structures and relationships that constitute the American system of government, including (1) the nature of American federalism and the constitutional relationship between national […]
The fact that guns tend to inspire very strong feelings, especially in Americans, makes the experience of teaching firearms law both a pleasure and a challenge. On the one hand, student enthusiasm for subject matter is always gratifying; at the same time, intense emotion can sometimes be at odds with reasoned discussion and critical reflection. […]
It would be misleading to say that I “teach” my Firearms Law and the Second Amendment seminar. Rather, the class is a student-driven, instructor-guided conversation. There is substantial debate about what the law in this area should be. It also has the advantage of being one with substantial disagreement about what the law is, both […]
Especially since the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, there has been an increased interest not only in writing about firearms law (check out Joseph’s post here), but in teaching classes on it as well. Our admittedly unscientific evidence—personal experience and conversations with others—suggests that student demand is high, and that […]
In the past few weeks, there’s been some interesting Second Amendment and related firearms law scholarship published. Joseph Blocher highlighted one such paper last week. Here’s a few more that have caught my eye recently.