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Second Thoughts Blog

Firearms Law Workshop Mini-Symposium, Part VI: Guns in the Private Square

Posted by on August 27, 2019

When Americans go out in public, they may encounter civilians carrying guns either openly or concealed.  For some, this is a scary thought, for others, a reassuring one.  But regardless of where they stand on the issue, most Americans assume that whether their day to day lives will be awash in guns will primarily be […]

Firearms Law Workshop Mini-Symposium, Part V: The Use of the Second Amendment to Reject Conscription

Posted by on August 26, 2019

In 2019, national conscription, or the draft, no longer feels like the ominous threat to civil liberties that it once did. Today, American male citizens must still register at 18 and there are existing proposals and a national commission considering expanding the draft to include women. Yet, the first and most significant fight over the […]

Firearms Law Workshop Mini-Symposium, Part IV: Regulation, Not Rights: the Early History of a National Firearms Industry

Posted by on August 23, 2019

It should be no surprise that today some of the biggest gun companies are in New England, where the government fostered the development of firearms manufacturing. These include Colt’s Manufacturing Company LLC (Hartford, CT), Smith and Wesson (Springfield, MA), and Sturm, Ruger & Co., Inc., (Southport, CT). Although discussions of gun culture today tend to […]

Firearms Law Workshop Mini-Symposium, Part III: Framing the Second Amendment: Gun Rights, Civil Rights, and Civil Liberties

Posted by on August 22, 2019

How we label, characterize, and frame constitutional rights matters. In gun rights discourse, advocates and commentators have referred to the Second Amendment as a “collective,” “civic republican,” “individual,” and “fundamental” right. Gun rights advocates have defended the right to keep and bear arms on “law and order” and anti-tyranny grounds, while gun control proponents have […]

Firearms Law Workshop Mini-Symposium, Part II: Gun Politics in Blue

Posted by on August 21, 2019

August 14 was a terrifying day for Philadelphia. For seven hours, Philadelphia police officers engaged in a hostage standoff with a suspect armed with an illegally possessed AR-15 and handgun. The incident left six police officers injured. Since then, calls for gun control have surged both from within the law enforcement community and on behalf […]

Firearms Law Workshop Mini-Symposium, Part I: Going Gunless

Posted by on August 20, 2019

I returned home to Houston from the workshop at the Duke Center for Firearms Law on Saturday morning, and reached my home just as the news reports broke from El Paso about the massacre at the Wal Mart there.  When I woke up the next morning, there were news reports about a similar atrocity in […]

Mini-Symposium on the First Firearms Law Works-in-Progress Workshop

Posted by on August 19, 2019

After our tremendously engaging first (of what we hope will be many) Firearms Law Works-in-Progress Workshops, we are excited to have a group of those who presented drafts at the workshop blogging about their pieces. As Joseph highlighted in his retrospective on the event, these papers were eclectic and generated fascinating discussion. During this week and […]

Where Are All the Second Amendment Circuit Splits?

Posted by on August 16, 2019

Gun debates are notoriously contentious and controversial, and they seldom lead to consensus. Gun litigation is a different story. In the hundreds of Second Amendment challenges in the federal courts since Heller, there has been surprising judicial agreement. Among federal courts of appeals, there is near-consensus on most questions. There are some noteworthy circuit splits, […]

Common Cause, Clear Standards, and Heller’s Second Amendment

Posted by on August 14, 2019

  In Rucho v. Common Cause, the Supreme Court declared that partisan gerrymandering is a nonjusticiable political issue.  Two factors seem key to the Court’s holding: the difficulty of finding a manageable standard to assess such claims and the thorny expansion of judicial review into an area of deep political controversy. Some of these same […]

Scholarship Highlight: James B. Jacobs & Zoe Fuhr, “The Toughest Gun Control Law in the Nation” (NYU Press 2019)

Posted by on August 13, 2019

Yesterday, amici filed briefs in support of the City in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association Inc. v. City of New York—the Second Amendment case that many thought (and some still think) might be a blockbuster. (Full disclosure: Along with Darrell Miller and Eric Ruben, I submitted an amicus brief in support of neither […]