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Symposia and Center Productions

Bruen FalloutShortly after the Supreme Court decided NYSRPA v. Bruen in June 2022—the Court’s first major Second Amendment decision in 12 years—Center leadership met to record an episode of The Duke Law Podcast unpacking the opinion and providing their initial reactions. 


Fall 2022 Symposium: Gun Rights and Regulation after Bruen

On September 23, 2022, the Center co-hosted a symposium in New York, in coordination with the New York University Law Review, on the theme of Gun Rights and Regulation after Bruen. The Supreme Court’s decision in Bruen marked a fundamental shift in Second Amendment law, announcing a new methodology focused on historical tradition. The symposium discussed Bruen’s new legal test, ways in which Bruen can be turned into practical legal doctrine to guide lower courts, and consequences for self-defense and criminal law.  The keynote discussion focused on criminal justice and prosecutorial discretion in the aftermath of Bruen.  

  • Keynote Discussion: Criminal Justice and Prosecutorial Discretion in the Wake of Bruen, featuring Manhattan District Attorney Alvin Bragg

  • Panel 2: Bruen’s Methodology and Practical Consequences for Legislation and Criminal Law

  • Panel 3: Places and the Challenges of Applying Bruen in the Lower Courts

  • Panel 4: After Bruen: Implications for Law Enforcement, Stare Decisis, and Supreme Court Legitimacy


Spring 2022 Symposium: Guns, Violence, and Democracy

The Center hosted this symposium at Harvard Law School on March 25, 2022 in coordination with the Harvard Law Review. 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 both the importance and the fragility of democratic institutions. The symposium discussed the ways that violence shapes U.S. democracy, with an emphasis on the intersection between firearms and issues like voting, public protest, policing, race and privilege. 

  • Panel 1: Guns and Democratic Governance

  • Panel 2: Guns and Policing

  • Panel 3: Guns and (In)Equality

  • Panel 4: Guns and Advocacy


Fall 2020 Symposium: The Second Amendment’s Next Chapter

This symposium, held on October 9, 2020 in coordination with the Northwestern University Law Review, explored the future of the Second Amendment. It has been over a decade since the Supreme Court decided a significant Second Amendment case and, with the new addition of Justice Kavanaugh to the bench, the Court could be ready to start a new chapter for the right to keep and bear arms. It examined, among other topics, the Second Amendment’s role in private and public spaces, the socio-political environment, and urban gun violence

  • Panel 1: The Shape of the Right

  • Panel 2: The Power to Regulate

  • Panel 3: Theory and Conflict

  • Panel 4: Firearms and Chicago

  • Keynote Speaker: U.S. Senator Chris Murphy


Fall 2019 Symposium: Gun Rights & Regulation Outside the Home

The symposium on Guns Rights and Regulations Outside the Home on September 27, 2019 looked at the issues left open by the Supreme Court in District of Columbia v. Heller concerning whether and how the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms extends outside the home. Experts in the legal, historical, and empirical aspects of this question weighed in on the proper approach.

  • Panel 1: The Second Amendment and Conflicting Interests

  • Panel 2: Regulating People, Places, and Products

  • Panel 3: Empirical and Theoretical Aspects of Firearms in Public

  • Panel 4: Historical Conceptions of Second Amendment Rights Outside the Home