Please visit Dave Kopel's website, containing articles
on the Second Amendment and other freedom topics.
Table of Contents
New by Kopel: Law Review Articles
U.N. Numbers Right?; Pennsylvania Quakers, Zimbabwe
Final; Response to Kozuskanich's Response;
Short Articles and Media
The Push for States' Rights; Analysis of the
Goodwin Liu; Homeland Security's Missing Computers;
Judge Wood and the RKBA; Merrick Garland no friend of
the 2nd Amendment
Afghanistan: Taliban Needs to Shoot Better?; Armenian
Boar hunt; Hungarian Restrictions; Irish Target Shooter
Disarmed, Hunting; New Zealand Court Win; Disarmed
Nigerians Slaughtered; Ugandan Leaders Sport Arms
NSSF/Harris Poll; Baseball Ban; Ft. Hood Heroes;
Successful Wolf Season; Orthodox Gun Dealer, Oy vey!
Bloomberg hectors Obama over Guns; Lautenberg Targets
Cub Scout; SPLC's Slanders now Media's; Pfleger Pflogs
the Issue Yet Again
BATFE Seizes Toy Guns; 'Easily (?) Convertible'
States to Vote on Constitutional Hunting; Colorado
Campus Concealed Carry; Florida Pro-RKBA Successes;
lllinois Cops Spurn Video; Indiana Workplace Protection;
Iowa Protection Orders; Nebraska and New Mexico CCW;
Utah and Wyoming Defy Feds
Bad Pleas Appealable;'
Thrown Out; Cancelled Flight Leads to Jail Time; Indiana
Rules that CCW does Not Allow
New Harvard Firearms Data Site; OU Center for Small Arms
Law Review Articles
How Many Global Deaths from Arms? Reasons to Question
the 740,000 Factoid being Used to Promote the Arms Trade
Dave Kopel with Paul Gallant, and Joanne T. Eisen
SSRN Working Papers Series
March 29, 2010
Currently, the United Nations is drafting an Arms Trade
Treaty to impose strict controls on firearms and other
weapons. In support of hasty adoption of the Treaty, a
UN-related organization of Treaty supporters is has
produced a report claiming that armed violence is
responsible for 740,000 deaths annually. This Article
carefully examines the claim. We find that the claim is
based on dubious assumptions, cherry-picking data, and
mathematical legerdemain which is inexplicably being
withheld from the public. The refusal to disclose the
mathematical calculations used to create the 740,000
factoid is itself cause for serious suspicion; our own
calculations indicate that the 740,000 figure is far too
The Keystone of the Second Amendment: Quakers, the
Pennsylvania Constitution, and the Flawed Scholarship of
Kopel and Cramer examine the historical underpinnings of
historian Nathan Kozuskanich's claim that the right to
arms in the 1776 Pennsylvania constitution only
guaranteed a right to serve in the commonwealth's
militia. Here is the final 'to-the-printers' version.
Credentials are No Substitute for Accuracy: Nathan
Kozuskanich, Stephen Halbrook and the Role of the
In response to our criticisms of errors and omissions in
Nicholas Kozuskanich's articles about the history of the
right to arms in early Pennsylvania, Kozuskanich offers
an unpersuasive reply and counterattack. While he
continues to insist that the Pennsylvania Constitution,
which declared "That the people have a right" to arms
meant that only militiamen had a right, he is still
unable to explain why the Pennsylvania drafters, in
three other Articles, used "That the people have a
right" to mean that all the people (not just a special
group) have a right. Nor does he explain why his
original articles failed to even mention the existence
of the other Articles with identical language.
Kozuskanich doubles down in his efforts to prove that
Second Amendment scholar Stephen Halbrook is "inept,"
but Kozuskanich's purported proofs are mistaken. For
example, Kozuskanich claims that Halbrook offered
nothing more than a bare assertion in support of
Halbrook's interpretation of the right to arms Article
in the Pennsylvania Constitution. To the contrary,
Halbrook provided nine pages of analysis, supported by
The Arms Trade Treaty: Zimbabwe, the Democratic Republic
of the Congo, and the Prospects for Arms Embargoes on
Human Rights Violators.
Advocates of the proposed United Nations Arms Trade
Treaty (ATT) promise that it will prevent the flow of
arms to human rights violators. This Article first
examines the ATT, and observes that the ATT, if
implemented as promised, would require dozens of
additional arms embargoes, including embargoes on much
of Africa. The Article then provides case studies of the
current supply of arms to the dictatorship in Zimbabwe
and to the warlords in the eastern Democratic Republic
of the Congo (DRC). The Article argues that the ATT
would do nothing to remediate the conditions which have
allowed so many arms to be acquired by human rights
violators. The ATT would have no more effective force
than the embargoes that are already imposed by the UN
Security Council; therefore states, including China,
which violate current Security Council embargoes could
just as well violate ATT embargoes. Accordingly, the ATT
is a distraction, and human rights activists should
instead examine alternative methods of addressing the
problem of arms in the hands of human rights violators.
At the end of this document: En français, une version de
8 pages de ce document est disponible en français. En
español, el extracto está disponible en español.
Journal and Media Appearances
"The Supreme Court's decision in
restores the free speech of civil rights groups, such as
The Push for States' Rights
Dave appears 12:54 into this hour-long program,
discussing the changing nature of the relationship of
the Federal Government to the States.
Analysis of the McDonald Oral Argument
Dave and host Michael Bane discuss the arguments in
McDonald v. Chicago
the RKBA case recently argued before the Supreme Court.
United States v. Millerwas so Badly Written
"McReynold's product in
was consistent with his lazy and slapdash approach.
Perhaps the other Justices, while recognizing that there
was room for improvement in the opinion, decided not to
press McReynolds for changes, lest McReynolds fail to
get around to making any revisions, and thereby further
delay the progress of the Court's business."
was the dominant Supreme Court decision on the Right to
Keep and Bear Arms before
Reasonable regulation and
never adopted a 'reasonable regulation' standard.
allows for machine gun bans under theory that they are
not part of the Second Amendment (that is, they are not
Second Amendment 'arms'). Restrictions on gun carrying
in 'sensitive places' are not explained doctrinally, but
they are easily comparable to First Amendment 'time,
place, and manner' rules.
says that concealed carry may be banned; in the states,
the dominant theory for this restriction was that
concealed carry was not part of the right. Finally,
allowance for conditions and qualifications on the
commercial sale of guns was expressed without being
described as part of some kind of 'reasonableness'
Goodwin Liu on the Second Amendment
"Boalt Hall Associate Dean Goodwin H. Liu has been
nominated to serve on the 9th Circuit Court of Appeals.
Some readers and Senators may be interested in his
viewpoint on Second Amendment and other constitutional
issues related to firearms policy. So here's an excerpt
from his article
Separation Anxiety: Congress, The Courts, And The
91 Georgetown Law Journal 439 (Jan. 2003)."
Two Homeland Security Agencies Lost Almost a Thousand
Computers in One Year
"As detailed in an investigation by the Independence
Institute's Todd Shepherd. Immigration and Customs
Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection
(CBP) lost at least 985 computers in the 2008 fiscal
year. ICE also lost 13 automobiles, while CBP lost 235
night vision scopes."
Diane Wood on the Second Amendment
"...Judge Wood chose to preemptively rule on the
constitutionality of gun registration. Her ruling was
bereft of the analysis that is necessary for judicial
analysis of restrictions on any enumerated right. It is
safe to say that Judge Wood has ample legal skills to
conduct carefully-reasoned legal analysis when she
chooses to do so. Accordingly, it is plausible to infer
from her unreasoned opinion a disregard for Second
Merrick Garland is no Friend of the Rights of Gun Owners
regarding the 2000 case
NRA v. Reno
and Judge Garland's refusal to require the Clinton
Department of Justice to obey the federal statute
requiring the destruction of records of firearms
purchases by law-abiding Americans. The decision also
suggests a cavalier disregard for privacy rights in
general, such as the right not to be put on a government
list simply because one engaged in a lawful activity."
The Weakness of Taliban Marksmanship
This article delivers a quite detailed analysis of the
deficiencies of the weapons and marksmanship employed by
the Taliban in their battles with coalition forces, and
rather puzzlingly goes on to discuss means by which they
might well correct them.
Armenia: Illegal Hunting in Nature Reserve Exposed
A You-Tube video posting of a Forester illegally
shooting a wild boar in a nature preserve created uproar
enough to prompt the Forester's dismissal.
Hungary to set new parking, gun rules
"Hungary's gun laws are set to be tightened, meanwhile.
Justice Minister Imre Forgács said only those who have
been members of a sports club for at least three years
and who pass a psychology test will be granted a gun
licence, after yesterday's regular cabinet meeting."
Target-shooter loses appeal to keep guns
"Patrick Herlihy, who lives in the Carrigaline area of
Co Cork, held licences for the weapons for four years.
However, tightening up of firearms legislation earlier
this year led to the refusal in October by gardaí in
Cork to renew his licences for the Sig Sauer pistols and
Smith and Wesson revolvers."
Pro-hunting Groups to Continue Protest against Ban
"Pro-hunting campaigners have pledged to continue
lobbying TDs and Senators to block the Wildlife
(Amendment) Bill 2010, which will make hunting deer with
a pack of hounds an offence."
Licensed Owners Win Gun Fight against Police
"A 'victory for commonsense' has been reached in the
High Court at Palmerston North after a gun owner took
police to task over recent changes to firearm
Nigerian 'gun control' Enables Massacre
Codrea rather scathingly points out, using quotes from
parties involved or commenting, that the Nigerian
Christians slaughtered last month by Muslims with edged
weapons and some firearms were in compliance with the
government ban on civilian arms possession and under
utterly unavailing government protection.
Uganda offers a 'gun control' Paradise
Codrea notes with irony that Uganda's ruling elites both
possess and brandish firearms after much-publicized
civilian disarmament program in the country.
NSSF/Harris Poll: Target Shooting, Home Defense
"A new National Shooting Sports Foundation poll
conducted by Harris Interactive found that more
Americans are target shooting now than six months ago,
and that 'home and personal defense' were the main
reasons Americans recently purchased firearms."
O's Scott takes Issue with MLB gun ban: He says Rule
Punishes all for Poor Choices by Some
"Orioles designated hitter Luke Scott understands the
purpose behind Major League Baseball's recent directive
prohibiting guns and other deadly weapons from
clubhouses, and said he'll abide by it. He just doesn't
agree with the ban."
Gun Saint Society Honors Fort Hood Police Heroes
"Fort Hood, Texas police Sgts. Mark Todd and Kimberly
Munley this week wore St. Gabriel Possenti Society honor
medallions presented by Society Founder-Chairman John M.
Snyder at the American Police Hall of Fame (APHF) in
Wolf Hunt Season ends with Killings Shy of Limit
"Idaho closed the first regulated wolf-hunting season in
the lower 48 states Wednesday, and state Fish and Game
officials are calling it a success."
Is Orthodox Jewish gun dealer Bill Bernstein an
obnoxious right-wing agitator or a lovable curmudgeon?
Either way, he's a progressive's worst nightmare.
"Bernstein does not suggest the stereotypical 'gun nut'
of anti-handgun straw-man arguments – a yahoo itchy to
open fire for the hell of it, anytime, anywhere. That's
not to say he doesn't share much in common with those
who fall under that umbrella. He thinks Obama is a
disaster. He agrees with Rush Limbaugh. (He has no
opinion of Bill O'Reilly because he hasn't owned a TV in
many years.) He loves goading liberals, and if the
Tennessee legislature proposed to let kindergarten
teachers pack heat in the sandbox, he would probably
offer an MNEA discount."
Bloomberg Sends Stern Letter to Obama Demanding
"New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg – who at one
point was considered an Independent ally of the White
House but has proven to be a somewhat reliable critic –
is going hard after the president, accusing Obama of
dragging his feet on gun control."
Lautenberg's Gun Ban For 8-Yr-Old Cub Scout Terrorist
"Lautenberg's bill seeks to ban gun sales to those on
the terrorist watch list. It is appalling to think that
a regular American seeking to purchase a gun to protect
his or her loved ones or go hunting could be blocked
from purchasing a firearm because somehow their name is
erroneously on the terrorist watch list." The Cub Scout
in question mistakenly appeared on the 'no fly' list.
Media Picking up SPLC's Hateful Talking Points against
Gun Owners and Tea Partiers
"Alabama's NBC13 has prepared a special report,
'Dramatic rise in grass roots militia groups.' It's but
one of many increasing media efforts associating those
of us who believe in the Framer's vision of the Second
Amendment with domestic terrorists, along with the
insulting proposition that opposition to the current
president's policies is a manifestation of racism."
Father Pfleger Leads Gun Rally at Federal Plaza
"The Thursday demonstration borded [sic] on performance
art: As each name was read of Chicago Public School
students shot and killed last year, someone would pop
another balloon, and another young person in the crowd
would fall to the ground."
Why is ATF Seizing 'Toy Guns'?
The BATFE recently seized a shipment of Airsoft toy M4
carbines that the Bureau claimed could be readily
converted into full-automatic weapons firing real
cartridges. Codrea points out the sheer volume and
difficulty of the changes that would be required.
BATFE Guilty of More Arrogant Behavior – Seizes Toy Guns
Here is a more up-to-date discussion of the seizure. The
BATFE has maintained possession of the toy guns, which
are slated to be destroyed.
A Constitutional Right to Hunt? Voters in Three States
"Worries that hunting will one day be banned or
restricted – the result of the work of animal rights
activists or of "liberals" in control of Congress – are
leading more states to establish "a right to hunt and
fish" in their state constitutions. This year, residents
of Tennessee, Arkansas, and South Carolina will vote on
right-to-hunt initiatives, and North Carolina and other
states may yet add hunting-related constitutional
amendments to their ballots."
CSU Approves Separate Concealed-weapons Policies for Two
"Rocky Mountain Gun Owners has threatened to lead the
legal charge against the gun policy, which bans people
from carrying licensed concealed weapons on both
Sheriff Says He'll Undermine gun ban: Anti-gun Theorists
Impose Dangerous Policy
"'I have told the CSU police chief I will not support
this in any way,' Sheriff Alderden told
'If anyone with one of my permits gets arrested for
concealed carry at CSU, I will refuse to book that
person into my jail. Furthermore, I will show up at
court and testify on that person's behalf, and I will do
whatever I can to discourage a conviction. I will not be
a party to this very poor decision.'"
NRA has gotten most of what it wanted in Florida
The NRA has done very well in the Florida Legislature
this year, so much so that pro-NRA legislators are
retiring with a sense of a job completed.
Video cameras in cars make some cops uncomfortable
"Privately, some cops told the Chicago Sun-Times they
were ignoring the rule to turn on camera systems because
they're worried their words and actions will come back
to haunt them. They explained they sometimes must use
harsh language to establish control over people they
Daniels Signs Workplace Gun Law: Firearms in Locked
Autos Part of 'Fundamental Right'
" 'Protecting these rights – is appropriate,' Daniels
said. 'I also am compelled to give great weight to the
overwhelming consensus of both houses of the General
Assembly as they passed this bipartisan statute.' "
Culver Signs Bill Banning Guns from Abusers
"The legislation calls for people who are the subject of
a protective order or have been convicted of domestic
abuse to relinquish firearms by selling them,
transferring them to a qualified party, such as a family
member, or turning them over to law enforcement to hold
for the length of the protective order."
Omaha Handgun Registration Does Not Apply to Concealed
Carry Permit Holders
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.
"Attorney General Jon Bruning today issued an opinion
finding that Omaha's city ordinance requiring handguns
to be registered does not apply to anyone with a
state-recognized concealed handgun permit."
Governor Bill Richardson Orders Additional Safeguards to
New Concealed Carry Law
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.
"Governor Bill Richardson today signed a bill that
removes the ban on concealed carry licensees from
bringing their weapons into New Mexico restaurants with
beer and wine licenses. However, Governor Richardson is
ordering additional safeguards to address public safety
concerns surrounding the bill."
Gun Bill Signed by Herbert: Despite his Concerns about
Its Constitutionality, Governor says Message is Worth
"The Utah Legislature's war of words with Washington now
includes Gov. Gary Herbert's signature on a
local-control gun bill that could escalate the rhetoric
into a court fight. The bill seeks to thwart federal
regulation of guns made, sold and kept in the state.
Herbert waited until Friday's deadline to sign or veto
SB11, the Utah-Made Firearms Act, apparently troubled by
legislative attorneys' warning that it 'is highly likely
to be held to be unconstitutional.' Ultimately, he
decided the message is worth the legal wrangling."
This Does Draw a Line in the Sand
"The legislation, which takes effect in July, is meant
as a shot across the bow of the federal government. But
it's unclear whether the new law will remain a symbolic
declaration of states' and Second Amendment rights, or
spark a real-life confrontation between state and
federal officials." The law declares that all firearms
made and sold within Wyoming's state borders are not
subject to Federal controls.
Case with Implications for DV Misdemeanor Pleas
handed down this morning... The opinion points out that
various immigration reforms have changed the deportation
consequence from something of a concern (the sentencing
judge could recommend against it, and that was virtually
binding) to an inevitability. The majority thus find
that deportation is a key part of the penalty, and a
person pleading out must be informed of it. "
Accordingly, someone disarmed having mistakenly pled
guilty to a misdemeanor charge of domestic violence
might have grounds to have that plea reconsidered and
the right to keep and bear arms restored.
District Court Upholds D.C. Registration Requirement,
"Assault Weapon" Ban, Ban on Large-Capacity Magazines
Volokh here offers his appraisal of the D.C.'s District
Heller v. District of Columbia
decision, which upheld the District of Columbia's ban on
'assault weapons' and large-capacity magazines, using
language from the dissent to the Supreme Court's earlier
decision of the same name.
Court Dismisses "Heller II" Case: D.C. Gun Registration,
"Assault Weapon" Ban, and "Large" Magazine Ban Upheld
The NRA-ILA offers a more detailed summary of the
decision and the reasoning cited by Judge Richard M.
Urbina in dismissing the case.
New D.C. Gun Laws Upheld: Sequel to 2008 ruling
Here is a close-hand very informed look at the case, the
grounds for the decision, and the chances and mechanisms
of an appeal.
Unexpected Flight Delay => Hotel Stay = > Criminal
Prosecution for Gun Possession
"An unfortunate story, detailed in
Revell v. Port Authority (3d Cir. 2010):
Gregg C. Revell was flying from Salt Lake City to
Allentown, Pennsylvania, via Minneapolis and Newark. He
had an unloaded gun legally checked in his luggage,
which was supposed to meet him at Allentown..." Mr.
Revell spent four days in jail, until making bail, and
only received his firearm back after three years.
Indiana Appeals Court: Concealed Carry Not a License To
"Police may not search a vehicle merely because its
driver has been issued a valid concealed carry permit,
the Indiana Court of Appeals ruled on Thursday." The
Washington v. Indiana
a PDF file.
Harvard School of Public Health Unveils Comprehensive,
Public Online Library of Firearms Research
A new firearms research database launched by the Harvard
School of Public Health makes scholarly articles more
accessible to reporters, law enforcement, public health
officials, policymakers, and the general public. The
database itself may be accessed
Center for Small Arms Research
"The Center for Small Arms Research seeks to develop and
promote academic research at the University of Oklahoma
that focuses on the global problems associated with
small arms and light weapons. CSAR hopes to facilitate a
network of scholars from numerous disciplines at the
University who may work together to conduct research
relevant to the various causes and consequences of small
arms proliferation, availability, circulation, and
This newsletter is compiled with help from Dr.
S. Rice. For more on this consonant, yet multifarious
individual, see here:
See Rice stammer! See Rice flub his lines! See Rice
breathe and hesitate! Movie link on page. See the Credit
that made Rice scream!
Al Qaeda delenda est!