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Research Areas

Criminal Justice & U.S. Const. amends. 4-10

Digital Economy


Health, Education & Welfare



Media and 1st Amendment


Right to Arms: Policy issues

Right to Arms: Law, history, politics

Right to Arms: International

Terrorism (& Fahrenheit 9/11)



Newspaper & magazines articles: 2007 to present; 2001-2006; 1986-2000.

Books, law review articles, other scholarly publications.

Blogging 2014-present. Archive.

Video archive

Audio archive

Briefs and legal citations

SSRN author page. Google Scholar. DU Law faculty page.

Social media

Kopel blogging for the Washington Post's "Volokh Conspiracy"

Kopel on Twitter.

Dave Kopel Channel on Youtube.

Click the icon Kopel RSS feed to get RSS/XML updates of this website, and of Dave's blog posts.

Kopel's Law & Liberty News. Twice-daily web newspaper collecting articles from Kopel and those whom he follows on Twitter.


Author page on Amazon.

New book by Kopel coming Dec. 31, 2015: The Morality of Self-Defense and Military Action: The Judeo-Christian Tradition (Praeger Books, ABC/CLIO).

Rules for State Legislators: Jerry Kopel's Guide (2015). With Jerry Kopel.

The Truth about Gun Control (Encounter Books, 2013). Who is sovereign in the United States? Is it the people themselves, or is it an elite determined to rule citizens who are seen as incapable of making choices about their own lives? This is the central question in the American gun-control debate. Animated video featuring a section of the book. 4 minutes.

A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Affordable Care Act (Palgrave MacMillan). The legal scholars who fought and defeated the unconstitutional power grab.

Firearms Law & the Second Amendment; Regulation, Rights, and Policy (Aspen Publishers 2012). The first law school textbook on the Second Amendment. Buy from Amazon. Publisher webpage for book. Authors' website for book; includes Table of Contents, and Preface.

Supplement online chapters, free to the public: Chapter 12 – Social Science. Chapter 13 – International Law. Chapter 14 – Comparative Law. 2015 supplement now available.

Podcasts on the book:

  • Chapter 7. A New and Dangerous Century.
  • Chapter 6. Reconstruction and the late 19th Century.
  • Chapter 5. The Early Republic, and the Antebellum Era.
  • Chapter 4. The new Constitution and the Second Amendment.
  • Chapter 3. The Colonies and the Revolution.
  • Chapter 2. Antecedents of the Second Amendment: From Confucius to the British Whigs.
  • Chapter 1. An introduction to firearms laws and firearms function. 

More books by Kopel.

World Languages

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Polski /Polish.


Český /Czech

Magyar /Hungarian.


Deutsch /German.

Nederlands /Dutch.

Svenska /Swedish.

Dansk /Danish.

繁體中文 /Chinese.

日本語 Full-text Japanese version of this entire website.

Jerry Kopel

JerryKopel.com. My father's essays on Colorado and national politics, based on his 22 years of service as a Colorado State Representative.

About Kopel, and contact info

Colorado Inside Out. Jan. 1, 2016. Predictions for the new year. Full episode. Presidential election. Major races in Colorado. Postgame: 2016 ballot issues.

"Guns, Law and Society: Understanding the Arguments" hosted by The Dart Center.

Short articles

Obama’s executive actions on guns: Legal analysis. Washington Post. Jan. 5, 2016.

An implausible argument that evangelicals must oppose self-defense. Responding to an article by Rob Schenck, a pacifist minister. Washington Post. Dec. 30, 2015.

Trauma Colectivo Post-San Bernardino. La Razón (Madrid). Dec. 16, 2015.

President Obama signs three constructive gun measures. Prohibiting ban on lead ammunition; first step to right-to-carry for military personnel; sell surplus military handguns to the public. Washington Post. Dec. 10, 2015.

Hickenlooper's shots at law-abiding gun owners don't help. Concealed carries licensees save lives; Jeanne Assam saved a hundred at the New Life Church in 2007. (Colorado Springs) Gazette. Dec. 10, 2015. With Ari Armstrong.

The Maryland Minute Men of 1942: Armed citizens summoned to homeland defense. Washington Post. Dec. 7, 2015.

Planned Parenthood's Right to Bear Arms. Real Clear Policy. Dec. 3, 2015.

Fact check: Obama claim that ‘I say this every time we’ve got one of these mass shootings; this just doesn’t happen in other countries.’ Washington Post. Dec. 1, 2015.

The costs and consequences of gun control. Washington Post. Dec. 1, 2015. Summary of new Cato study.

The Second Amendment versus anti-Catholicism. Washington Post. Nov. 20, 2015. James Madison expressly rejected anti-Catholic gun control laws; yet modern anti-gun advocates claim that these bigoted laws laws should be imposed on everyone.

Handgun bans for persons under 21: A hidden problem in Everytown’s ‘universal background checks’. Washington Post. Nov. 5, 2015.

Sharing firearms for informal target shooting: Another legitimate activity outlawed by Everytown’s ‘universal background checks’. Washington Post. Nov. 4, 2015.

Safe storage of firearms: The harms from Bloomberg’s strange background check system. Washington Post. Nov. 3, 2015.

How Everytown’s background check law impedes firearms safety training and self-defense. Washington Post. Nov. 2, 2015.

Earlier material on secret government blacklists

The New McCarthyism: Restricting Constitutional Rights Based on Mere Suspicion. Independence Institute Issue Backgrounder, no. 2005-B. June 2005. Analysis of proposals to use the "no-fly list" or other suspicion-based lists as a basis for prohibiting the exercise of Second Amendment rights.

No Fly, No Buy. Gun-banners want people whose names appear on secret government no-fly lists to be denied their constitutional right to keep and bear arms. America's 1st Freedom, Oct. 2005.

In the Media

Carlos Muñoz. La propuesta de Obama para detener la matanza. Semana.com (Colombia). Jan. 9, 2016.

Juan Carlos Iragorri. "Las medidas de Obama sobre las armas son inútiles." RCNradio.com (Columbia). Jan. 8, 2016.

3 things to know about the 'gun show loophole.' PolitiFact. Jan. 7, 2016.

Francisca Maturana Torres. Obama impone mayor chequeo de antecedentes para la compra de armas. El Mercurio (Chile). Jan. 6, 2016.

Tim Lynch. Obama’s Gun Control Announcement. Cato Institute. Jan. 6, 2016.

Pete Williams. Small-Bore? President Obama's Actions on Guns Make Marginal Changes. NBC News. Jan. 5, 2016.

Patrik Jonsson, Obama's gun control moves: What do they actually do? Christian Science Monitor. Jan. 5, 2016.

Pro-Gun-Rights Expert: Obama’s Gun Package Not So Bad. Wall Street Journal. Jan. 5, 2016.

Olivia Becke. Obama's Executive Action May Actually Have Little Impact on Gun Violence. Vice.com. Jan. 5, 2016.

Gun law expert: why Americans are obsessed with guns (and Australians are in danger). International Business Times. Jan. 6, 2016.

Legality of Obama’s Executive Actions on Guns Could Hinge on These Words. The Blaze. Jan. 5, 2016.

Walter Olson. Hill Democrats Renew Push for “Assault Weapons” Ban. Cato Institute. Dec. 17, 2015.

I Don’t Blame You For Being Scared of Guns. Patheos. Dec. 15, 2015.

Malloy to impose gun restrictions. Yale Daily News. Dec. 11, 2015.

A little bit about a lot from the desk of AGN Media. Amarillo Globe-News. Dec. 11, 2015.

Gun control proposals serve as empty gestures. The Oklahoman editorial board. Dec. 10, 2015.

Report: Most Gun Control Policies Ineffective at Preventing Gun Crime. Finds mental health reform would have greatest impact. Washington Beacon. Dec. 10, 2015.

Walter Olson. Gun control, terrorism, and President Obama. Overlawyered.com. Dec. 7, 2015.

Supreme Court's Denial of Assault Weapon Case Won't End Gun Debate. National Law Journal. Dec. 7, 2015 (paywall).

Kirk Sigler. From Colorado to California, the gun control debate has become personal. NPR News. Dec. 5, 2015.

Eric Niler. Why So Many Assault Weapons? Discovery News. Dec. 4, 2015.

Sal Rodriguez. Reflexive calls for tighter gun restrictions ill-timed. Orange County Register. Dec. 4, 2015.

Joey Bunch. Shape of 2016 Colorado gun legislation yet to take form. Denver Post. Dec. 4, 2015.

Jamaica: Draconian Gun Laws and Murder Rates. AmmoLand Shooting Sports News. Dec. 4, 2015.

Robert Verbruggen. Would Cracking Down on Guns in the U.S. Really Reduce Violence? National Review Online. Dec. 3, 2015.

Eric Sandstrom. On gun violence, mass killings shouldn't be the focus. Denver Post. Nov. 28, 2015.

Eugene Volokh. Home possession of switchblade knives protected by the Second Amendment. Washington Post. Nov. 24, 2015.

Activists taking aim at Colorado's campus-carry law. Austin American-Statesman (blog). Nov. 23, 2015.

Television, Radio, Podcasts  

Debate Over The Second Amendment To The U.S. Constitution. The Diane Rehm Show. National Public Radio. Jan. 11, 2016. With Akhil Reed Amar, Bruce Fein, and Jeffery Rosen.

The Bad and Good of Obama’s Executive Orders on Guns. Cato Institute daily podcast. Jan. 7, 2016.

Will Obama's action on guns help prevent deaths? PBS NewsHour. Video of Kopel and "Everytown" head John Feinblatt. PBS Newshour. Jan. 5, 2016.

Interpreting the Second Amendment. Kopel and Jeffery Toobin on Anderson Cooper 360. CNN. Jan. 5, 2016.

Obama Unveils Gun Control Measures. CTV (Canada). Jan. 5, 2016.

Colorado Inside Out. Jan. 1, 2016. Predictions for the new year. Full episode. Presidential election. Major races in Colorado. Postgame: 2016 ballot issues.

Colorado Inside Out. Dec. 25, 2015. Year in review. Full episode. 2015 in one word. Big criminal trials. Education reform. Postgame: EPA pollution with Gold King Mine spill; VA hospital delays; police tensions.

Gun Talk with Tom Gresham. Dec. 20, 2015. Discussion of Kopel’s new Cato Institute paper.

CTV News Canada. Dec. 5, 2015. New York Times frontpage gun control editorial. Obama call for gun bans. 5 minutes.

"Heller 2" at the DC Circuit Court. Cato Institute podcast. Sept. 23, 2015.

American Constitution Society. June 12, 2015. Panel on Skewed Justice: How Money in Judicial Elections is Undermining our Criminal Justice System.

Guns, Law and Society: Understanding the Arguments. Dart Center. Arizona State University. May 29, 2015.

Latest Monographs & Journal articles

The Costs and Consequences of Gun Control. Cato Institute Policy Analysis no. 784 (Dec. 1, 2015).

The First Century of Right to Arms Litigation. 14 Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy (forthcoming 2016).

Background Checks for Firearms Sales and Loans: Law, History, and Policy. 53 Harvard Journal on Legislation (forthcoming 2015).

Book review of "This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible." 35 Cato Journal 443 (2015).

Lyman Trumbull: Author of the Thirteenth Amendment, Author of the Civil Rights Act, and the First Second Amendment Lawyer. 47 Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, issue 4 (forthcoming 2016).

Reforming Mental Health Law to Protect Public Safety and Help the Severely Mentally Ill. 58 Howard Law Journal 715 (2015). With Clayton Cramer.

The History of Firearms Magazines and of Magazine Prohibition. 88 Albany Law Review 849 (2015).

The Posse Comitatus and the Office of Sheriff: Armed Citizens Summoned to the Aid of Law Enforcement. 104 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 671 (2015).

The First Amendment Guide to the Second Amendment. 81 Tennessee Law Review 419 (2014).

Does the Second Amendment Protect Firearms Commerce? 127 Harvard Law Review 230 (2014).

From Razing a Village to Razing the Constitution: The Branch Davidian Stand-Off Twenty Years Later. 36 Reason Papers 72 (2014). With Paul Blackman.

In Congress and Legislatures

Colorado House of Representatives. State Affairs Committee. Feb. 2, 2015. Testimony in favor of: Civil immunity for businesses that allow licensed carry; Repeal of Colorado magazine ban; Repeal of prohibition on firearm loans that are not routed through FFLs; Enactment of “shall certify” for acquisition of NFA arms. Kopel testifies as the last witness on each bill. MP4.

In the Courts

Wrenn v. District of Columbia (D.C. Circuit). Amicus brief of legal historians explains that peaceable carrying of arms was lawful in the American colonies, in the Early Republic, and in the vast majority of the United States through 1900.

Sheriffs' reply brief in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. May 29, 2015. Governor Hickenlooper's arguments in favor of the magazine ban demonstrate its unconstitutionality.

Peruta v. San Diego. April 30, 2015. En banc rehearing before the 9th Circuit. Amicus brief for the International Law Enforcement Educators & Trainers Association. Explains the empirical evidence showing that licensed handgun carry strengthens public safety.

Sheriffs brief in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Jan. 16, 2015. The website for the Colorado Sheriffs' federal civil rights lawsuit against the 2013 Bloomberg anti-gun bills is here.

Independence Institute, Cato Institute, Reason Foundation amicus brief in support of the SCt cert petition in Kerr v. Hickenlooper. Primary and Cato Authors: Ilya Shapiro, Julio Colomba, David B. Kopel, Manuel S. Klausner. Nov. 20, 2014.

Joel Esquenzi and Carlos Rodriguez v. United States of America. Washington Legal Foundation and the Independence Institute amicus brief in support of petitioners. United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Sept. 11, 2014.

Taxpayers for Public Education v. Douglas County School District (2014). Independence Institute amicus brief to the Colorado Supreme Court in the Douglas County school vouchers case in support of the respondents.

Constitutional law professors in Jerusalem passport case, Zivotofsky v. Kerry, Supreme Court amicus brief in support of petitioner.

The documents in Cooke et al. v. Hickenlooper are available here. Fifty-five Sheriffs, the Colorado Farm Bureau, disabled citizens, hunting guides, Women for Concealed Carry, and other plaintiffs have filed suit against the Colorado bills that ban magazines, and that outlaw some temporary transfers of firearms.

Amicus briefs in Shew v. Malloy (2d Cir. 2014) and Fyock v. Sunnyvale (9th Cir. 2014). The history of magazines of greater than 10 rounds, and of magazine prohibition, in the United States.

National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning (2014). Amicus brief of the Independence Institute. Original meaning of the Recess Appointments Clause. Professor Natelson's research presented in this brief was cited several times in the four-Justice concurring opinion written by Justice Scalia. 


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Nothing written here is to be construed as necessarily representing the views of the Independence Institute or as an attempt to influence any election or legislative action. Please send comments to Independence Institute, 727 East 16th Avenue, Denver, Colorado 80203 Phone 303-279-6536. (email webmngr @ i2i.org)

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