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Gun Scholar David Kopel Explains SCOTUS Oral Arguments in Second Amendment Case. The Reload. Nov. 12, 2023. 39 minutes.

Will Increasing Gun Control Improve Public Safety? Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University. Apr. 3, 2003. Topics include: Biblical issues (Exodus 22, Luke 22, Romans 13), historic (and uncorrelated) trends of increasing gun ownership vs. rises and falls in homicide rates, and historic data on mass murder by government of disarmed victims. 90 minutes. Introduction starts at 9:45..

Latest

Written testimony on Colorado bill to mandate separate Merchant Category Codes (MCC) for stores that sell firearms. SB24-066 Colorado Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee. Feb. 8, 2024.

Newsom v. B and L Productions, No 23-3793 (9th Cir. Feb. 6, 2023). Amicus brief of Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and the Independence Institute. There is no historical support for the California legislature's ban on all gun shows on government property.

Garland v. Cargill, No. 22-976 (U.S. Sup. Ct., Jan. 26, 2023). Amicus brief of Senators Cynthia M. Lummis (Wyoming), Mike Lee (Utah), Kevin Cramer (North Dakota), John Barrasso (Wyoming), Pete Ricketts (Nebraska), Steve Daines (Montana), Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi), Mike Rounds (South Dakota), Markwayne Mullin (Oklahoma); Professors Royce de R. Barondes (Missouri, emeritus), F. Lee Francis (Mississippi College School of Law), Nicholas J. Johnson (Fordham), Donald E.J. Kilmer, Jr. (Lincoln Law School), Joyce Malcolm (George Mason, emerita), Joseph V. Muha (Akron), Joseph E. Olson (Mitchell-Hamline, emeritus), David A. Raney (Hillsdale), Glenn H. Reynolds (Tennessee), E. Gregory Wallace (Campbell); and the Independence Institute. In judicial review of the BATFE's regulation outlawing bump stocks, Chevron deference should not be applied. The rule of lenity does apply, and the standard with the strongest basis in American legal tradition is reasonable doubt. The National Firearms Act does not outlaw all "rapid-fire" guns; to the contrary, BATFE has repeatedly affirmed that Gatling guns are not covered by the NFA. The Court should apply the actual text of the NFA ("single function of the trigger"), and not BATFE's regulatory substitute ("single pull").

NRA v. Vullo, No. 22-842 (U.S. Sup. Ct., Jan. 16, 2023). Amicus brief of Second Amendment Foundation, John Locke Foundation, and Independence Institute. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the N.Y. Dept. of Financial Services sent written threats to banks and insurance companies warning them not to do business with the NRA. The effort to destroy and silence a constitutional advocacy organization was similar to the actions of segregationist state governments against the NAACP in the 1950s and 1960s. Cuomo has a long record of abusive attempts to eliminate First and Second Amendment rights. The Obama administration similarly abused tax and bank laws to try to choke off the First and Second Amendments. The Court should adhere to its precedents and hold unlawful Cuomo's threat-laundering.

How Magazine Bans Thwart Self-Defense. Bans on standard magazines benefit criminals and endanger victims. Reason/Volokh Conspiracy. Dec. 20, 2023.

Law Enforcement Officers Are Part of "the People," Not Above Them. Law enforcement amicus brief against Colorado magazine ban. Reason/Volokh Conspiracy. Dec. 11, 2023.

Gates v. Polis, No. 22-cv-1866-GPG-SKC (D. Colo., Nov. 30, 2023). Amicus brief of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, the Colorado Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association, the Western States Sheriffs Association, Sheriffs John Feyen (Larimer County), Gene Lillard (Montrose), Brett Powell (Logan), Todd Rowell (Mesa), Steve Reams (Weld), Aaron Shiplett (Baca), Lou Vallario (Garfield), Sam Zordel (Prowers), and the Independence Institute. Colorado ban on magazines over 15 rounds endangers public safety. Motion for Leave to File Amicus Brief. Article about the brief: Law Enforcement Officers Are Part of "the People," Not Above Them. Law enforcement amicus brief against Colorado magazine ban. Reason/Volokh Conspiracy. Dec. 11, 2023.

The Solicitor General's response to my amicus brief in Rahimi. Only one federal firearms prohibitor does not require any specific finding of fact. Reason/Volokh Conspiracy. Oct. 31, 2023.

United States v. Rahimi. No. 22-915 (U.S. Sup. Ct., Oct. 4, 2023). Amicus brief on behalf of professors Randy Barnett, Robert Cottrol, Lee Francis, Donald Kilmer, Joyce Malcolm, George Mocsary, Joseph Muha, Joseph Olson, Glenn Reynolds, and Gregory Wallace; the Second Amendment Law Center; and the Independence Institute. Old and discriminatory gun control laws that were repudiated by subsequent constitutional enactments are not valid precedents to support modern gun controls. Restricting arms rights of individuals whom a court has found to be "a credible threat" to intimate partners does not infringe the Second Amendment; disarming people with no judicial findings at all does infringe the Second Amendment. Thus, 18 U.S.C. sect. 922(g)(8)(C)(i) is not an infringement, and (C)(ii) is an infringement.

Masterful Takedown of Gun Controllers' Ridiculous Arguments. Law of Self Defense, by Andrew Branca. Oct. 19, 2023. Host Andrew Branca reads Kopel's amicus brief in United States v. Rahimi. 52 minutes.

Short articles

Firearms Law Works-in Progress Conference 2024. Reason/Volokh Conspiracy. Jan. 2, 2024.

How Magazine Bans Thwart Self-Defense. Bans on standard magazines benefit criminals and endanger victims. Reason/Volokh Conspiracy. Dec. 20, 2023.

Hanukkah and the Jewish fight for independence. Complete Colorado. Dec. 11, 2023.

Law Enforcement Officers Are Part of "the People," Not Above Them. Law enforcement amicus brief against Colorado magazine ban. Reason/Volokh Conspiracy. Dec. 11, 2023.

The Solicitor General's response to my amicus brief in Rahimi. Only one federal firearms prohibitor does not require any specific finding of fact. Reason/Volokh Conspiracy. Oct. 31, 2023.

Old gun controls that were constitutionally repealed are not precedents for modern gun control. Amicus brief in Supreme Court's Second Amendment Rahimi case. Reason/Volokh Conspiracy. Oct. 6, 2023.

Free "2023 Supplement" for "Firearms Law and the Second Amendment." Covering the many developments in 2022-23. Reason/Volokh Conspiracy. Sept. 6, 2023.


In the Media

Rocky Mountain Gun Owners Director Talks Strategy, Dudley Brown Status and Going Broke in 2023. Taylor Rhodes on the group's outspoken founder and future, as well as Colorado's "last stand" for gun rights. Westword. Feb, 8, 2024. Chris Perez.

Biden Reportedly Is Planning To Unilaterally Mandate Background Checks for All Gun Sales. A watchdog group cites ATF "whistleblowers" who describe a proposed policy that would be plainly inconsistent with federal law. Reason. Feb. 2, 2024. Jacob Sullum.

Ricketts signs brief urging protections for gun owners and Second Amendment. KOLN (Lincoln, Neb.). Jan. 30, 2024.

Lummis and GOP colleagues file amicus brief urging Supreme Court to lift bump stock ban. Washington Examiner. Jan. 26, 2024. Emily Jacobs.

Only 'Dangerous Individuals' Lose Their Gun Rights Because of Protective Orders, the Government Says. Solicitor General Elizabeth Prelogar falsely claims a federal gun ban "requires individualized findings of dangerousness." Reason. Nov. 8, 2023. Jacob Sullum.

The Supreme Court Considers Gun Rights and Domestic Abusers. The Justices return to the Second Amendment with a case that could bring more clarity to its Bruen precedent. Wall Street Journal. Nov. 5, 2023. Editorial Board. "One idea, raised in an amicus brief signed by professors of Second Amendment law, is that federal disarmament of people under restraining orders might be constitutional if a judge specifically finds a 'credible threat.' Under this view, the judiciary might uphold Mr. Rahimi’s sentence, while throwing out a more sweeping part of the federal law that applies to other restraining orders without an individual finding of dangerousness."

Trump May Have Violated Release Terms With Gun Purchase Spokesperson Said Didn’t Happen, Prosecutors Argue. Daily Caller. Sept. 30, 2023. Katelynn Richardson.

Is Donald Trump Unable To Purchase Firearms Due To His Felony Indictments? CheckYourFact. Sept. 26, 2023. Elias Atienza.

How a Conservative Supreme Court’s Expansion of Gun Rights Could Help Hunter Biden. Wall Street Journal. Sept. 16, 2023. Jacob Gershman.

Tillis email omits key details of Democrat's proposed tax on guns. Politifact. Sept. 8, 2023. Paul Specht.


Television, Radio, Podcasts 

Colorado Inside Out. Dec. 22, 2023. Ballot case against Trump involves close calls on four issues. Introduction of non-native wolf species to Colorado intensifies the war on rural Colorado. Denver's "housing first" policy for vagrants has failed wherever it has been tried. Colorado legislators in 2024 need to take steps against the toxic legislators who are ruining things for everyone. Disgrace: racist Elisabeth Epps condemns support for investigation of bomb threat against Boulder Jewish Community Center. Best thing: Colorado School of Mines football team completes another great season.

Gun Scholar David Kopel Explains SCOTUS Oral Arguments in Second Amendment Case. The Reload. Nov. 12, 2023.

Colorado Inside Out. Nov. 3, 2023. Judge Sarah Wallace in Colo. Trump insurrection case has prejudged the case and lied about her campaign contributions. Election preview: incompetent Denver School Board incumbents; Aurora mayoral candidate Juan Marcano quits Democratic Socialists of America because of their support for Hamas. At CU, anti-Israel students demonstrate with posters celebrating the mass shooting at a music festival for peace; CU professors, including its Department of Ethnic Cleansing, foster hatred. As Vancouver shows, injection centers are cruel and create misery. Best thing: Jews always defeat the exterminators--Hitler last century, Amalek three millennia ago, Hamas and its allies today. Westword article on the great John Denver honors his sincerity

Masterful Takedown of Gun Controllers' Ridiculous Arguments. Law of Self Defense, by Andrew Branca. Oct. 19, 2023. Host Andrew Branca reads Kopel's amicus brief in United States v. Rahimi. 52 minutes.

Second Amendment Scholar David Kopel on the Supreme Court’s Latest Gun Case. Kopel explains Rahimi amicus brief of Independence Institute, Second Amendment Law Center, and Professors of Second Amendment Law. The Reload. Oct. 25, 2023. 44 minutes.

The history of arms bans before 1900. Gun Rights Policy Conference. Sept. 23, 2023. Covers handguns, Bowie knives, slungshots, and metal knuckles. 14 minute audio.

Will Increasing Gun Control Improve Public Safety? Centennial Institute at Colorado Christian University. Apr. 3, 2003. Topics include: Biblical issues (Exodus 22, Luke 22, Romans 13), historic (and unrelated) trends of increasing gun ownership vs. rises and falls in homicide rates, and historic data on mass murder by government of disarmed victims. 90 minutes. Introduction starts at 9:45.


Latest Monographs & Journal articles

The History of Bans on Types of Arms Before 1900. Including handguns, Bowie knives, daggers, slungshots, brass knuckles, cannons and more. 50 Journal of Legislation (Notre Dame, forthcoming 2024). With Joseph G.S. Greenlee.

Restoring the right to bear arms: New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen. In 2021-22 Cato Supreme Court Review (Trevor Burrus ed., Sept. 16, 2022).

Guns Kill People, and Tyrants with Gun Monopolies Kill the Most. 25 Gonzaga Journal of International Law 20 (2021).

Errors of Omission: Words Missing from the Ninth Circuit's Young v. State of Hawaii, 2021 University of Illinois Law Review Online 172 (May 13, 2021). With George A. Mocsary.

Red Flag Laws: Proceed with Caution. 45 (Alabama) Law & Psychology Review 39 (2021).


In the Courts and Legislatures

Written testimony on Colorado bill to mandate separate Merchant Category Codes (MCC) for stores that sell firearms. SB24-066 Colorado Senate Business, Labor, and Technology Committee. Feb. 8, 2024.

Newsom v. B and L Productions, No 23-3793 (9th Cir. Feb. 6, 2023). Amicus brief of Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms and the Independence Institute. There is no historical support for the California legislature's ban on all gun shows on government property.

Garland v. Cargill, No. 22-976 (U.S. Sup. Ct., Jan. 26, 2023). Amicus brief of Senators Cynthia M. Lummis (Wyoming), Mike Lee (Utah), Kevin Cramer (North Dakota), John Barrasso (Wyoming), Pete Ricketts (Nebraska), Steve Daines (Montana), Cindy Hyde-Smith (Mississippi), Mike Rounds (South Dakota), Markwayne Mullin (Oklahoma); Professors Royce de R. Barondes (Missouri, emeritus), F. Lee Francis (Mississippi College School of Law), Nicholas J. Johnson (Fordham), Donald E.J. Kilmer, Jr. (Lincoln Law School), Joyce Malcolm (George Mason, emerita), Joseph V. Muha (Akron), Joseph E. Olson (Mitchell-Hamline, emeritus), David A. Raney (Hillsdale), Glenn H. Reynolds (Tennessee), E. Gregory Wallace (Campbell); and the Independence Institute. In judicial review of the BATFE's regulation outlawing bump stocks, Chevron deference should not be applied. The rule of lenity does apply, and the standard with the strongest basis in American legal tradition is reasonable doubt. The National Firearms Act does not outlaw all "rapid-fire" guns; to the contrary, BATFE has repeatedly affirmed that Gatling guns are not covered by the NFA. The Court should apply the actual text of the NFA ("single function of the trigger"), and not BATFE's regulatory substitute ("single pull").

NRA v. Vullo, No. 22-842 (U.S. Sup. Ct., Jan. 16, 2023). Amicus brief of Second Amendment Foundation, John Locke Foundation, and Independence Institute. New York Gov. Andrew Cuomo and the N.Y. Dept. of Financial Services sent written threats to banks and insurance companies warning them not to do business with the NRA. The effort to destroy and silence a constitutional advocacy organization was similar to the actions of segregationist state governments against the NAACP in the 1950s and 1960s. Cuomo has a long record of abusive attempts to eliminate First and Second Amendment rights. The Obama administration similarly abused tax and bank laws to try to choke off the First and Second Amendments. The Court should adhere to its precedents and hold unlawful Cuomo's threat-laundering.

May v. Bonta, No. SACV 23-01696-CJC (C.D. Cal., Dec. 20, 2023). Holding new California ban on licensed carry almost everywhere unconstitutional. Citing The “Sensitive Places” Doctrine: Locational Limits on the Right to Bear Arms, 13 Charleston Law Review 205, 211, 233 n. 108, 234, 235-36, 242, 250, 289, 290-91, 292, (2018).

Gates v. Polis, No. 22-cv-1866-GPG-SKC (D. Colo., Nov. 30, 2023). Amicus brief of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, the Colorado Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association, the Western States Sheriffs Association, Sheriffs John Feyen (Larimer County), Gene Lillard (Montrose), Brett Powell (Logan), Todd Rowell (Mesa), Steve Reams (Weld), Aaron Shiplett (Baca), Lou Vallario (Garfield), Sam Zordel (Prowers), and the Independence Institute. Colorado ban on magazines over 15 rounds endangers public safety. Motion for Leave to File Amicus Brief.

Antonyuk v. Chiumento, Nos. 22-2908 (L), 22-2972 (Con); 22-2933; 22-2987; 22-3237 (2d. Cir., Dec. 8, 2023). Holding unconstitutional NY's "Vampire Rule" against licensed carry in businesses open to the public. Citing The “Sensitive Places” Doctrine: Locational Limits on the Right to Bear Arms, 13 Charleston Law Review 205, 229-36, 244-47 (2018); Shall Issue: The New Wave of Concealed Handgun Laws, 63 Tennessee Law Review 679, 680, 681 (1995).

United States v. Rahimi. No. 22-915 (U.S. Sup. Ct., Oct. 4, 2023). Amicus brief on behalf of professors Randy Barnett, Robert Cottrol, Lee Francis, Donald Kilmer, Joyce Malcolm, George Mocsary, Joseph Muha, Joseph Olson, Glenn Reynolds, and Gregory Wallace; the Second Amendment Law Center; and the Independence Institute. Old and discriminatory gun control laws that were repudiated by subsequent constitutional enactments are not valid precedents to support modern gun controls. Restricting arms rights of individuals whom a court has found to be "a credible threat" to intimate partners does not infringe the Second Amendment; disarming people with no judicial findings at all does infringe the Second Amendment. Thus, 18 U.S.C. sect. 922(g)(8)(C)(i) is not an infringement, and (C)(ii) is an infringement.

Delaware State Sportsmen’s Association v. Delaware Department of Safety and Homeland Security, Nos. No. 23-1633, 23-1634, 23-1641 (3d Cir. July 10, 2023). Amicus brief of International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, Law Enforcement Legal Defense Fund, National Association of Chiefs of Police, Professors of Second Amendment Law, and Independence Institute. Assertions about the supposedly "exceptional" wounding power and dangers of so-called "assault weapons" are false. The arms are well-suited for law-defense of self and others, and are frequently chosen for that purpose by law enforcement officers and citizens. Claims that ordinary law enforcement officers routinely use extremely dangerous super-powerful weapons are defamatory to law enforcement.

United States v. Daniels, No. 22-60596 (5th Cir. July 6, 2023). Amicus brief by Scholars of Second Amendment Law (F. Lee Francis, Nicholas J. Johnson, Donald E.J. Kilmer, David B. Kopel, George A. Mocsary Joseph V. Muha, Joseph E. Olson, Glenn H. Reynolds) and Independence Institute. The ban on firearms possession by every "user" of marijuana, 18 U.S.C. 922(g)(3), is contrary to history and tradition, as shown by historic laws pertaining to alcohol. Shooting or weaning firearms while intoxicated may be prohibited, but not use while sober.

Koons v. Platkin, 2023 WL 3478604, No. CV 22-7463 (D.N.J. May 16, 2023). The “Sensitive Places” Doctrine: Locational Limits on the Right to Bear Arms, 13 Charleston Law Review 205 (2018); Guns in America: Arming the Right People Can Save Lives, L.A. Times (Jan. 15, 2013); Shall Issue: The New Wave of Concealed Handgun Laws, 63 Tennessee Law Review 679 (1995).

National Shooting Sports Foundation v. Platkin. No. 23-1214. May 8, 2023. Third Circuit amicus brief. New Jersey statute to allow lawsuits against law-abiding firearms businesses violates the Second Amendment, and is similar to abusive First Amendment lawsuits from the Jim Crow period.

 

 

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