Right to Arms: Law, History, Philosophy, Politics

Kopel has "single-handedly...changed the gun debate in the United States." John Fund, Wall Street Journal, speech at the Gun Rights Policy Conference, Crystal City, Virginia, September 2004.

Topics on this page

Firearms Topics on Other Pages

Page on Firearms policy issues.

Page on Foreign gun control. Subtopics: Africa. Ancient Greece and Rome. Australia. Canada. Eastern Europe. Germany. Great Britain. Hungary. Israel. Italy. Jamaica. Japan. New Zealand. Poland. Switzerland. United Nations.

Page on Religion. Includes issues of the morality of armed self-defense.

Archives for Kopel's Second Amendment Project e-mail newsletter, 1998-2011.

New on this page and on the other right to arms pages

Firearms technology and the original meaning of the Second Amendment. Washington Post. April 3, 2017.

Why Judge Gorsuch Should Be Justice Gorsuch. America's 1st Freedom. April 2017.

Second Amendment may be restored on Army Corps of Engineers land. Washington Post. Mar. 10, 2017.

Anti-gunners are savaging Gorsuch for vindicating an innocent man. The Hill. Mar. 7, 2017. With Joseph Greenlee.

Restoring the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Cato Handbook for Policymakers (8th ed. 2017). With Trevor Burrus and Robert A. Levy.

A Lifeline in the Collapse of Law and Order. The DL with Dana Loesch. Season 1, episode 6. NRA TV. Mar. 2017.

NRA News. Mar. 6, 2017. Czech Republic considers constitutionalizing right to arms. Kopel at 2:45:27.

Why Women Own Guns. The DL with Dana Loesch. Season 1, episode 4. NRA TV. Mar. 2017.

Tracing Judge Gorsuch’s Paper Trail On The Second Amendment. America's 1st Freedom. Feb. 2, 2017.

Can a county ban all gun stores? 9th Circuit amicus brief suggests not. Washington Post. Feb. 1, 2017.

Texiera v. Alameda County, California (9th Cir., en banc). Jan. 31, 2017. Amicus brief on county ban on all new gun stores. Historical evidence from the American Revolution shows that the British bans on firearms commerce led the Americans to take up arms.

Fact Check on Colorado Background Checks. by Bart Bedsole. KRDO, Colorado Springs. Feb. 8, 2017. Part 3. Part 2.

School gun training bill OK’d by Colorado Senate committee. Durango Herald. Jan. 28, 2017. By Luke Perkins.

Testimony on Colorado Senate bill 15-005. Bill to allow armed teachers in schools, if they are trained by Sheriffs' Offices. Colorado Senate State Affairs Committee. Jan. 24, 2017. 3:49.

7th Circuit strikes ban on target practice by minors, and near-ban on firing ranges. Washington Post. Jan. 19, 2017.

The Martial Arts are Arts. Washington Post. Jan. 11, 2017.

Czech Republic urges armed citizens to shoot terrorists. Cam & Company. NRA News. Jan. 4, 2017.

Firearms United successfully pushes back against EU gun ban proposal. Cam & Company. NRA News. Dec. 22, 2016.

NRA Members tipped the balance for Trump. Cam & Company. NRA News. Nov. 14, 2016.

The Federal Circuits’ Second Amendment Doctrines. St. Louis University Law Journal (2017 forthcoming). With Joseph G.S. Greenlee.

Why the anti-tyranny case for the 2nd Amendment shouldn't be dismissed so quickly. Vox. Aug. 22, 2016.

The Federal Circuits’ Second Amendment Doctrines. Washington Post. April 22, 2016.

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

I. The Supreme Court

Subtopics: McDonald v. Chicago. District of Columbia v. Heller. Other Supreme Court cases. Supreme Court Justices, and other judges.

McDonald v. Chicago, Incorporation, and the End of handgun bans in the Chicago area


Second Amendment Update 2016. Your Weekly Constitutional. Feb. 26, 2016. Interviews with David Kopel and Adam Winkler.

The McDonald Case, How Can We Learn From It? GunLawShow.com, Dec. 2011.

McDonald explained. Kopel on "Devil's Advocate." Colorado Public Television, channel 12, Denver. July 9, 2010. YouTube: part 1, part 2, part 3. Half-hour.

Wins of Change. Special digital edition of America's 1st Freedom, July 2010. Long article by Kopel explaining the Supreme Court opinions in McDonald.

Mike Rosen show. Discussion of McDonald, Kagan nomination, other Supreme Court issues. One hour. 850 KOA, Denver. June 29, 2010.

NRA News, June 28, 2010. Last segment of the show. 28 minutes.

Podcast on McDonald. iVoices.org. June 28, 2010. MP3.

McDonald Supreme Court Briefs and Arguments

Kopel's Supreme Court amicus brief in McDonald v. Chicago. The brief was cited by Justice Alito's plurality opinion (footnote 2), and by Justice Stevens' dissent (twice).

Podcasts and videos

Incorporating the Second Amendment. Cato Institute Daily Podcast. June 22, 2010.

Waiting for McDonald. And the impending Kagan hearings. NRA News. June 21, 2010. Last segment on the show, 22 minutes.

Analysis of the McDonald Oral Argument. Downrange TV with Michael Bane. 34 minutes. Mar. 2, 2010.

The Privileges or Immunities Clause and what it means for the Second Amendment. Kopel interviews the Cato Institute's Ilya Shapiro about his new law review article. 29 minutes. Feb. 16, 2010. MP3.

Stephen Halbrook Christmas Special. Kopel interviews Stephen Halbrook, the leading legal defender of the Second Amendment over the last three decades. Dec. 17, 2009. 53 minutes. MP3.

A Very Gura Christmas. Kopel interviews the young jedi Alan Gura about McDonald v. Chicago. Dec. 7, 2009. 50 minutes. MP3.

Podcast on the Independence Institute's Supreme Court amicus brief in McDonald v. Chicago. iVoices.org Dec. 1, 2009.

Josh Blackman interviews Kopel about the Supreme Court brief. Nov. 23, 2009. Podcast.

McDonald v. Chicago: Is the 2nd Amendment Incorporated in the 14th Amendment? An explanation of the basic constitutional issues in the case. Nov. 18, 2009. MP3.

The Second Amendment Goes to the Supreme Court Again. Kopel explains McDonald v. Chicago. iVoices.org podcast. Oct. 5, 2009. 11:04.

The Second Amendment in the Supreme Court. Kopel speaks to the Global General Gathering of the Triple 9 Society, and explains the upcoming Supreme Court case on whether the Fourteenth Amendment makes the Second Amendment applicable to state and local governments. Sept. 6, 2009. 86 minutes, video. Watch. Download mp4.s

Articles and blogging

NRA Makes its Case. The oral argument in McDonald v. Chicago. America's 1st Freedom, May 2010.

“Reasonable regulation” and McDonald. Volokh.com. March 2, 2010.

The Next Supreme Decision: Showdown Over Chicago. The NRA's brief in McDonald v. Chicago. America's 1st Freedom. Feb. 2010.

McDonald amicus briefs: Academics, Congress redux, and California District Attorneys. Volokh.com. November 25, 2009.

McDonald amicus: Don’t trust Fairman and Berger. Volokh.com. November 23, 2009.

Rules for Aldridge’s Bingham. Volokh.com. November 23, 2009.

Institute for Justice brief in McDonald v. Chicago. Volokh.com. November 23, 2009.

Congressional brief in McDonald v. Chicago. Volokh.com. November 23, 2009.

Academics for the Second Amendment brief in McDonald. Volokh.com. November 23, 2009.

Cato brief in McDonald v. Chicago. Volokh.com. November 23, 2009.

NRA brief in McDonald v. Chicago. Volokh.com. November 17, 2009.

McDonald and other Incorporation Cases in the Lower Federal Courts

Kopel Amicus brief in the Chicago handgun ban cases. Filed in the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals, Feb. 5, 2009.


7th Circuit Court of Appeals Handgun Ruling. Kopel explains the new decision in NRA v. Chicago. Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Podcast, on iVoices.org. June 4, 2009. 12 minutes. MP3.

9th Circuit's Ruling Applies 2nd Amendment to States. Kopel explains Nordyke v. King, in which the Ninth Circuit held that the 2d Amendment is incorporated by the 14th. Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Podcast. April 20, 2009. MP3.

Does the Heller Ruling Apply at the State and Local Level? Three different cases could give the Supreme Court an opportunity to decide: the Chicago handgun ban; Alameda County, California, gun show ban; and the New York nunchaku ban. Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Podcast. 11:24. April 10, 2009. MP3.

Podcast on the Independence Institute amicus brief in the Chicago handgun ban case. Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Podcast. Feb. 13, 2009. MP3.

The lawsuits against the Chicago handgun ban, and whether the Second Amendment is incorporated against state and local governments. Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Podcast, in iVoices.org Feb. 6, 2009. MP3.

Articles and blogging

What good is an individual right if your state won't enforce it? Analysis of the 7th Circuit's decision holding that the Second Amendment does not limit state or local governments. America's 1st Freedom. August 2009.

The State of Heller. Does the Second Amendment apply to state and local governments? Ongoing cases may soon give the Supreme Court an opportunity to issue a definitive decision on this very important question. Discussion of the 9th Circuit's new decision in Nordyke v. King, plus other cases involving incorporation. America's 1st Freedom. June 2009. PDF.

The First Dominoes Fall: Morton Grove and Wilmette Handgun Bans. The Volokh Conspiracy weblog, June 29, 2008.

District of Columbia v. Heller


Scholarly journals

The Natural Right of Self-defense: Heller's Lesson for the World. Symposium issue on the Heller case. 59 Syracuse Law Review (2009).

Unraveling Judicial Restraint: Guns, Abortion, and the Faux Conservatism of J. Harvie Wilkinson, III. 25 Journal of Law & Politics 1 (University of Virginia) (2009). Critique of 4th Circuit Court of Appeals Judge Wilkinson's Virginia Law Review article asserting the D.C. v. Heller is a 21st century version of Roe v. Wade. With Nelson Lund.

Audio and video

Gun and self-defense law reform after Heller. Kopel presentation at Fordham Law School. Kopel begins at 15:30. Mar. 9, 2012.

Did Heller matter? The New York Times says it did not, but Kopel details the Times' numerous omissions. Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Podcast. April 3, 2009. MP3.

Supreme Court Victory: Now What? Independent Thinking. CPT12 TV. Kopel and the head of Colorado's Million Mom March. July 12, 2008. 27 minutes.

Kopel on Downrange Radio. 24 minutes on the Heller decision. June 27, 2008.

iVoices.org podcast on the Heller decision. June 26, 2008. 14 minutes.

Short articles and blogging

Is Heller Hollow? Explains the court battle over 2d Amendment standard of review. America's 1st Freedom. Nov. 2011.

Gun Rights and the Constitution: Was Heller Insignificant? An examination of last week's New York Times article, which overlooked most of the Second Amendment victories which have flowed from Heller. The New Ledger. March 26, 2009.

Kmiec v. Kmiec on Heller. Volokh.com. Jan. 6, 2009.

What Next for D.C.'s Gun Laws. Congress should intervene to protect the Second Amendment. Wall Street Journal. August 8, 2008. With Robert A. Levy.

Freedom Unbound! In striking down the D.C. gun ban, the U.S. Supreme Court rules that the Second Amendment protects an individual right of all Americans. America's 1st Freedom. Aug. 2008.

After Heller: The New American Debate on Guns. Weblog debate about the Heller case and its implications. Participants are Bob Levy of the Cato Institute, Kopel, Dennis Henigan of the Brady Campaign, and Erwin Chemerinsky. Kopel's entries are: "The Right to Bear Arms and 'Sensible' Gun Laws"; "Slope Still Slippery"; "More on 'The' and Pre-existing Rights"; "One Man's 'Sensible' is Another Man's 'Extreme'"; "What Did They Mean in Massachusetts?"; "The NRA and the Supreme Court"; and "In Scalia's Defense". Cato Unbound. July 2008.

Heller's Kitchen. How the Heller decision may affect New York City gun laws. New York Sun, June 30, 2008.

The First Dominoes Fall: Morton Grove & Wilmette Handgun Bans. Volokh.com. June 29, 2008.

What is the right protected in the Heller dissent? Volokh.com. June 28, 2008.

Heller is just the beginning of expanding judicial protection of the right to arms. ReasonOnline, June 27, 2008

Miller, Colt .45s and Natural Law. The Heller decision provides constitutional protection for what it recognizes as the natural right of self-defense. The decision also show DC's ban on all self-loading guns to be unconstitutional. Scotusblog, June 27, 2008.

Conservative Activists Key to DC Handgun Decision. Human Events. June 27, 2008.

Constitution is Big Winner in D.C. Gun Case. Pajamas Media. June 26, 2008.

Heller Oral Argument

Ringside at the Supreme Court. Report on the Heller oral argument. America's 1st Freedom. June 2008..

Oral argument in DC v. Heller. The view from the counsel table. Volokh Conspiracy weblog. Mar. 31, 2008.

iVoices.org interview with Kopel, about the oral argument in District of Columbia v. Heller. March 27, 2008. MP3. 15:01.

Press conference after the oral argument in District of Columbia v. Heller. Mar. 18, 2008. C-Span. The first half of the press conference is Mayor Fenty and other D.C. spokespersons. Kopel appears in the background at about 11:24, and speaks from about 18:20 to 19:33. C-Span video, Kopel at 21:30. MP3 of the pro-Heller portion.

NRA News interview on the Supreme Court steps, after oral argument in Heller. Mar. 18, 2008. YouTube.

Kopel telephone interview for Down Range TV, discussing the day's oral argument in District of Columbia v. Heller. Mar. 18, 2008. MP3.

Independence Institute amicus brief in Heller

Amicus brief of the Independence Institute, the International Law Enforcement Educators & Trainers Association, and many other law enforcement organizations and leaders in District of Columbia v. Heller. PDF.

Ready to shoot. The legal availability of handguns makes for a better-prepared police force and a safer citizenry. Baltimore Sun. Feb. 27, 2008.With Ed Nowicki.

Independence Institute brief in DC v. Heller. iVoices podcast, Feb. 11, 2008.

Other Heller amicus briefs

What are the anti's thinking? America's 1st Freedom. April 2008. Analysis of the anti-Second Amendment amicus briefs in District of Columbia v. Heller. PDF.

Academics for the Second Amendment brief in the Supreme Court. Law professor Joe Olson is interviewed by Dave Kopel, regarding the brief that A2A wrote regarding the drafting and original meaning of the Second Amendment. Feb. 21, 2008. 44 minute podcast. MP3.

Nelson Lund explains the Second Amendment. Kopel interviews George Mason Law Professor Nelson Lund, author of the Second Amendment Foundation brief in DC v. Heller. Lund explicates the grammar and vocabulary of the Second Amendment. Mar. 4, 2008. MP3.

Military Brief (including full text of Maryland Governor Herbert L. O'Conor's 1942 radio address calling for Maryland Minutemen to defend the state), 2/13/08. District Attorneys, the ABA, and precedent in DC v. Heller, 2/13/08. Goldwater vs. the Solicitor General, in DC v. Heller, 2/12/08. State-level Battle of the Attorneys General in DC v. Heller, 2/12/08. Battle of the Attorneys General in DC v. Heller, 2/11/08. Historical briefs in DC v. Heller, 2/11/08. Law Enforcement Brief in DC v. Heller, 2/11/08. Respondent's Brief in DC v. Heller, 2/7/08. NRA brief in DC v. Heller, 2/7/08. Claremont Institute Empirical Brief in DC v. Heller, 2/7/08. DC v. Heller, amicus brief on racial issues, 2/8/08. Congressional Brief in DC v. Heller, 2/8/08. LGBT brief in DC v. Heller, 2/9/08. The English Roots of the Right Arms. DC v. Heller brief, 2/9/08. Women's Rights Brief in DC v. Heller, 2/9/08. Nelson Lund brief in DC v. Heller, 2/10/08. Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership brief in DC v. Heller, 2/10/08. The "Failed State" Brief in DC v. Heller, 2/10/08. Amicus Briefs for Petitioner in D.C. v. Heller, 1/14/08.

Pre-argument analysis

American Constitution Society panel on DC v. Heller. Moderated by Dahlia Lithwick of Slate, the panel features a discussion with John Payne (formerly of the D.C. Corporation Counsel's office; attorney of record on the Brady amicus brief, and currently head of the NAACP LDF), Carl Bogus (Prof. of Law at Roger Williams, and lead author on a pro-DC amicus brief of some historians) and Dave Kopel. The debate was held at the National Press Club, in Washington, D.C.; on March 13, 2008. C-Span video.

Larry Tribe's flip-flop in DC v. Heller. Volokh.com. Mar. 4, 2008.

The Supreme Decision. Analysis of the D.C. v. Heller case. America's 1st Freedom. Jan. 2008.

Heller in the D.C. Circuit

DC's Gun Ban, Round 2. Analysis of the D.C. Circuit Court's denial of the city's petition for rehearing en banc. America's First Freedom. July 2007.

D.C. gun ban unconstitutional? Dave Kopel discusses the Parker decision, which declared that D.C.'s ban on handguns and ban on self-defense with any gun is unconstitutional. iVoices podcast. Run time 14:40. MP3. April 16, 2007. (Taped on April 13.)

Other Supreme Court Cases


Supreme Court Gun Cases: Two Centuries of Rights Revealed. By David B. Kopel, Alan Korwin, and Stephen P. Halbrook. Book review in WorldNet Daily.

Law review articles

The Self-Defense Cases: How the United States Supreme Court Confronted a Hanging Judge in the Nineteenth Century and Taught Some Lessons for Jurisprudence in the Twenty-first. 27 American Journal of Criminal Law 293 (2000).

Miller versus Texas: Police Violence, Race Relations, Capital Punishment, and Gun-toting in Texas in the Nineteenth Century—and Today. 9 Journal of Law and Policy 737 (2001). With Cynthia Leonardatos and Stephen P. Halbrook.

The Supreme Court's Thirty-five Other Gun Cases. 18 St. Louis University Public Law Review 99 (1999).

The Sounds of the Supremes: A Reply to Professor Yassky. Part of an exchange sparked by the previous article. 18 St. Louis U. Pub. L. Rev. 203 (1999).

United States v. Miller

What Miller Meant. Kopel interviews Michael O'Shea about the history and multiple meanings of United States v. Miller. 65 minutes. Feb. 16, 2010. MP3.

Why United States v. Miller was so badly written. Volokh.com. February 27, 2010.

Guns in Court. (The Miller case). National Review Online. May 30, 2001.

Other Cases

No Firearms Exception to the Fourth Amendment. Regarding win in Florida v. J.L. Chronicles magazine. August 2000, pp. 7-8.

Keep and Bear Arms. All of the Supreme Court's 19th century cases involving the Second Amendment recognize a broad right for all law-abiding citizens, not a "collective" or militia-only right. America's 1st Freedom. Mar. 2008.

The Second Amendment Before the Supreme Court. United States v. Miller and all preceding cases. Liberty. Dec. 2003.

Explaining Eisentrager. The Second Amendment is for individual gun owners. National Review Online. April 20, 2004. Español.

Rights During War. In 1864, the U.S. Army court-martialed an Indiana civilian and sentenced him to death. What does this case teach us about the Second Amendment and the limits of presidential powers? Liberty magazine, April 2004.

Presser v. Illinois. Analysis of the 1886 case.

Dread the Dred Scott Reference. Don’t toss this case around unless you know what you're talking about. National Review Online. Dec. 14, 2000.

Supreme Court Justices, and other Judges

Neil Gorsuch

Why Judge Gorsuch Should Be Justice Gorsuch. America's 1st Freedom. April 2017.

Anti-gunners are savaging Gorsuch for vindicating an innocent man. The Hill. Mar. 7, 2017. With Joseph Greenlee.

Tracing Judge Gorsuch’s Paper Trail On The Second Amendment. America's 1st Freedom. Feb. 2, 2017.

Neil Gorsuch nominated for Supreme Court. Colorado Inside-Out. Feb. 3, 2017 (TV).

Elena Kagan

Kopel oral testimony on Kagan nomination. Starts at 41:09. YouTube of Kopel only, including Q&A with Senators Sessions and Hatch. Audio only. MP3 download.

Written testimony on Elena Kagan nomination. Co-authored with Stephen Halbrook.

Kopel Senate briefing on Kagan and McDonald. U.S. Senate Second Amendment Task Force. June 21, 2010. Link to the 22 minute video, and links to presentations by Stephen Halbrook and Hans Von Spakovsky. YouTube.

Sonia Sotomayor

Kopel's testimony to the Senate Judiciary Committee, regarding the Second Amendment record of Judge Sonia Sotomayor. Written testimony in PDF (much longer than the oral testimony). Video of Kopel's testimony to the Committee, July 16, 2009, C-Span. Other C-Span video, Kopel at 38:58.

A Sotomayor Critic Weighs In. Kopel and Christian Science Monitor reporter Todd Zwillich discuss the Sotomayor nomination. WNYC, "The Takeaway." July 15, 2009. Approx. 14 minutes.

blog: Sotomayor vs. the Second Amendment, Part II, 6/2/2009. Highly dubious claim against Sotomayor, 5/26/09. Sonia Sotomayor vs. the Second Amendment, 5/26/09.

Sonia Sotomayor. Kopel interviewed by Amy Oliver on KFKA radio. May 27, 2009. MP3.

Sotomayor targets guns now. Justice's dissent contradicts confirmation testimony. Washington Times, June 29, 2010.

Other Judges

Potential Supreme Court nominee records on the Second Amendment. Volokh.com. April 11, 2010.

Diane Wood on the Second Amendment. Volokh.com. April 9, 2010.

Merrick Garland is no friend of the rights of gun owners. Volokh.com. April 9, 2010.

Goodwin Liu on the Second Amendment. Volokh.com. February 25, 2010.

Warren Burger and the Second Amendment. Kopel responds to ex-Chief Justice Burger's article on the Second Amendment in Parade magazine.

Blog: Second Amendment Tea Leaves, 10/29/05 (Corrigan, Luttig, Alito). Miers on the RKBA, 10/3/05. Gun Case in the Supreme Court; Sporting Clays Case in Virginia, 11/4/04.

II. Other Courts

Subtopics: Lower federal courts. Emerson case.  State Constitutions and cases.

Lower Federal Courts

Texiera v. Alameda County, California (9th Cir., en banc). Jan. 31, 2017. Amicus brief on county ban on all new gun stores. Historical evidence from the American Revolution shows that the British bans on firearms commerce led the Americans to take up arms.

7th Circuit strikes ban on target practice by minors, and near-ban on firing ranges. Washington Post. Jan. 19, 2017.

The Federal Circuits’ Second Amendment Doctrines. St. Louis University Law Journal (2017 forthcomting). With Joseph G.S. Greenlee.

Peruta v. San Diego, analyzed. Washington Post. June 11, 2016.

Good News for the Second Amendment. May 26, 2016. Independence Institute Freedom Minute. Explaining two important new federal court decisions.

9th Circuit opinion on rights of gun stores applies standard, rigorous Second Amendment doctrines. Washington Post. May 16, 2016.

The Federal Circuits’ Second Amendment Doctrines. Washington Post. April 22, 2016.

Kolbe v. Hogan: 4th Circuit requires strict scrutiny for Maryland ban on magazines and semiautomatics. Washington Post. Feb. 4, 2016.

The 2nd Circuit’s second-class Second Amendment intermediate scrutiny. Washington Post. Oct. 23, 2015.

2nd Circuit upholds N.Y. and Conn. arms bans; contradicts Heller and McDonald. Washington Post. Oct. 23, 2015.

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.

Amicus brief on history of right to carry, in Wrenn v. DC. In D.C. Circuit case, legal historians' amicus brief explains that peaceable arms carrying was legal and common in Early America and in the 19th century. Washington Post. Oct. 9, 2015.

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

D.C. gun registration law ruled partly unconstitutional. Federal appeals court declares that much of D.C.'s gun registration law violates the Second Amendment. Washington Post. Sept. 18, 2015.

Sons of Heller. America's 1st Freedom. August 2015. Some of the lesser-known federal court decisions which have protected Second Amendment rights.

NRA News. July 31, 2015. Sons of Heller. Little-known Second Amendment victories in the federal distict courts.

The Second Amendment in the Tenth Circuit: Three Decades of (Mostly) Harmless Error. 86 Denver University Law Review 901 (2009). In the annual Tenth Circuit Survey.

Licensed handgun carry now legal in District of Columbia: Palmer v. DC. Effects of federal court decision allowing licensed handgun carry in D.C. Washington Post. July 28, 2014.

A Fault Line in California. One of the biggest Second Amendment court victories ever was recently won in California, and the National Rifle Association was there every step of the way. America's 1st Freedom. May 2014.

Moore v. Madigan, key points. Volokh.com. Dec. 11, 2012. Kopel's The Second Amendment in the Nineteenth Century cited by the majority. Right to Arms in the Living Constitution cited by the dissent.

Federal judge's ruling on gun restrictions in Delaware public housing. NRA News. Aug. 8, 2012.

Ezell’s doctrinal rules for the Second Amendment. Volokh Conspiracy. July 8, 2011.

First Circuit upholds federal ban on juvenile handgun possession. Volokh.com. October 6, 2009.

Second Circuit rules in favor of firearms dealers on procedural due process. Volokh.com. August 17, 2009.

7th Circuit Says Gun Registration is OK. Guns at Obama protests. Volokh.com. August 20, 2009.

Tenth Circuit split on gun ban for misdemeanants. Volokh.com. August 13, 2009.

The Silveira Threat. How long will the Second Amendment live? National Review Online. Sept. 23, 2003. Part 2 of a 2-part series on harmful gun rights lawsuits.

Secret Weapon. Some 2nd Amendment lawyers help the gun-ban side. National Review Online. Sept. 22, 2003. Part 1 of a 2-part series on harmful gun rights lawsuits. The history of the Morton Grove cases, and of the NAACP's successful litigation strategy. Follow-up: Responses from Robert Kukla and Victor Quilici provide a different perspective on the case, which I should have included in the original article.

Lindh’s Rights. Second Amendment does not apply. National Review Online. May 27, 2002.

Emerson Case

Independence Institute amicus brief in United States v. Emerson. (Fifth Circuit Court of Appeals, 2001.)

A Right of the People: The Meaning of the Emerson Decision. National Review Online. Oct. 25, 2001.

State Constitutions and State Court Cases

Law journals

State court standards of review for the right to arms, 50 Santa Clara Law Review 1113 (2010). With Clayton Cramer.

What State Constitutions Teach about the Second Amendment, 29 Northern Kentucky Law Review 845 (2002). Cited in Mosby v. Devine, 851 A.2d 1031, 1040 (R.I. 2004), majority opinion by Chief Justice Williams; State v. Hamdan, 264 Wis.2d 433, 467 n. 23, 665 N.W.2d 785, 802 n. 23 (Wisc. 2003), majority opinion by Justice David T. Prosser.

A Tale of Three Cities: The Right to Bear Arms in State Supreme Courts. Examines state court decisions in Colorado, Oregon, Ohio which upheld bans on so-called "assault weapons." 68 Temple Law Review 1177 (1995), with Clayton Cramer and Scott Hattrup.

Short articles and blogging

Vagueness challenge in Manhattan DA’s use of gravity knives. New York District Attorney asserts that common folding knives are illegal "gravity knives." Washington Post. May 20, 2014.

Louisiana amendment to strengthen right to arms, on November ballot. Volokh.com. Oct. 3, 2012.

Missouri Court Upholds Statute Against Gun Possession While Intoxicated. Volokh.com. November 20, 2009.

Indiana Court Vindicates Right to Self-Defense. Volokh.com. June 23, 2005.

W.V. Court Vindicates Self-Defense Right for Employees. Volokh.com, June 11, 2005. 

Guns in the Dock. Liberty. Feb. 2003. Examines Nunn v. State and Salina v. Blaksley, two important 19th century cases involving the Second Amendment.

III. History and Philosophy

Subtopics: Legal History. Early America. Founding Era. Madison. 19th century. Civil War and Civil Rights. Bellesiles fraud. Philosophy.

For history of other countries, including England, see the Foreign Gun Control page. For philosophical issues involving religion, see the Religion page.

Truth About Gun Control animation. Animated video from publisher Encounter Books featuring a section of Kopel's book. YouTube.com. 4 minutes. July 11, 2013.

Legal History

Law journals

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

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 (2014).

Sex, Drugs, Alcohol, Gambling, and Guns: The Synergistic Constitutional Effects. 6 Albany Government Law Review 307 (2013). With Trevor Burrus.

The Right to Arms in the Living Constitution. 2009 Cardozo Law Review de Novo 99.

Comprehensive Bibliography of the Second Amendment in Law Reviews. 11 Journal on Firearms and Public Policy 1 (1999).  

Short articles and blogging

Why the anti-tyranny case for the 2nd Amendment shouldn't be dismissed so quickly. Vox. Aug. 22, 2016.

The history of LGBT gun-rights litigation. Washington Post. June 17, 2016.

English legal history and the right to carry arms. Washington Post. Oct. 31, 2015. English law in the 17th and 18th centuries allowed the peaceable carry of arms, and forbade carry in a deliberately terrifying manner.

What Judge Reinhardt missed. Volokh.com. Aug. 5, 2012.

The "Collective Right" and the Second Amendment. NRA News. Sept. 4, 2011.

Cooking up a Collective Right: How a mythical monster nearly swallowed the Second Amendment whole. America's 1st Freedom. Sept. 2011.

Roscoe Pound on the Second Amendment. Volokh.com. February 2, 2010.

What's the Difference between a "Living Constitution" and a Dead Document? The "living Constitution" theory of interpretation should lead to strong protection for a vital Second Amendment. America's 1st Freedom. September 2009

An Army of One. (Attorneys General who supported the Second Amendment). National Review Online. May 29, 2001.

Right to Bear (Some) Arms. National Review Online. June 7, 2001.

Second Amendment: Kopel Defends Individualist View. Coverage of Kopel's debate with Denver University Law Professor Robert Hardaway and Ruchi Bhowmik of the Center to Prevent Handgun Violence. By Ari Armstrong. Colorado Freedom Report. May 8, 2000.

Early America

Firearms Law and the Second Amendment. Law school textbook. Podcast about Chapter 3, The Colonies and the Revolution. iVoices.org, May 9, 2012.

Laws about gun ownership in early America. Volokh.com. Dec. 9, 2011.

America's Fascination with Firearms. The rigors of the country's frontier led to the proliferation of firearms and a deeply ingrained pro-gun culture. The World & I magazine, Oct. 2003.

Founding Era

Law journals and book chapters

The American Revolution against British Gun Control. Administrative and Regulatory Law News (American Bar Association). Vol. 37, no. 4, Summer 2012.

Firearms Law and the Second Amendment. Law school textbook. Podcast about Chatper 4, The new Constitution and the Second Amendment. iVoices.org podcast. 44 minutes. June 7, 2012.

English legal history and the right to carry arms. Washington Post. Oct. 31, 2015. English law in the 17th and 18th centuries allowed the peaceable carry of arms, and forbade carry in a deliberately terrifying manner.

Armed and Educated. Allowing professors to carry licensed arms will enhance campus safety. Chronicle of Higher Education. Oct. 30, 2015.

The Keystone of the Second Amendment: The Quakers, the Pennsylvania Constitution, and the Questionable Scholarship of Nathan Kozuskanich. 19 Widener Law Journal 277 (2010). With Clayton Cramer.

Credentials are No Substitute for Accuracy: Nathan Kozuskanich, Stephen Halbrook and the Role of the Historian. 19 Widener Law Journal 343 (2010). With Clayton Cramer.

The Religious Roots of the American Revolution and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, 17 Journal on Firearms and Public Policy 167 (2005).

Tench Coxe and the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the Early Republic. 7 William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal 347 (1999). With Stephen Halbrook.

Short articles and blogging

Firearms technology and the original meaning of the Second Amendment. Washington Post. April 3, 2017.

Amendment II of the United States Constitution. Explains the key elements of the drafting, original meaning, and development of the right to arms. Constituting America. May 20, 2011.

In Liberty's Two Arms. Both clauses of the Second Amendment protect gun rights. Legal Times, Jan. 14, 2008. Applying Justice Stephen Breyer's book "Active Liberty" to the Second Amendment. PDF. HTML.

Our Second Amendment: The Original Perspective. St. George Tucker. The American Guardian. July 1998.

Faith of Our Fathers. Garry Wills translates the Second Amendment into Latin, in order to evade its plain meaning in English. National Review Online. Mar. 16, 2001.

Guns of Our Freedom: Celebrate Independence Day with a few rounds. National Review Online. July 1, 2000. In italiano.

Thomas Jefferson Forever. Chronicles. Celebrates the great Founder, and examines his statements about arms in a free society. In italiano.

blog: St. George Tucker, Saul Cornell, & Justice Stevens, 1/22/08. DC v. Heller: Nathan Kozuskanich's selective reading of American History, 3/9/08. St. George Tucker vs. Saul Cornell on the Second Amendment, 10/13/06

blog: George Mason, 4/1/06.


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.

Federalist 46. "The Influence of the State and Federal Governments Compared," by James Madison. Kopel examines how well Madison's expectations turned out in practice, and Madison's praise for the American "advantage of being armed." Constituting America, June 30, 2010.

Smearing Madison. Supreme Court Justice Stephen Breyer, in his zeal to reverse Heller and McDonald, misrepresents the Father of our Constitution. America's 1st Freedom. March 2011.

Justice Stephen Breyer and James Madison. NRA News. Feb. 27, 2011. YouTube video.

Nineteenth Century

Firearms Law and the Second Amendment. Chapter 5. The Early Republic, and the Antebellum Era. 55 minutes. July 20, 2012.

The Second Amendment in the Nineteenth Century. Except for one judge in Arkansas, every court or scholarly commentator who wrote about the Second Amendment in the 19th century believed that the Amendment guaranteed an individual right. 1998 BYU Law Review 1359. Cited in Oregon v. Christian, --P.3d--, 249 Or.App. 1 (Or. Ct. App., 2012) (Edmonds, J., dissenting); Ezell v. City of Chicago, 651 F.3d 684, 702 n. 11(7th Cir. 2011) (Judge Sykes) (commending Kopel article as showing the proper model of "originalist interpretive method as applied to the Second Amendment."); Silveira v. Lockyer, 328 F.3d 567, 585 n. 92 (9th Cir. 2003) (Opinion by Judge Kleinfeld, joined by Judges Kozinski, O'Scannlain, and T.G. Nelson, dissenting from denial of petition for rehearing en banc); Gamble v. United States, 30 A.3d 161, 161 *n7 (D.C. App., Oct. 27, 2011) (Associate Judge Fisher).

Don’t Mess with (Armed) Texans. The real lesson of the Alamo. National Review Online. April 8, 2004.

A Collaborative Effort. Book review of: The Battle of New Orleans: Andrew Jackson and America’s First Military Victory, by Robert V. Remini. Chronicles magazine, July 2000

Civil War and Civil Rights

Freedom Fighters. Harriet Tubman and Frederick Douglass. America's 1st Freedom. Feb. 2016.

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

The Dark Secret of Jim Crow and the Racist Roots of Gun Control. How Jim Crow laws in the late 19th century created the foundation for modern anti-gun laws. America's 1st Freedom. March 2011. 

The story of the armed community organizers. The civil rights movement. Volokh.com. February 22, 2010.

How the right to arms saved the non-violent civil rights protesters. Volokh.com. February 8, 2010.

Stephen Halbrook: Securing Civil Rights. Kopel interviews Halbrook about Halbrook's career, and his new book on the 14th Amendment. America's 1st Freedom, Oct. 2010.

Check the Footnotes. Skip Bellesiles. Read Halbrook. NRO Weekend, January 13-14, 2001. With Clayton Cramer. Book review of Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, 1866-1876, by Stephen P. Halbrook.

Albion Tourgee and the Second Amendment. Volokh.com. Dec. 4, 2006.

Brothers In Arms. How civil rights flowed from a rifle barrel. Armed black resistance to race riots in the 20th century. Reason.com, Feb. 24, 2005.

The Klan's Favorite Law: Gun control in the postwar South. Reason.com, Feb. 15, 2005.

Blog: Condoleezza Rice and the Second Amendment, 11/19/04.

Bellesiles Fraud

Disarming Errors. Book review of Michael Bellesiles' "Arming America." National Review, print edition. Oct. 9, 2000. With Clayton Cramer. This was the first printed article to accuse Bellesiles of fraud.

blog: New developments in Bellesiles' record of lies, 4/10/02. The Poulshock fraud in 1966 and the contrasts with the publisher's handling of the fraudulent Bellesiles book, 3/15/02. Bellesiles gets a new grant, 3/5/02 (the grant was later rescinded).

Twentieth Century

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

Sergeant York. Great Hero of the Great War. America's 1st Freedom, Feb. 2005.

Gun Bans and "Schindler's List". Independence Institute. Aug. 24, 1994. With William R. Tonso.

D-Day was almost a German Holiday. June 1994. With Dan Gifford.

Maryland Governor Herbert O'Conor Calls Forth the Militia in WWII. Volokh.com, Feb. 13, 2008.


For philosophical issues involving religion, see the Religion page.

Is There a Right to Own a Gun? Dave Kopel sits down with CU philosophy professor Michael Huemer to discuss Huemer's philosophical argument that we not only have the right of self-defense, but that right also includes the right to own a gun. iVoices.org. May 18, 2011. 41 minutes. MP3.

Two Cheers for Violence. Pacifists often claim that violence only begets violence. They are wrong. Liberty. Sept. 2004.

Bodin, Beccaria, and Bastiat. Diverse views on arms and the use of force in society from important philosophers: a French absolutist, the Italian father of criminology, and a French liberal. Liberty magazine. En italiano.

Rudyard Kipling and Gun Control, Volokh.com. Nov. 28, 2005.

IV. Politics and Elections

Subtopics: The Age of Obama. 2008 Election. 2006 Election. 2003-04 Elections. 2002 Election and Politics. 2000 Election. Earlier Elections

Modern Times

Restoring the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Cato Handbook for Policymakers (8th ed. 2017). With Trevor Burrus and Robert A. Levy.

The Age of Obama

NRA Members tipped the balance for Trump. Cam & Company. NRA News. Nov. 14, 2016.

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

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

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

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.

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

A survey of legislation on Second Amendment issues in 2015. Washington Post. July 20, 2015. So far this year, 28 states have enacted legislation which expands protections of Second Amendment rights, and one state has enacted legislation to reduce those rights.

Time For a Real Response. Now that the gun-control circus is over, we can actually address mass violence. National Review Online. Apr. 19, 2013.

The Problem Was With the Legislation. Kopel featured in the NY Times Room for Debate series on the question, "If 90 percent of Americans support background checks but most senators don't, is the system broken?" New York Times. Apr. 18, 2013.

The Problems of Toomey-Manchin. National Review Online. Apr. 17, 2013.

The “Pro-Gun” Provisions of Manchin-Toomey are Actually a Bonanza of Gun Control. Volokh.com. Apr. 15, 2013.

Schumer-Toomey gun bill deserves a committee hearing. The Daily Caller. Apr. 11, 2013.

Turning Gun Owners into Felons. A new bill would make it a crime to “transfer” your gun to a spouse for more than seven days. National Review. Apr. 5, 2013.

First item of new post-election "flexibility": U.N. gun control. Volokh.com. Nov. 7, 2012.

Will gun owners get caught sleeping? Polling data from the past half-century show tremendous progress in public support for Second Amendment rights. But those gains could be reversed if Second Amendment supporters become apathetic. America's 1st Freedom. Dec. 2011.

Barack Obama and Gun Control: Effective and Shrewd. Encyclopedia Britannica blog. Dec. 14, 2010.

Barack Obama and Gun Control: Effective and Shrewd. NRA News. Dec. 16, 2010. YouTube video.

Trimming Citizens. Efforts to restrict the free speech rights which had been protected in the Citizens United case. America's 1st Freedom, May 2010.

Guns at Presidential Speeches. The lawful carrying of firearms outside of buildings where the President is speaking, and why it is harmful to the pro-Second Amendment movement. iVoices.org podcast. Aug. 21, 2009. 11:58.

The once-fired brass debate. The Obama Department of Defense abruptly announced that it would stop selling once-fired brass to ammunition manufacturers--a move which threatened to substantially worsen the current shortage of ammunition for citizens. But the story has a happy ending, thanks to quick action by Second Amendment supporters. Unfortunately, this week it was also revealed that the Obama administration has moved to destroy the armed pilots program. And the National Park Service moves to ban all lead in national parks. Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Podcast. Mar. 20, 2009. MP3.

Restoring the Right to Bear Arms in the Cato Handbook for Policymakers (2009, 7th ed.). With Robert A. Levy.

Stick to Your Guns, Senator. Giving in to the anti-gun lobby will not help Kirsten Gillibrand stay in office. National Review Online. Feb. 24, 2009.

Obama appointees

Holder Must Go. Attorney General Eric Holder's lies and half-truths in the "Fast and Furious" aftermath are nothing new. A look at the past shows a long history of dishonesty and disdain for the truth and the law. America's 1st Freedom. Mar. 2012.

OSHEESH! How President Obama’s latest anti-gun appointee—proposed OSHA Director David Michaels—could place sweeping restrictions on your Right to Keep and Bear Arms. America's 1st Freedom. November 2009.

Koh, No! President Barack Obama continues to fill his administration with devout gun-ban advocates, this time appointing transnationalist Harold Koh as legal adviser to the Department of State. America's 1st Freedom. July 2009.

The Pieces Fall into Place. With Gil Kerlikowske, President Obama continues the trend of appointing gun-haters to important positions in his administration. America's 1st Freedom, May 2009.

Education at the Extremez, America’s 1st Freedom, Apr. 2009. Education Secretary Arne Duncan.

The Whole World is Watching. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton's potential effect on Second Amendment rights. America's 1st Freedom. March 2009.

Strike Two! Attorney General Eric Holder and the Second Amendment. America's 1st Freedom. Feb. 2009.

Secretary of State Clinton and the Second Amendment. Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Podcast. Jan. 30, 2009. MP3.

Attorney General nominee Eric Holder. Jan. 23, 2009. Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Podcast. MP3.

Gun Control. Issue 24 of the "Change in Command" series, explaining how Americans view the impending inauguration of President Obama. January 2009.

Beware the Rahm. After pledging his support for the Second Amendment during the campaign, President-elect Barack Obama appoints devout gun-ban supporter Rahm Emanuel as his chief of staff. America's 1st Freedom. Jan. 2009.

Eric Holder on Firearms Policy. Volokh Conspiracy. Nov. 20, 2008.

2012 Election

Second Amendment results, final. Volokh.com. Nov. 7, 2012.

Second Amendment election results. Volokh.com. Nov. 6, 2012.

Under the Gun. A Second Amendment look at the elections. National Review Online. Oct. 29, 2012.

Here's What Could Happen If You Don't Defeat Obama! Who knows what Obama has in store for America if he is elected to a second term, but if we take him at his word, it is not good for gun owners. America's 1st Freedom. Nov. 2012.

2010 election

Final score on 2d Amendment in the November elections. Volokh.com. December 10, 2010.

The Second Amendment's Great Election night. Washington Examiner. Nov. 4, 2010.

NRA News. Kopel analyzes the 2010 election results. Video. Nov. 3, 2010.

Gun Rights and the 2010 House Elections. The New Ledger. Oct. 22, 2010.

NRA Supports Pro-Gun Democrats, and Many Democrats Support the Second Amendment. Volokh.com. October 8, 2010.

Ad targeting Buck misfires. Misleading claims about Buck's role in standing up against political persecution of a firearms dealer. WhoSaidYouSaid.com, Oct. 7, 2010.

Remember the imaginary “National Republican Association”? Volokh.com. October 6, 2010.

Bloomberg, Bennet and gun control. Bennet cosponsors the billionaire mayor's anti-gun law. WhoSaidYouSaid.com, Oct. 4, 2010.

Gun Rights and the 2010 Senate Elections. The New Ledger. Sept. 27, 2010.

Dale Peterson Returns, Even Worse. Volokh.com. June 17, 2010.

The Dale Peterson Ad. Volokh.com. June 1, 2010.

Another good night for the Second Amendment. Off-year elections in Virginia and New Jersey. November 4, 2009.

2008 election

The Second Amendment's Great Election night. The New Ledger. Nov. 4, 2010.

How the Second Amendment Fared Tonight. Volokh Conspiracy. Nov. 5, 2008.

Obama and McCain: Stark contrast on gun rights. Denver Post. Nov. 3, 2008.

Gunning for Victory. Second Amendment voter guide. National Review Online. October 30, 2008.

Interview with Richard Pearson, Executive Director of the Illinois State Rifle Association. Podcast for iVoices.org. Oct. 14, 2008. Pearson has been lobbying on sporting and right to arms issues at the Illinois legislature since 1989. He has more first-hand knowledge of Obama's record on these issues than anyone except Obama himself. In the 20-minutes podcast interview, Pearson suggests that Obama's claim about his supposed support for sportsmen is extremely inaccurate.

When Obama Wrestles with Heller. Barack Obama is a tremendous threat to the Heller decision. He has an extreme anti-gun record. The persons being named as his potential Supreme Court and Cabinet nominees have established records of anti-rights activism. America's 1st Freedom. October 2008.

FactCheck Flubs Obama Gun Fact Check. The NRA's claims about Obama's anti-gun views are supported by his voting record. The Volokh Conspiracy weblog. Sept. 23, 2008.

Gun Owners for Hillary? Townhall.com, May 8, 2008.

The Democrats and Gun Control. The Clinton and Obama records belie their claims to support the Second Amendment. Wall Street Journal. April 17, 2008.

Obama's Other Spiritual Mentor: Rev. Michael Pfleger. The man whom Obama described as one of his three spiritual mentors is a Farrakhan devotee who hates the Second Amendment. Volokh Conspiracy weblog. Apr. 8, 2008.

Gun Rights and Election '08. Kopel analyzes McCain, Clinton, and Obama. Feb. 26, 2008. MP3.

Ron’s Revolution: Could Dr. Paul really surprise us all? National Review Online, Oct. 9, 2007.

Romney, a Second Amendment Killer? Bill Richardson for president!? National Review Online, April 11, 2007.

blog: Hillary Clinton's growing appeal to the gun vote, 5/10/08, 4/13/08.

2006 election

Federal year in review, 2005. Volokh.com. Jan. 3, 2006.

Election Night 2006 and the Second Amendment. iVoices.org podcast interview with Kopel. 8 minutes. Nov. 8, 2006.

Arms-Bearing Can Bear the Defeat. The Second Amendment emerges from the election relatively unscathed. National Review Online, Nov. 8, 2006.

2006 Second Amendment Election Guide. All the Governor, Senate, and key House races. Oct. 31, 2006.

blog: Texas Primary and the RKBA, 3/8/06.

2003-04 elections

Arms Alive. The Second Amendment triumphed on Election Day. National Review Online. Nov. 3, 2004.

Key Second Amendment Races. Election guide to U.S. Senate, U.S. House, and Governor's Races. Nov. 2, 2004.

Unarmed for the Election. Arnold Schwarzenegger doesn't know the basics of California gun laws. National Review Online. Sept. 30, 2003.

blog: Kerry's gun, 9/7/04.

2002 election and politics

Gunning for the Leadership. Frist and Lott gun rights records compared. National Review Online. Dec. 20, 2002.

Second Wins and Losses. How the Second Amendment made out. National Review Online. Nov.6, 2002.

A Second Amendment Voting Guide. Journey through the states and offices. National Review Online. Nov.4, 2002.

2000 election

The Second Amendment Score. How America voted on guns. National Review Online. Nov. 8, 2000.

Second Amendment Cheat Sheet II. More competitive races for pro-gun Americans to watch. National Review Online. Nov. 4, 2000.

Second Amendment Cheat Sheet. The most competitive races for pro-gun Americans to watch. National Review Online. Nov. 3, 2000.

Gore’s Privileged Gun Class. Government employees aren’t superior to the governed. National Review Online. Oct. 31, 2000.

Keep It with the People. Gore's shifting stances on guns, the Waxman Department of Justice letter on the Second Amendment, and the Emerson case. National Review Online. Oct. 24, 2000.

Getting Columbine Right. More gun control wouldn't have stopped this tragedy. You're wrong, Al. National Review Online. Oct. 12, 2000.

Gore's Double Standard on Firearms. Gore believes the federal government should mandate that police carry off-duty in states where they don't live; but the federal government should forbid states to allow law-abiding residents to carry guns. Chronicles magazine. Sept. 2000.

Gore Screws on the Silencer. Al goes mum on guns to avoid a Dukakis-like blunder. National Review Online. Aug. 29, 2000.

Cheney's Cop-Killer Rap. If you can't handle the truth, be very afraid of W.'s running mate. National Review Online. July 31, 2000.

The Cheney Glock-n-Spiel. Bush's Veep-in-waiting proved he won't be seduced by mindless gun lobbying. National Review Online. July 27, 2000.

The Gore Gun Agenda. Al's ultimate objective would be to abolish all firearms privacy. National Review Online, May 5, 2000. Discussion of the secret report of the White House Working Group.

Who is Al Gore Kidding? On guns and the National Zoo, Gore is either dishonest or stupid. National Review Online, Apr. 27, 2000. With Clayton Cramer.

Earlier elections

Does the National Rifle Association Influence Federal Elections? Examines the 1994 and 1994 House of Representatives elections. Independence Institute Issue Paper no. 8-2006. December 2006. By Christopher B. Kenny, Michael McBurnett & David J. Bordua.

The Gun Issue in the 1988 Presidential Election. How Dukakis's gun prohibition stand turned what could have been a close race into a landslide. Gun World. 1989.

Against All Odds. The defeat of the handgun confiscation initiative in Massachusetts in 1976. America's 1st Freedom. Feb. 2012.

V. Activism

Anti-gun groups and individuals. Pro-gun groups and individuals. Other topics.

The Great Gun Control War of the 20th Century--and its Lessons for Today. Fordham Urban Law Journal (forthcoming).

Anti-gun groups and individuals

New Anti-Gun Strategies. National Review Online. Sept. 16, 2014. “Assault weapon” bans have proved very unpopular — but the anti-gun lobbies aren’t giving up entirely.

Washing-Con. America's 1st Freedom. Sept. 2014. How Michael Bloomberg is twisting the gun control debate in the Evergreen State.

Not Watts She Seems. America's 1st Freedom. Sept. 2014. Shannon Watts and her "Moms Demand" group are dishonest.

The Scam Artist. Former New York City Mayor Michael Bloomberg’s newest gun-prohibition group, Everytown for Gun Safety, has gotten off to a rough start. America's 1st Freedom. July 2014.

Brady Center lawsuit to use “smart” gun mandate to trigger handgun ban in New Jersey. NJ lawsuit on "smart" guns report would ban handgun sales. Washington Post. May 22, 2014.

Tragedy's Playbook: Bloomberg's PR manual for exploiting crimes. America's 1st Freedom. Nov. 2013.

Before the Smoke Had Even Cleared. Mass murder at a Colorado movie theater became the rallying cry for more gun control. America's 1st Freedom. Oct. 2012.

Michael Bloomberg’s AstroTurf group. Volokh.com. October 26, 2010.

The Bernardine Dohrn of the early 20th century: The terrorist professor at U of Texas law school. Volokh.com. May 24, 2010.

blog: Inaccurate Statement by Brady Campaign's head, 6/13/08. Hurray for Jim and Sarah Brady, 4/1/06.

What's that Smell? Nearly everyone has heard of the corruption-plagued organization ACORN. Yet many gun owners are unaware of the organization’s strong anti-gun activities and ties. America's 1st Freedom, Dec. 2009.

Targeting Liberties. Montgomery County Police Chief Moose bungled the sniper case while recklessly abusing civil liberty. Chronicles, July 2003. With Paul Blackman. PDF of pre-publication galleys.

blog: Moose's bogus lawsuit, 8/8/03.

Klanwatch Project. Part of the work of fundraising conman Morris Dees and his "Southern Poverty Law Center." Entry in Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture and the Law (Gregg Lee Carter ed., ABC-CLIO 2002).

Demon’s in the Details. Dems try to put together a new gun strategy, but wind up in the same place — falsely demonizing gun owners. National Review Online. July 24, 2001.

Not Quite a Million Moms. National Review Online. May 15, 2001.

Bigoted Moms Tempered. National Review Online. May 11, 2001.

Gunning for Hysteria. The long-term objectives of the anti-gun lobbies. National Review Online. Feb 23, 2001.

Citibank Goes PC. But then relents when it finds that being against the Second Amendment is bad business. National Review Online. Sept. 20, 2000. With Dave Gowan.

The Million Mom March. Much Less than Advertised. National Review Online, May, 12, 2000.

The Independence Institute's exposed Denver Mayor Wellington Webb's 1991 campaign promise to issue handgun carry permits, and his attempt to obtain NRA election support. Read Wellington Webb's pro-NRA, pro-handgun-carrying letter yourself.

Pro-gun groups and individuals

The history of LGBT gun-rights litigation. Washington Post. June 17, 2016.

Does the National Rifle Association Influence Federal Elections? Independence Institute Issue Paper no. 8-2006. December 2006. Examines the 1994 and 1994 House of Representatives elections. By Christopher B. Kenny, Michael McBurnett & David J. Bordua. PDF.

The N.R.A. Is Still Vital, Because the 2nd Amendment Is. Kopel in the NY Times Room for Debate series on the question, "Is the gun lobby invincible?" New York Times. Dec. 17, 2012.

Podcast with NRA President David Keene. What it's like to be president of the NRA, political strategies, how to defeat the Michael Bloombergs of the world. MP3. 52 minutes. Feb. 7, 2013.

Public opinion about the National Rifle Association. Volokh.com. June 2, 2012.

Harold Volkmer, R.I.P. A tribute to the great Missouri Democrat who led the way to enactment of the Firearms Owner's Protection Acts, one of the most significant pieces of civil rights legislation in the history of Congress. The Volokh Conspiracy. April 18, 2011.

Aaron Zelman, R.I.P. Volokh.com. January 4, 2011.

NRA Convention report. Volokh.com. May 17, 2010.

Speech Freed! The Supreme Court's decision in Citizens United restores the free speech of civil rights groups, such as the NRA. America's 1st Freedom. April 2010.

Ambrose E. Burnside. General, Governor, Senator, Civil Rights Activist and First President of the NRA. America's 1st Freedom. Nov. 2004. With Paul Gallant & Joanne Eisen. (This web version is slightly longer than the text which was printed in the magazine, and is therefore laid out somewhat differently.)

City Council v. NRA. New York City Council is upset that NRA will attend Republican Convention. National Review Online. Aug. 30, 2004. With Paul Blackman.

The Hero of Gettysburg. Winfield Scott Hancock shot straight. National Review Online. July 2, 2004. With Paul Gallant & Joanne D. Eisen. Biography of the 8th President of the National Rifle Association.

Misfiring at Harlon Carter. National Review Online. Aug. 14, 2000.

Scoundrel Time is Back. A response to the false charge that Larry Pratt, President of Gun Owners of America, is a racist. Denver Post, Feb. 20, 1996.

George Bush and the NRA. Gun World. 1996.

Good Riddance George. Paul Danish and David Kopel bid farewell to George Bush as an NRA member. May 1995.

Other Topics

How Does The Independence Institute Make A Real Difference For Gun Rights? GunLawShow.com, Dec. 2011.

Somebody Else's Guns. Why gun owners are mistaken to imagine that gun controls aimed at other people pose no threat to gun ownership for everyone. Blue Press. May 1994.

Things You Can Do to Defend Your Gun Rights. (Electronic Edition). Alan Gottlieb and Dave Kopel. Book.

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