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Right to Arms: USA

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 Second Amendment law, history and politics.

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

The American Indian foundation of American gun culture. Washington Post. Nov. 21, 2017.

Mass shootings in gun-free nations. Washington Post. Nov. 9, 2017.

What if there were serious gun controls? The Hill. Nov. 8, 2017. With Joseph Greenlee.

The Right to Arms in Nineteenth Century Colorado. 95 Denver University Law Review (forthcoming 2018).

We Need Judges Who Stand For Gun Rights. America's 1st Freedom. Oct. 2017. With Joseph Greenlee.

Kolbe v. Hogan. Amicus brief in support of cert. petition, in challenge to Maryland ban on common firearms and magazines. Amici are the National Sheriffs' Association, Cato Institute, Second Amendment Foundation, and Independence Institute. Attorneys are David Kopel, Randy Barnett, Joseph Greenlee, Ilya Shapiro. Aug. 21, 2017.

The Racist Origin of Gun Control Laws. The Hill. Aug. 22, 2017. With Joseph Greenlee.

D.C. Circuit upholds right to bear arms for D.C. residents. Washington Post. July 25, 2017.

Federal court enjoins California large-capacity magazine confiscation. Washington Post. June 30, 2017.

Bad police training may have killed Philando Castile. Washington Post. June 22, 2017.

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 (2016).

I. Carrying Handguns

Subtopics: Law reviews. Briefs. Interstate carry. Armed pilots. Parks and Churches. Schools and colleges. Other articles.

Law Review articles and research papers

Licensed Handgun Carry for Young Adults Serving in the Armed Forces. Independence Institute, Issue Paper no. 1-2016.

Pretend "Gun-free" School Zones: A Deadly Legal Fiction. 42 Connecticut Law Review 515 (2009). Cited in Students for Concealed Carry on Campus v. Regents of University of Colorado (Colo. App. 2010).

The Licensing of Concealed Handguns for Lawful Protection: Support from Five State Supreme Courts. Analyzes recent decisions in New Mexico, Missouri, Ohio, Wisconsin, and Rhode Island. 68 Albany Law Review 305 (2005).

Concealed Handgun Permits. Independence Institute Issue Backgrounder on the basics of creating a concealed handgun permit system. Jan. 14, 1999.

"Shall Issue": The New Wave of Concealed Handgun Permit Laws. 63 Tennessee Law Review 679 (1995). With Clayton Cramer.



Kopel amicus brief for the County Sheriffs of Colorado in Students for Concealed Carry on Campus v. Regents of the University of Colorado (Colo. Sup. Ct.).

Bonidy v. United States: The Second Amendment at the post office. Analysis of challenge to gun ban in post offices and parking lots. Washington Post. Oct. 2, 2014.


Amicus brief in People v. Aguilar, before the Supreme Court of Illinois. Professors Michael O'Shea, Nicholas Johnson, and Kopel argue that Illinois's complete prohibition of defensive carry in public places violates the Second Amendment.

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


Right to carry victory in Maryland: Woollard v. Sheridan. Volokh.com. March 5, 2012.

Cert. Petition in Right to Carry Case. Volokh.com. April 22, 2011.

Peruta v. San Diego

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

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

Amicus brief for the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, and the Independence Institute, in Peruta v. San Diego (9th Circuit, 3-judge panel, 2011). Details why the carrying of an unloaded handgun--which can only be loaded under "imminent" threat--is insufficient to effectuate the constitutional right of armed self-defense. Also details police interests in encouraging concealed carry rather than open carry. Includes numerous short videos to illustrate the brief's descriptions of how guns are loaded, and how they are deployed in an emergency.

Is Carrying an Unloaded Handgun an Effective Means of Self-Defense? Discusses Kopel's recent amicus brief in the 9th Circuit. NRA News. June 6, 2011. 7 minute video.

Amicus brief in Peruta v. San Diego. (Southern District, Calif.). Challenging sheriff's policy of denying concealed carry permits to almost everyone.

Ninth Circuit strikes California's restrictive rule against licensed carry of handguns. The Ninth Circuit's decision in Peruta v. San Diego affirms the right of law-abiding citizens to carry handguns for lawful protection in public. Washington Post. Feb. 13, 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.

The Battle for a Free California Rages On. America's 1st Freedom. Dec. 2013.

How to Pick a Fight. The NRA's strategy in Peruta v. California, challenging the San Diego sheriff's refusal to issue CCW permits. America's 1st Freedom. Jan. 2011.

District of Columbia

D.C. Circuit upholds right to bear arms for D.C. residents. Washington Post. July 25, 2017.

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. Discussion Kopel's amicus brief in Wrenn v. District of Columbia.

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.

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.


Fed. Dist. Ct. enjoins South Dakota ban on concealed carry permits for legal resident aliens. Volokh.com. February 11, 2011.

Wisconsin Sup. Ct. upholds ban on gun carrying in cars; dissent cites Kopel. Volokh.com. May 17, 2006.

Interstate Carry

Kopel testifimony before the U.S. House subcommittee on Crime, Terrorism, and Homeland Security, regarding H.R. 822. September 13, 2011. The bill would set up a national system of interstate reciprocity for concealed handgun carry permits. Kopel's 24-page written testimony. Video of the subcommittee hearing. Cato Institute podcast with Kopel on the issue.

Hiding Behind State's Rights. Anti-gunners are hiding behind the false claim that right-to-carry reciprocity violates states' rights.  America's 1st Freedom. Mar. 2012.

Armed Pilots

Poof! Obama administration aims to gut the armed pilots program. America's 1st Freedom. July 2012.

Air Neglect. What's wrong with trained pilots having guns? The TSA is strangling the armed pilots program. National Review Online. July 2, 2003. With Captain David Petteys.

Poll shows public dissatisfied with Norman Mineta's Dept. of Transportation policies on airplane security. Volokh.com. May 21, 2002.

Why stun guns and air marshals are insufficient. Volokh.com. March 11, 2002.

Parks and Churches

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

Does CHL Ban in Churches Violate the First Amendment? The Volokh Conspiracy. Sept. 29, 2009.

Guns in National Parks. Kopel interviewed by Amy Oliver on KFKA radio. June 10, 2009. 20 minutes. MP3.

Guns in Parks: The Hoplophobes' Travel Guide to the United States. The New Ledger. May 29, 2009.

Respecting States' Wishes. Short essay on the new law allowing guns in National Parks. New York Times, "Room for Debate". May 22, 2009.

Senate votes to allow licensed handgun carry in national parks. Volokh.com. May 13, 2009.

Carry at schools and Colleges

See the section on schools below.

Growth of Right to Carry

Growth chart of right to carry. The chart shows how Shall Issue laws for the licensed carrying of firearms for self-defense have become the American norm. Washington Post. Feb. 17, 2014. 

The Long Hard Road to Freedom. How a new "shall issue" law in Illinois illustrates the long hard road to freedom. America's 1st Freedom. September 2013.

Nebraska is 40th state to enact Shall Issue licenses for defensive handgun carrying. Also discusses spread of Stand Your Ground laws. Volokh.com. April 1, 2006.

Licensed Carry Wins in Kansas. Plus analysis of other states. Volokh.com. March 24, 2006.

Right to Carry against mass killers

Want to stop mass shootings? Let's get more guns in the right hands. Especially, FASTER training for teachers. The Hill. June 18, 2017. With Joseph G.S. Greenlee.

Good guys with guns: Former Interpol chief Ron Noble on the Westgate Mall mass shooting. Washington Post. May 16, 2016.

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.

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.

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

Guns in America: Arming the right people can save lives. Good guys with guns have managed to keep a list of shooters from carrying out the kinds of attacks that get far more publicity. LA Times. Jan. 15, 2013.

A Chance to Fight Back.  Does gun carrying thwart assassins and mass killers? Theodore & Eleanor Roosevelt thought so. New York Times, "Room for Debate." Jan. 11, 2011.

Other articles on carry

Bad police training may have killed Philando Castile. Washington Post. June 22, 2017.

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.

Will D.C. Carry? America's 1st Freedom. Oct. 2014. Discussion of Palmer v. D.C.

Bloomberg's X-ray. NYC develops gun detectors to conduct secret warrantless searches. America's 1st Freedom. May 2012.

Unraveling Heller. Though District of Columbia v. Heller is part of the fabric of our Constitution, some lower court judges are finding ways to pick it apart. America's 1st Freedom, June 2011.

Could President Perry carry a gun? Definitely yes, since D.C.'s gun laws allowing carrying by any federal employee who is authorized to do so. Volokh Conspiracy. Aug 19, 2011.

Family Research Council vs. the Second Amendment. Volokh.com. June 23, 2010. Update.

Free Plaxico Burress. New York City's gun law is unconstitutional. Wall Street Journal. Dec. 4, 2008.

Senate Bill 34: Concealed Carry in Colorado. Podcast Run Time: 00:12:48. MP3. April 6, 2007. What will Senate Bill 34 mean for the people of Colorado.

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

Rapists Like Gun Control. National Review Online, Apr. 14, 2000. What if Juanita Broaddrick had been carrying a gun? In italiano.

Concealed Carry Now. By Ari Armstrong. Sept. 15, 1999. Op-ed examines the concealed carry debate, in light of the 1999 murder of a woman and two men in a Grand Junction parking lot.

A Fighting Chance. Crime victims left helpless by anti-gun laws, and the gun control mentality. April 21, 1999. By Richard Griffiths.

Armed Citizens: Gun Permits Amount to Peacemakers. Denver Post. April 20, 1997.

The Untold Triumph of Concealed-Carry Permits. Policy Review magazine. July/Aug. 1996. Reprinted in Tamara L. Roleff, ed. Gun Control. Opposing Viewpoints (Greenhaven Pr., 1997). In italiano.

Damn Lies -- Or Statistics. Review of "More Guns, Less Crime." Chronicles. Dec. 1999.

Gun Prohibitionists Miss Their Mark. Aug. 27, 1997. With Chris Little.

More Permits Means Less Crime. Los Angeles Times. Feb. 19, 1996.

Get More Guns into Law-abiding Pockets. The American Enterprise, May/June 1995.

II. Arms Prohibition (of various types of arms and ammunition, or all guns)

Subtopics: Inexpensive guns. Self-loading guns. All guns. Handguns. "Plastic Guns". Fifty Caliber Guns. Machine Guns. Ammunition. Knives. Other arms.

Inexpensive guns

Selective Disarmament: No Guns for the Poor. Bans on so-called "junk guns" are calculated to make self-defense impossible for the poor. American Guardian. Aug. 1997.

Self-loading guns

Kolbe v. Hogan. Amicus brief in support of cert. petition, in challenge to Maryland ban on common firearms and magazines. Amici are the National Sheriffs' Association, Cato Institute, Second Amendment Foundation, and Independence Institute. Attorneys are David Kopel, Randy Barnett, Joseph Greenlee, Ilya Shapiro. Aug. 21, 2017.

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

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

Rational Basis of "Assault Weapon" Prohibition. Even putting aside the Second Amendment, "assault weapon" bans are unconstitutional because the guns banned are in no rational way different from other guns. 20 Journal of Contemporary Law 381 (1994).

"Assault weapons" testimony. U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Aug. 3, 1993. C-Span, Kopel at 198:54, and in Q&A with Senator Feinstein at end of panel. C-Span.

Colorado Attorney General reply brief in Robertson v. Denver. 1991 (Denver District Court).


Attorney General Holder calls for renewal of ban on so-called "assault weapons" in order to help the Mexican government. Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Podcast. iVoices.org. Feb. 27, 2009. MP3.

Short articles and blogging

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.

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.

Do You Really Think That Feinstein Will Stop At ARs? America's 1st Freedom. March 2013.

Ronald Reagan's AR-15. Volokh.com. Jan. 15, 2013.

The AR-15 And The Second Amendment: No Respect. It's the best-selling type of rifle in America today, yet the gun prohibition lobbies want to make it a crime for you to own one. America's 1st Freedom. April 2012.

Obama import ban on rifles confirmed. Volokh.com. September 1, 2010.

Obama bans over 100,000 rifles. Volokh.com. August 18, 2010.

The Mark of "C". While Anti-Gunners in Congress Hail Him as the New Zorro, President Calderón Takes a Swipe at American Gun Rights. America's 1st Freedom. August 2010.

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.

"Large Capacity Clips" and Officer Safety. Volokh.com. May 12, 2005.

Bait-'n'-Switch. Gun-prohibition lobbyists are after much more than AK-47s. National Review Online. Sept. 13, 2004.

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.

Police Show Legitimacy of Semi-automatics. Dave Kopel and Diane Nicholl. July 18, 1998.

Are so-called "Assault Weapons" a Threat to Police Officers? The Law Enforcement Trainer. Sept./Oct. 1997.

Assault Ban Chicanery. Washington Times. May 5, 1994.

"Assault Weapon" Ban Wouldn't Have Stopped Texas Massacre. The 1991 Killeen, Texas, murders. Minneapolis Star Tribune. Oct. 29, 1991.

Anti-Gun Laws Failed to Stop Littleton Killer. How gun prohibition advocates exploited of Eugene Thompson's 1989 rampage in Littleton with a stolen automatic M11 pistol. Colorado Springs Gazette. In italiano.

Banning Assault Rifles Won't Work. Colorado Statesman, Mar. 17, 1989.

Stockton Shootings Disprove Case for Gun Control. Rocky Mountain News. Feb. 3, 1989.

All guns

Dhimmitude and Disarmament. 18 George Mason University Civil Rights Law Journal305 (2008).

Communitarians, Neorepublicans, and Guns: Assessing the Case for Firearms Prohibition. 56 Maryland Law Review 438 (1997). Reply to the Communitarian Network's proposal to confiscate all firearms.

Guns, Germs, and Science. Critique of the medical case for gun prohibition. Delivered at the University of Oklahoma School of Public Health. Oct. 1994.

Short articles

Brown v. EMA casts doubt on the "weapons effect" justification for gun control. Supreme Court not impressed with research claiming that video games or guns make people violent. Volokh Conspiracy. June 27, 2011.

Guns vs. Teddy Bears. There's no competition when it comes to regulation. National Review Online. Jan. 13, 2004. With Dr. Timothy Wheeler.

A World Without Guns. Be forewarned: It's not a pretty picture. National Review Online. Dec. 5, 2001. With Paul Gallant and Joanne Eisen. En français. español. português. italiano.

Prohibition Fever. National Review Online. Jan. 4, 2000. With Dr. Michael Brown. In italiano.

Why Good People Own Guns. Los Angeles Times. November 26, 1993. Reprinted in Paul A. Winters, ed. Crime and Criminals. Opposing Viewpoints (Greenhaven Pr., 1995). In italiano.

Will You Be Safer if Guns are Banned? Short piece for the International Society for Individual Liberty. Polski/Polish.

Hurricane Katrina

U.S. House Votes to Ban Gun Confiscation in Disasters. The Volokh Conspiracy. July 26, 2006.

Defenseless on the Bayou. New Orleans gun confiscation is illegal and foolish. Reason.com. Sept. 10, 2005.

Congress Bans Gun Confiscation in Emergencies, 10/2/06. New Orleans Admits that Gun Confiscations Have No Legal Basis, 9/25/05. New Orleans Guns Should Be Returned Today, 9/13/05. New Orleans Gun Confiscation is Blatantly Illegal, 9/9/05. N.O. follow-up, 9/11/05. N.O. 2d follow-up. 9/11/05.


Peril or Protection? The Risks and Benefits of Handgun Prohibition. 12 St. Louis University Public Law Review344 (1993). Excerpt reprinted in Jerry Cederblom & David W. Paulson, Critical Reasoning (Wadsworth, 2001).

Short articles

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

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.

Court, capital and handgun. Star-Telegram (Fort Worth, TX). Nov. 19, 2007. A look at the DC handgun ban case, showing how unpopular handgun bans are in the U.S., from 1976 to the present.

A Capital Crime. The District of Columbia's institutionalized history of incompetence, corruption and bigotry is the very reason for its prohibition of Second Amendment rights--and for its status as the murder capital of the United States. America's 1st Freedom. Sept. 2007.

Rearming. In a symposium on the Parker case declaring the D.C. handgun and self-defense ban unconstitutional, Kopel examines the future consequences of the decision. National Review Online, March 12, 2006.

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.

Sticking to Our Guns. Legal Times. Dec. 6, 1993. Reply to an article by Stuart Taylor in favor of handgun prohibition.

The Long and the Short of the Handgun Debate. Sen. John Chafee's proposed handgun confiscation law. Washington Post. June 27, 1992

"Plastic Guns"

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.

Fifty Caliber Guns

Guns and (Character) Assassination. Phony charges about fifty caliber guns. National Review Online. December 21, 2001. With Timothy Wheeler.

Machine Guns

NPR on Alito and Machine Guns: The November 11, 2005, edition of NPR's "All Things Considered" features a segment on Judge Alito's decision in Rybar, in which Alito followed the Supreme Court's Lopez precedent to write that a federal ban on machine gun possession was not a valid exercise of the federal power to regulate interstate commerce. Guests on the program were Eugene Volokh, Kristin Rand of the Violence Policy Center, Erwin Chemerinsky of Duke Law School, and Kopel.

Other Federal Appellate Judges on Machine Guns, 11/1/05.


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.

The Plan to Get the Lead Out. Interest groups are now targeting lead ammunition through the federal court system. America's 1st Freedom. Feb. 2011.

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. Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Podcast. Mar. 20, 2009. MP3.

The Return of a Legislative Legend. Debating "cop-killer" ammunition. National Review Online. Mar. 1, 2004.

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.


Knives and the Second Amendment. 47 University of Michigan Journal of Law Reform 175 (2013). With Clayton Cramer and Joseph Olson.

Short articles

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.

Huge win for Knife Rights. Volokh.com. October 20, 2009.

Obama Does Not Like Knives (or Guns). The administration moves to a regulatory ban on 80% of folding knives. June 25, 2009. 9 minutes. MP3

The dangers of knife bans. The BP disaster. Volokh.com. June 24, 2010.

Obama administration moves to ban 80% of folding knives. Volokh.com. June 15, 2009.

Other Arms or Accessories

Federal court enjoins California large-capacity magazine confiscation. Washington Post. June 30, 2017.

The Hearing Protection Act and 'silencers'. Washington Post. June 20, 2017.

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

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

Stun gun prohibition violates Second Amendment. Volokh.com. April 22, 2011.

What is a zoobow? Volokh.com. May 20, 2010.


NRA News. Kopel discusses NY Governor Cuomo's decision to suspend 7-round limit on magazines. YouTube.com. 7 minutes. Mar. 25, 2013.

NRA News. Kopel discusses the great hypocrisy in the Colorado legislature, whereby some legislators are both smearing certain magazines "designed for mass murder" and begging manufacturer Magpul to stay in Colorado. YouTube.com. 15 minutes. Mar. 13, 2013.

III. Youth, Children, Schools

See also: Criminal Justice page

Subtopics: Schools and Colleges. Censorship at schools. Zero tolerance. Columbine. Gun Safety/Consumer Products/Storage/Lock Laws/"Smart" Guns/Accidents. Federal Legislation. Denver Laws.  

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

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

Guns, Gangs, and Preschools: Moving Beyond Conventional Solutions to Confront Juvenile Violence, 1 Barry Law Review 63 (2000).

Children and Guns: Sensible Solutions. Independence Institute Issue Paper. 1993.

Unfair and Unconstitutional: The New Federal Gun Control and Juvenile Crime Proposals. June 3, 1999. Analyzes U.S. Senate Bill 254 (gun shows, juvenile gun possession, including wiretapping expansion, forfeiture expansion, and other issues).

Written testimony before the U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, Hearings on Criminal Street Gangs. April 23, 1997. Includes material about gun control, RICO, bullet-resistant vests, conspiracy statues, federalization of criminal law, and more.

Crime: The Inner City Crisis. The crime disaster in urban America, and how politicians use gun control to evade the difficulties of addressing the causes of poverty, alienation, and hopelessness.

D.C. City Council's False "Findings" of Facts on Firearms. Incorrect claims about accidents involving young males. Volokh.com 7/23/08.

Gun Play: What Kids Don't Know about Guns Can Kill Them. Reason. July 1993. Reprinted in Gun Control: Opposing Viewpoints (Greenhaven Pr., 1997).

Scary Tales About Kids and Guns. Fatal firearms accidents among children are at an all-time low, even as the per-capita gun supply rises. America's 1st Freedom. Feb. 2012.

Schools and Colleges

Want to stop mass shootings? Let's get more guns in the right hands. Especially, FASTER training for teachers. The Hill. June 18, 2017. With Joseph G.S. Greenlee.

Pretend "Gun-free" School Zones: A Deadly Legal Fiction. 42 Connecticut Law Review 515 (2009).


How FASTER training for teachers will save lives. KFKA Greeley. Gail show. June 21, 2017

Guns in the right hands save lives. FASTER training for teachers. KNUS Denver. Dan Caplis Show. June 21, 2017.

Guns on university campuses: The Colorado experience. Washington Post. April 20, 2015.

Kopel's amicus brief for the County Sheriffs of Colorado in Students for Concealed Carry on Campus v. Regents of the University of Colorado (Colo. Sup. Ct.).

Right to carry victory in Colorado: Students for Concealed Carry on Campus v. Regents. Volokh.com. March 5, 2012.

Licensed carry now allowed at Colorado community colleges. Volokh.com. May 11, 2010.

Colorado State University board rescinds ban on licensed firearms carry. Volokh.com. May 5, 2010.

Colorado Senate Rejects Gun Legislation. National Review Online, Apr. 12, 2000. Colorado Senate nixes ban on possession of guns by law-abiding adults at universities and schools.

Video and Audio

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.

America's Gun Debate Continues, with Schools in the Crossfire. "To the Point" on KCRW, Public Radio International. With Mark Follman, Mother Jones magazine; Josh Sugarmann, Violence Policy Center; Russ Moore, Shaker Junior High School. March 12, 2015. 33 minutes.

Tennessee State Rep. Eric Watson, Others Discuss Pros And Cons Of Arming Teachers. University of Tennessee public radio, WUTC 90.1. By Michael Edward Miller and Garrett Crowe. 13 minutes. Jan. 16, 2013.

Campus Carry at CU. iVoices.org podcast. 33 minutes. Nov. 19, 2012.

Campus Conceal Carry Laws. What's the deal with conceal carry laws as it pertains to college campuses? iVoices.org podcast. Run Time:11:52. Mar. 6, 2009. MP3.

Education Secretary Arne Duncan. What his record as Superintendent of Chicago public schools indicates he might do on as Secretary of Education to promote restrictions of Second Amendment rights. Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Podcast. Feb. 20, 2009. MP3.

Shooter's Purchase of Handguns Raises Questions About Gun Control Laws. The News Hour with Jim Lehrer. April 19, 2007. Transcript. MP3.

One of the Worst Mass Killings in Modern American History. iVoices podcast interview with Kopel. April 19, 2007. Run time 18:50. MP3.

Arming teachers is the most realistic way to reduce school shootings. iVoices.org podcast. Oct. 5, 2006. MP3.

Short articles

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

"Gun-Free Zones." Wall Street Journal, April 18, 2007. The murders at Virginia Tech University.

The Resistance. Teaching common-sense school protection. National Review Online, Oct. 10, 2006.

Make Schools Safe for Kids, not Criminals. Volokh.com. 2006.

Only press itself can stop copycats. Killers, suicides thrive on publicity given those who perpetrated earlier crimes. Rocky Mountain News/Denver Post, Sept. 23, 2006.

Follow the Leader. Israel and Thailand set an example by arming teachers. Russia should follow, to prevent more hostage-taking in schools. National Review Online. Sept. 3, 2004.

Case Western gun ban facilitates mass murder at business school. Volokh.com. May 13. 2003.

Armed Israeli teacher stops terrorist attack on high school. National Review Online, The Corner. May 29, 2002.

Sure, Blame the Gun. The Santee murders. National Review Online. Mar. 9, 2001. With Ari Armstrong. Reprinted in School Shootings: At Issue (Greenhaven Press, 2002).

Don't Let Schools off the Hook. The dos and don'ts of preventing juvenile violence. National Review Online. July 12, 2000. With Dr. Helen Smith, forensic psychologist.

When Heroes Are Outlawed: How Joel Myrick Saved Lives by Breaking the Law. By Ari Armstrong. How the Gun Free School Zones law makes schools safe for mass murderers.

A Principal and his Gun. How Vice Principal Joel Myrick used his handgun to stop the school shooter in Pearl, Mississippi. By Wayne Laugesen. Boulder Weekly, Oct. 1999

Censorship at Schools

Amicus brief in Newsom v. Albermarle (4th Circuit Court of Appeals). A middle school threatened to punish a student for wearing an NRA shooting sports camp t-shirt. The Independence Institute amicus brief argues that shooting sports are wholesome and promote good character, and that speech promoting shooting sports cannot rationally be censored in a public school. The Fourth Circuit ruled in favor of the student.

Newsom Wins One. A First and Second victory. National Review Online. Jan. 8, 2004. Fourth Circuit rules that school cannot prohibit student from wearing NRA Shooting Sports Camp t-shirt.

Wisconsin Diversifies. National Review Online. Sept. 5, 2002. University of Wisconsin administrators attempt to prohibit the West Virginia "Mountaineer" mascot from carrying his musket at a football game.

Montclair, N.J., school promotes gun prohibition, blocks pro-rights speech. NRO The Corner. May 11, 2002. (The school board later relented.)

Zero Tolerance

Zero Good Sense. Zero tolerance. National Review Online. June 6, 2001. With Paul Gallant and Joanne Eisen. In italiano.

Gunning for the Kiddies. What kind of a "climate" has taken hold of society? National Review Online. Sept. 22, 2000. With Paul Gallant & Joanne Eisen.

Children use "finger guns," then school interrogates them about parental gun ownership. NRO The Corner. May 13, 2002.


What If We Had Taken Columbine Seriously? The political discourse since the killings last year has been foolish, escapist, and cowardly. The Weekly Standard, April 24, 2000. Cover story. Italiano: E se avessimo preso la Columbine seriamente?

The Police Stood Idle. New York Post. April 20, 2000.

School Safety. New York Post. April 20, 2000 (with Linda Gorman). Also in National Review Online, May 8, 2000.

Columbine cover-up. NRO The Corner. March 9, 2002.

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

Who's Responsible For Columbine? National Review Online. May 25, 2000.

Clinton Targets Guns Again: President's Politicking Won't Achieve Goal. Rocky Mountain News. May 2, 1999.

The Attack on Civil Liberties. Why the Columbine High murders should not be exploited to attack the First Amendment or the Second Amendment. By Ari Armstrong. April 30, 1999.

Making Schools Safe for Criminals. Gun control laws ensured that the teachers and students at Columbine High School would be defenseless. Denver Post, April 23, 1999. By Linda Gorman.

A Fighting Chance. Crime victims left helpless by anti-gun laws, and the gun control mentality. April 21, 1999. By Richard Griffiths.

The Hill's Hidden Crime Agenda. Post-Columbine legislation. Cato Institute. Washington Times. June 15, 1999.

*Also see our Special Report on the Columbine High School tragedy.

Gun Safety

Treating Guns Like Consumer Products. 148 University of Pennsylvania Law Review 1701 (2000). Includes a detailed comparison of gun regulation to the regulation of automobiles and alcohol.

"Smart" guns

Smart Guns/Foolish Legislators. 34 Connecticut Law Review 157 (2001). With Cynthia Leonardatos and Paul Blackman.

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.

Smart Guns. "Smart guns" have almost no appeal to consumers, and New Jersey's smart gun mandate makes the problem worse. Washington Post. May 6, 2014.

"Smart Guns": New Jersey's new "smart gun" law proves that a gun ban by any other name still has the same devastating results. America's 1st Freedom, March 2003.


Danger evident in imposing mandatory gun storage laws. Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Nov. 8, 2006.

California gun lock law leads directly to murder of Carpenter family children. NRO The Corner. June 2, 2002.

Are Gun Locks Like Aspirin Caps? National Review Online. Mar. 29, 2000.

Dangers of Mandatory Gun Locks. National Review Online. Mar. 22, 2000. In italiano.

Loaded Guns Can be Good for Kids. Cato Institute. June 3, 1999. With Eugene Volokh. Español. Italiano.

The Hidden Agenda Behind Gun Storage Laws. As demonstrated in Canada and Great Britain, such laws are used to make home defense impossible. The American Guardian. 1997.

Short articles

OSHA Targets Shooting Range. Volokh.com. June 23, 2012.

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.

Guns vs. Teddy Bears. There's no competition when it comes to regulation. National Review Online. Jan. 13, 2004. With Dr. Timothy Wheeler.

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

Taking It to the Streets. Why treating guns like cars might not be such a bad idea. Reason. November 1999.

Mandatory Gun Safety Classes Could Reduce Citizen's Safety. Commerce City Beacon. July 3, 1991.

Denver Laws

Squirt Gun Bans Won’t Stop Violent Crime: Denver’s "Mr. Wilson laws" are Empty Shells. Analyzes 1993 Denver laws against weapons possession by juveniles. Independence Institute Issue Paper. 1993.

Spot the Crimes. Donald DeKieffer examines Denver's badly-written juvenile gun ordinance.

IV. Particular gun controls

Subtopics: U.S., Colorado, Other States, and Local Gun Laws. Ballistic "Fingerprinting". "Buybacks". Gun Rationing/"One gun a month". Gun Shows. National Instant Check System. Registration of Guns and Gun Owners. Waiting Periods.

What if there were serious gun controls? The Hill. Nov. 8, 2017. With Joseph Greenlee.

State and local gun laws

The Virginia Compromise: Wins for gun rights and gun regulation. Washington Post. Feb. 10, 2016.

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.

The Battle for a Free California Rages On. America's 1st Freedom. Dec. 2013.

Should Congress revise our nation's gun laws? No. State gun laws do the job. Denver Post. July 29, 2012.

Puerto Rico law limiting use of shooting ranges. Volokh.com. October 12, 2010.

Poison Pill. When banning guns gets tough, finding ways to ban gun owners can accomplish the same end. Take Nassau County, N.Y., for example. America's 1st Freedom. Dec. 2008.

Newark Airport sued for abuse of person lawfully transporting a firearm, Volokh.com. 2/27/06.

Is it Illegal for David Letterman to Own a Gun? Volokh.com. 12/22/05.


Preempting local anti-gun laws. Independence Institute Issue Backgrounder. 1999.

Victory for firearms preemption in New York. Volokh.com. December 31, 2010.

Preemption laws and leases of public property. Utah bans guns at gay rights parade. Volokh.com. May 13, 2009.

Ohio Preempts All Local Gun Controls. Volokh.com. Dec. 12, 2006.

Illinois Limits Gun Ban Enforcement, 11/17/04.

Self-defense and Stand Your Ground

Stand Your Ground had nothing to do with the Dunn verdict in Florida. Stand Your Ground played zero role in the Michael Dunn "loud music" case. Washington Post. Feb. 17, 2014.

Debunking the 'stand your ground' myth. Anti-gun advocates mislead on Trayvon case to erode right to self-defense. Washington Times, Apr. 2, 2012.

Florida's New Self-Defense Law. Volokh.com. May 19, 2005.


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.

Testimony on Gun Bills at the Colorado State Capitol. March 4, 2013. Video of the testimony and Q & A are as follows: Universal Background Checks. 13 minutes. Magazine bans. 19 minutes. Fee for background checks. 6 minutes. Liability for manufacturers, sellers. 14 minutes. Concealed carry permit rules. 10 minutes.  

Colorado Consensus on Gun Laws. Broadly supported post-Columbine reforms balance gun rights and gun control. National Review Online. July 26, 2012.

How Strict are U.S., Colorado, and Local Gun Control Laws? Independence Institute Issue Paper no. 12-1999. Aug. 1999. The paper examines the 20 weapons law violations perpetrated by the Columbine criminals. The Paper also examines current laws regarding gun shows, and explains that there is no "loophole" in current laws regarding gun shows.

Limited Preemption of Firearms Laws: A Good Step for Civil Rights. Independence Institute Issue Backgrounder. Mar. 11, 2003.

Preempting local anti-gun laws. Independence Institute Issue Backgrounder. 1999.

District of Columbia

Testimony on D.C. Council's proposed revision to the District's gun control laws. Argues against a provision which excessively discriminates against people with visual impairments. The testimony also critiques D.C.'s unusual system of long gun registration. Feb. 13, 2012.


The Montana Firearms Freedom Act. In an interview with Amy Oliver, Kopel explains the new Montana law which attempts to exempt guns which are made and sold intra-state from the application of federal gun laws which were enacted under the federal power over interstate commerce. KFKA radio. Dave Kopel's Second Amendment Podcast. June 4, 2009. 16 minutes. MP3.

Montana Firearms and the Interstate Commerce Clause. Volokh.com. April 15, 2009.

Foreword to Gun Laws of Montana (2003).

Ballistic "Fingerprinting"

Ballistic Imaging: Not Ready for Prime Time. National Center for Policy Analysis. Policy backgrounder. April 30, 2003. With Sterling Burnett.

Not So Fast. Ballistic fingerprinting. National Review Online. Oct. 23, 2002. With Paul H. Blackman.


The Madness of Gun Buybacks. National Review Online, May 15, 2000.

Gun Rationing/"One gun a month"

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.

Eating Away at the Fabric of Freedom. Gun rationing laws lay the foundation for a total firearms ban. America's 1st Freedom, July 2003. PDF.

Gun Shows

Should Gun Shows Be Outlawed? McCain Bill Does Much More than Impose Background Checks. Independence Institute, Issue Paper no. 1-2002. With Alan Korwin.

Short articles

Will Gun Shows Become Extinct? Anti-gun billionaires Michael Bloomberg and George Soros aim to take a huge bite out of the Second Amendment. America's 1st Freedom. July 2010.

Bloomberg's aggressive stance against guns. Denver Post, April 24, 2010. The Bloomberg "gun show" bill is mostly about issues other than background checks at gun shows.

Gun show Gun registration is not the answer. Charleston Gazette. Nov. 10, 2002.

Gun Games. Truth is a casualty of the anti-gun cause. The Americans for Gun Safety radio ads against gun shows. National Review Online. May 21, 2002.

Defending Gun Shows. The groups attack gun shows are out to destroy the Second Amendment. Mar. 15, 2001. National Review Online. With Paul Gallant and Joanne Eisen.

McCain Is a No Show on Guns. The Arizona senator's questionable commitment to Second Amendment rights. National Review Online. Oct. 16, 2000.

The Facts about Gun Shows. Cato Institute. Jan. 10, 2000. (Also in Las-Vegas Review-Journal).

Gun Shows Under Attack. The phony claims against shows put forth by the gun prohibition lobbies. And the plans to outlaw privacy for firearms owners. The American Guardian, January 1999. Featured in an Al Gore television ad during the 2000 Democratic primaries.

National Instant Check System/Background Checks

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

Testimony before the U.S. Senate subcommittee on Crime and Terrorism, Nov. 17, 2011, regarding S. 463. Senator Schumer's bill to vastly expand the number of people prohibited from owning or temporarily possessing a firearm. 29-page written testimony. Video of subcommittee hearing. Kopel's 5 minute prepared remarks begin at 72:41. At 103:40, there is a Q&A with Senator Grassley, with leads to follow-up questions with Senator Schumer, in which Kopel explains to Schumer what the Schumer bill actually does. Kopel discusses the bill on NRA News. Media coverage: NPR, ABC, Governing, Albany Times Union.

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.

Short articles

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.

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

How can we enact meaningful gun control? The Repartee. Debate with Adam Winkler. Part 1: Background checks. Part 2: Reading the Constitution. Part 3: Natural Rights. 2013-14 .

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. NY Times Room for Debate 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.

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.

Erasing a Clinton Legacy. Rolling back antigun regs. National Review Online. Jan. 27, 2004. New law protects privacy rights of law-abiding gun owners.

Terrorism and Guns. Ashcroft's "coddling" of gun owners. National Review Online. December 17, 2001. With Glenn Harlan Reynolds. In italiano.

Instant Check, Permanent Record. National Review Online. Aug. 10, 2000. With Drs. Paul Gallant & Joanne Eisen.

What Goes Around... The Blue Press. 1997. Misdemeanor domestic violence gun ban, and its application to police and the military.

Registration of Guns and Gun Owners

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.

The Catastrophic Consequences of Gun Registration. America's 1st Freedom. March 2013.

Eating Away at the Fabric of Freedom. Gun rationing laws lay the foundation for a total firearms ban. America's 1st Freedom, July 2003.

Disaster Up North. Gun-control laws run amuck, with a billion dollar cost overrun in the gun registry. National Review Online. Dec. 12, 2002. With Gary Mauser. En français.

Gun show Gun registration is not the answer. Charleston Gazette. Nov. 10, 2002.

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.

Civil Disobedience in Canada. National Review Online. Aug. 2, 2000. With Drs. Paul Gallant & Joanne Eisen. En français.

How Firearms Registration Works. It doesn't, in Canada. National Review Online. Dec. 7, 2000. With Gary Mauser. En français.

See also National Instant Check System; BATFE and BATFE Traces.

Waiting Periods

The Brady Bill Comes Due: The Supreme Court Saves Federalism, 9 George Mason Civil Rights and Civil Liberties Law Journal 189 (1999).

Amicus brief for the States of Colorado, Idaho, Kansas, Montana, Nebraska, South Dakota, Virginia, and Wyoming, in Printz v. United States (U.S. 1997).

Brady Bill anniversary, and Clinton's phony story. Volokh.com. Nov. 30, 2005.

Gun Foes Should Tell the Whole Story. Phony claims that a waiting period would have stopped John Hinckley. Chicago Tribune, March 30, 1991.

Why Wait to Buy a Gun? What's wrong with the Brady Bill. Chicago Tribune. Sept. 12, 1988.

Testimony on the Brady Bill. U.S. Senate Subcommittee on the Constitution, Aug. 2, 1988. Reprinted in History of Issues: Gun Control (Gale, 2006).

V. Other Firearms Topics

Subtopics: Book Reviews. BATFE and Gun Traces. Burglary. Culture and sociology. History. Public Health/Medicine/Psychology. Women. General/miscellaneous.

Book Reviews

Dave Kopel: Aiming for Liberty. Article about Kopel and his new book. America's 1st Freedom, June 2010.

Books from anti-gun activists

From Bad To Worse. Book reviews of Lethal Logic: Exploding the Myths that Paralyze American Gun Policy by Dennis A. Henigan & Guns, Democracy, and the Insurrectionist Idea by Joshua Horwitz & Casey Anderson. America's 1st Freedom. October 2009.

Anti-Gun & Angry, Too. Another furious gun-banner jumps on the book publishing bandwagon. And as usual, the truth takes a beating. Book Review of One Nation Under Guns by Arnold Grossman. America's First Freedom. April 2007.

Gun Control Debate with Arnold Grossman. The Denver Press Club hosts a debate on the issue of gun control. Arnold Grossman, author of "One Nation Under Guns - An Essay on An American Epidemic," argues the pro-gun control case while David Kopel, co-editor of "Gun Control and Gun Rights: A Reader and Guide" speaks for the opposing side. The debate is moderated by Cynthia Hessin, executive producer of Rocky Mountain PBS. The debate was broadcast on C-Span's Book TV. C-Span video. The replay is produced by the Independence Institute's iVoices.org multimedia center; the on-line replay used the C-Span feed; the iVoices version occasionally pixelates the video. In addition, you can read Kopel's Book review of One Nation Under Guns: an Essay on an American Epidemic by Arnie Grossman. (Also note the shorter book review, listed above). Kopel dissects a book riddled with factual and legal errors, and which, unintentionally, reveals why the gun control movement in the sUnited States has become such a failure in recent years.

Stephen Halbrook

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.

Book review of Target Switzerland. The American Enterprise, Jan./Feb. 1999.


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

Ten on the Second. Ten great books (plus some bonus recommendations) on the right to arms. America's 1st Freedom, March 2007.

Book Reviews: A Nation of Cowards and The Origin of the Second Amendment. Ideas on Liberty, Mar. 2002.

Second Amendment Ammo. Recommended reading. Reason magazine, Dec. 2000. Reviews of More Guns, Less Crime; Guns: Who Should Have Them? And The Matchlock Gun (an award-winning children's book).

Book review of Armed: New Perspectives on Gun Control. By Gary Kleck & Don Kates. National Review Weekend. Jan. 11, 2001.

$100 Billion Mistake. Loose factoids sink books. Review of Gun Violence: The Real Costs By Philip J. Cook and Jens Ludwig (Oxford University Press). NRO Weekend, Aug. 25-26, 2001. With Paul Blackman.

Shaky Aim. Book review of Shots in the Dark: The Policy, Politics, and Symbolism of Gun Control, by William J. Vizzard. National Review Online, weekend edition. Nov. 3-4, 2001. With Paul Blackman.

It Isn't About Duck Hunting: The British Origins of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. Review of Joyce Malcolm's book To Keep and Bear Arms: The Origins of an Anglo-American Right. 96 Michigan Law Review 1333 (1995).

BATFE and BATFE Gun Traces

BATFE's Little Shop of Horrors. BATFE's reprehensible scam to ensnare unsuspecting people exposed. America's 1st Freedom. March 2014.

BATFE Director now needs Senate confirmation. Volokh.com. March 8, 2006.

Olofson case. Suppression hearing transcript. Discovery. Firearms Technology Branch report. Trial transcript: part 1, part 2, part 3.

Erasing a Clinton Legacy. Rolling back antigun regs. National Review Online. Jan. 27, 2004. New law protects privacy rights of law-abiding gun owners.

When Must the Government Disclose Gun Owners' Names and Addresses? Preview of U.S. Supreme Court case Department of the Treasury v. City of Chicago. American Bar Association Preview of Supreme Court Cases, March 2003, pp. 289-93.

Tapped Out. Setting the record straight, and moving on. National Review Online. Feb. 5, 2003. The weblog for "The American Prospect" is willfully oblivious to BATF abuses and to good manners.

Lawmaking at the BATF. How the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms invents new gun law, by abuse of administrative authority. The American Guardian. October 1998.

Fast & Furious

Fast and Furious explained. iVoices.org podcast. June 21, 2012. 47 minutes. MP3.

Why you should be furious about Fast & Furious. A detailed timeline of BATFE's program that supplied over 2,000 guns to Mexican cartels. America's 1st Freedom. Jan. 2012.

Operation "Fast & Furious." Kopel explains the federal government's gunrunning fiasco. Devil's Advocate, CPT 12, July 22, 2011.


Firearms Tracing Data from the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms: An Occasionally Useful Law Enforcement Tool, but a Poor Research Tool, 11 Criminal Justice Policy Review44 (Mar 2000). With Paul Blackman. Abstract: "The Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) sometimes traces the history of firearms used in crime. Typically, the trace reveals the gun's history from its manufacture to its sale by a licensed retail firearms dealer. BATF traces occasionally have been a useful tool for investigating individual crimes. In recent years, however, some persons have attempted to use BATF trace data to study gun violence and evaluate firearms policies. There are severe limitations on the utility of the BATF data for criminological analysis. These limits include the relatively small number of crime guns that BATF traces, BATF's rules about what guns it will not even attempt to trace, and the limited information supplied by gun traces. The authors suggest that BATF trace figures are not a sound foundation for criminological research."

Clueless: The Misuse of BATF Firearms Tracing Data. From the Law Review of Michigan State University Detroit College of Law. PDF.

Do Federal Gun Traces Accurately Reflect Street Crime? Small Fraction of Guns Selected for National Trace may not be Typical of Ordinary Crime Guns. Independence Institute Issue Paper. 1993.


Comment on Cook & Ludwig, "Guns and Burglary," in Evaluating Gun Policy: Effects on Crime and Violence (Brookings Institution, 2003). Philip J. Cook & Jens Ludwig, editors.

Lawyers, Guns, and Burglars. 43 Arizona Law Review345 (2001). Symposium issue.

Culture and Sociology

The Ideology of Guns and Gun Control in the United States. 18 Quarterly Journal of Ideology 3 (1995). Article by Kopel examining the ideologies (as opposed to the practicalities) behind gun ownership and gun control advocacy in the U.S.

Covering the Screen in Blood. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein attempts to square his anti-gun convictions with his bloody, gun-riddled movies. America's 1st Freedom. April 2014.

Activities for Gun Appreciation Day. Volokh.com. Jan. 14, 2013.

A Divide Widened by Misunderstanding. Responding to the question, "What is it about gun policy that makes it such an emotional topic?" New York Times Room for Debate. Jan. 6, 2013.

C-Span coverage of Independence Institute's 10th annual Alcohol, Tobacco & Firearms Party. Opening remarks, then a 17 minute speech by Kopel on Second Amendment issues. Keynote speech by David Martosko (Daily Caller) on nannyism. Aug. 11, 2012. 44 mins.

The International Hunter Education Association. Kopel interviews the International Hunter Education Association's Wayne East, about IHEA's good works in teaching safety and responsibility. 26 minutes. Feb. 16, 2010. MP3.

Political Science. The National Academy of Sciences gears up for an anti-gun study. National Review Online. Aug. 29, 2001. With Glenn Harlan Reynolds.

More Guns, Less Gun Violence, Wall Street Journal, Aug. 4, 2000.

Packing the Peace. Don't Underestimate the Deterrent Effect of an Armed Population. National Review Online, June 14, 2000. With Linda Gorman.


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.

Media Bias in the Coverage of Gun Control: The Press Evaluates the Popular Culture. Examines biased media coverage in the 1970s of different polls on gun control and gun rights. Chapter in the book The Gun Culture and Its Enemies (William Tonso, ed.).

Sorry, Wrong Number: Why Media Polls on Gun Control are so Often Unreliable. 9 Political Communication and Persuasion 69-91 (no. 2, April-June 1992). With Gary A. Mauser.

Polls: Anti-gun Propaganda. Certain pollsters who support repressive gun laws claim to have found increased public support for such laws. Are such polls accurate? Or are they typical of the manipulation of data which has long been the practice of pro-control pollsters? The American Guardian. 1997.


See also Registration.

Why Reveal Who's Concealed? What possible motive could some arrogant anti-gun newspapers have for publishing the names of Right-to-Carry permit holders? America's 1st Freedom, May 2007. With Paul Gallant and Joanne D. Eisen.

When Must the Government Disclose Gun Owners' Names and Addresses? Preview of U.S. Supreme Court case Department of the Treasury v. City of Chicago. American Bar Association Preview of Supreme Court Cases, March 2003, pp. 289-93.

Public Health/Medicine/Psychology

You may feel some pressure. America's 1st Freedom. July 2015. Why are doctors asking you if you any guns at home? What will happen if you tell them it's none of their business?

How Your Tax Dollars Demonize Your Guns. Federal funding for a new study purporting to show that gun owners are more likely to be murdered. America's 1st Freedom. Jan. 2010.

Should Health Care Workers be able to Refuse Treatment to Gun Owners? Volokh.com. March 20, 2006.

Doctors and Guns. Virginia considers restricting doctors from forcing and anti-gun political agenda on their patients. Volokh.com. Feb. 28, 2006.

This One's a General. Richard Carmona, hero. National Review Online. Aug. 14, 2002. With Dr. Timothy Wheeler.

Right of Refusal: If your doctor starts pestering you about guns, you have several options. National Review Online. July 5, 2001. With Dr. Timothy Wheeler.

No Choice. "Weapons-effect" paralysis. National Review Online. Apr. 17, 2002. With Paul Gallant & Joanne Eisen.

Anti-Gun, Anti-Science. Firearms factoids from the federal government. National Review Online. Feb. 27, 2001.

The Fallacy of 43 to 1". The all-time favorite statistic of the gun-prohibition lobby. National Review Online. Jan. 31, 2001. In italiano.

Living in Fear. "Community" fear as a basis for gun restrictions. National Review Online. Jan. 17, 2001. With Dr. Paul Gallant and Dr. Joanne Eisen.

Firearms Deaths in Colorado. Issue Backgrounder 2001-D. With Diane Nicholl.

The "Psychic Cost" of Holiday Gift Giving. Do gun owners inflict psychic harm on their neighbors? 1997. With Paul Gallant.

Guns, Germs, and Science. Critique of the medical case for gun prohibition. Delivered at the University of Oklahoma School of Public Health. Oct. 1994.


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

Her Own Bodyguard. Gun-packing First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt. National Review Online. Jan. 24, 2002. With Paul Gallant & Joanne Eisen.

Rapists Like Gun Control. National Review Online, Apr. 14, 2000. What if Juanita Broaddrick had been carrying a gun? In italiano.

You Can't Beat an (Armed) Woman. By Paxton Quigley & David Kopel. June 9, 1994. Guns as defensive tools for battered women. In italiano.

Tammy Zywicki and Sarah Brady. Richard Griffiths discusses a woman's right to self-defense.


Books & Scholarship

Editorial Board for Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law (ABC/Clio: 2002).

Gun Control & Gun Rights: A Reader & Guide. The first college and graduate textbook on gun law and policy. Published by New York University Press.

Trust the People: The Case Against Gun Control. Cato Institute, July 11, 1988, Policy Analysis no. 109 (monograph). Reprinted in 3 Journal on Firearms and Public Policy 77 (1990). German translation (Deutsche Übersetzung, Vertraue der Bevölkerung: Die Causa gegen Waffenverbote)

Video and audio

Debate: Has the right to bear arms outlived it usefulness? NPR Intelligence Squared. David Kopel & Eugene Volokh v. Alan Dershowitz & Sanford Levinson. 104 minutes. Nov. 21, 2013.

How Gun Control and Gun Rights Can Be Friends. Kopel describes the history of gun rights and gun control in America. Denver City Club. 68 minutes. Jan. 22, 2013.

Thom Hartmann Show. David Kopel on Thom Hartmann's "The Big Picture" television show, June 8, 2011. Discussing terrorism, gun shows, Mexico, and more. 6:29 video.

"The Edge" from Hillsborough College. Discussion of the Supreme Court rulings, the 2d Amendment, mass murders, and other topics. Jan. 2011. 53 minute audio. MP3.

Cert. grant in Millender v. LA: Qualified immunity for an unconstitutional general warrant to seize firearms? Volokh Conspiracy. July 20, 2011.

Kopel on Independent Thinking. HR 45, guns in national parks, a new Montana law to challenge the limits of the commerce clause, and the fallacy of U.S. guns in Mexico. KBDI television. July 10, 2009. YouTube video.

Podcast on Gun Issues At the Oct. 2007 Gun Rights Policy Conference, Kopel is interviewed for the Gun Rights Advocates Podcast by host Mark Vanderberg. Topics include the implications and background of the D.C. handgun ban case, the politics of the gun issue, the role of activists, and new research about gun bans in Africa. The 36-minute interview is here. It begins with about 5-6 minutes of discussion by the host.

The State of Your Gun Rights. Podcast interview with Kopel on iVoices. 10 minutes. Discusses concealed carry victories, and more. Play now.

Gun Control: Separating Fact from Myth. Dave Kopel and Gary Kleck speak at the Independent Institute, in Oakland. Nov. 15, 2000. Transcript. Note: The Independent Institute (in Oakland) is totally separate from the Independence Institute (in Colorado) where Dave works.

Getting Guns. Dave Kopel debates Michael Beard (Coalition to Stop Gun Violence) on the National Public Radio program Justice Talking. One hour.

Does Gun Control Work? Transcript of Kopel's appearance on the Ben Wattenberg's "Think Tank" program on PBS.

Short articles and blogging

How can we enact meaningful gun control? The Repartee. Debate with Adam Winkler. Part 1: Background checks. Part 2: Reading the Constitution. Part 3: Natural rights. Fall 2013/Winter 2014. 

Obamacare Health bill and gun ownership. Volokh.com. November 24, 2009.

Is Gun Control Back? Did it ever Go Away? On-line debate between Dave Kopel and Christopher Lockwood, the U.S. editor of The Economist. Los Angeles Times, April 21-25, 2007. April 23: the Virginia Tech murders. April 24: the politics of gun control. April 25: international issues. April 26: myths about guns. April 27: Gun solutions. How would you change America's gun laws?

Armed Response to New Orleans Looters. Volokh.com. Sept. 1, 2005.

Day-Dream Believers. What if the government had to obey gun control laws? National Review Online. July 30, 2002.

Empty-Barrel Gun Policies. A legacy of nonsense from Clinton, Blair, and the Left. National Review Online. Jan. 22, 2001.

The 911 Gamble. The Blue Press. October 1998.

To Temper Brady Act, Gun Devotees Should Nationalize, Refine It. Suggestions for Congressional reform of gun laws. News & Record (Greensboro, NC), December 13, 1994

Hold Your Fire: Gun Control Won't Stop Rising Violence. From Policy Review, Winter 1993.

Rowan Case and the Need to Bear Arms. Wall Street Journal. June 24, 1988. Reprinted in "Guns are Necessary for Self-Defense", in William Dudley, ed., Crime and Criminals. Opposing Viewpoints (San Diego: Greenhaven Pr. 1989).


Gun laws after the Tucson shootings. Kopel debates John Donahue, of Stanford. WHYY radio, Philadelphia. Jan. 14th, 2011. 49 minutes. MP3.

Gun Control Legislation Debate after the Tucson shootings. Legal Talk Network. Jan. 21, 2011. 35 minutes. With Adam Winkler.

VI. Gun Industry and Sports.

Subtopics: Firearms business. Lawsuits. Censorship of firearms advertising.

Firearms Business

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.

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

The Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act: Facts and policy. Washington Post. May 24, 2016.

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

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

OSHA Targets Shooting Range. Volokh.com. June 23, 2012.

Rifle Golf: America's newest shooting sport. Volokh Conspiracy.  Aug. 5, 2011.

SHOT Show 2011. NRA News. Jan. 17, 2011. YouTube video.

Learning from Coltsville. The case for this national-park candidate. National Review Online. Sept. 23, 2002. National Park status for Coltsville, the industrial village created by Samuel Colt. With Michael Brotherton.

Terms of Revilement. Book review of Making a Killing: The Business of Guns in America(by Tom Diaz). Chronicles, February, pp. 29-30.

SHOT Show Report. Volokh.com. Jan. 17, 2009.


The Sullivan Principles: Protecting the Second Amendment from Civil Abuse. Argues that courts should protect the Second Amendment from abusive lawsuits designed to interfere with Second Amendment rights, just as courts currently protect First Amendment rights from improper libel lawsuits. 19 Seton Hall Legislative Journal 737 (1995).

Abusive Lawsuits against the Second Amendment. Independence Institute Issue Backgrounder. 1999.

Video and audio

NRA News. Kopel discusses gun manufacturers and sellers being held liable for "violent acts" in a new gun control bill from Senator John Morse. Includes the wildly bizarre definition of "assault weapon" as well. YouTube.com. 9 minutes. Feb. 27, 2013.

Debate on Tort Protection for Gun Manufacturers. Oct. 27, 2005. The Legal Talk Network hosted a debate on the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Firearms Act. Participants were UCLA law professor Eugene Volokh, Josh Horowitz from the Educational Fund to Stop Gun Violence, and Kopel. The debate is available in WMF and MP3.

National Public Radio, The Tavis Smiley Show. Kopel interviewed for 4/9/03 program on the NAACP's lawsuit against the firearms industry.

Cities sue the gun industry. Dave Kopel debates Jonathan Lowy from Handgun Control, Inc., regarding the municipal lawsuits. Cato Institute. Feb. 26, 1999. C-Span.

Short articles and blogging

Mexico Comes Knocking. A seemingly ridiculous plan by the Mexican government to sue U.S. gunmakers for drug-cartel violence south of the border could spell doom for America's firearm industry. America's 1st Freedom. Oct. 2011.

Second Circuit reverses Judge Weinstein's order against firearms stores. Concurrence harshly rebukes him. Volokh.com. May 18, 2011.

Mayor Daley and other Mayors: Seek "redress against the gun industry" in the World Court. Volokh.com. April 28, 2010.

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

Congress bans abusive anti-gun lawsuits. Volokh.com. Oct. 20, 2005.

Florida court rejects Grunow suit. Volokh.com. June 2, 2005.

Ban lawsuits that hurt legal gun industry. Philadelphia Inquirer. May 19, 2003.

NAACP lawsuit. NRO The Corner. April 1, 2003.

Gunned Down. The case for prohibiting abusive lawsuits. The West Palm Beach suit against the wholesaler of a Raven pistol used to murder a teacher. National Review Online. Nov. 15, 2002.

Boston consent decree dissolved. NRO The Corner. April 16, 2002.

Anti-tobacco activist Mark Pertshcuk offers anti-gun strategy. NRO The Corner. March 16, 2002.

Maryland case rejected. NRO The Corner. March 10, 2002.

Unintended Consequences. The fruits of hysterical antigun lawsuits. National Review Online. Mar. 6, 2002.

Protecting Makers of Weapons Boosts Democracy, Rights. Analysis of Merrill v. Navegar. Los Angeles Daily Journal, and the San Francisco Daily Journal. Aug. 30, 2001.

Smith and Wesson's Faustian Bargain. National Review Online, Mar. 20 & 21, 2000. [Note: the agreement described in these articles never went into effect. Smith & Wesson is now under American ownership, and has no agreements stemming from the abusive lawsuits.]

Should Gunmakers Pay Damages to Local Governments for Gun-related Violence and Injuries? Feb. 11, 2000. CQ Researcher (Congressional Quarterly).

Strongarm Suits. February 2000, Liberty magazine, pp. 35-36.

Censorship of Firearms Advertising

Anti-Gunners Target Gun Ads, 1st Amendment. The Blue Press, Aug. 2000. In italiano.

VII. Media Violence and Media Bias

See also: Media Analysis and First Amendment page

Covering the Screen in Blood. Movie mogul Harvey Weinstein attempts to square his anti-gun convictions with his bloody, gun-riddled movies. America's 1st Freedom. April 2014.

Big First Amendment win in United States v. Stevens. Federal statute could have been used to ban hunting videos and magazines. Volokh.com. April 20, 2010.

Bowling Truths. Michael Moore's mocking. National Review Online. Apr. 4, 2003. Deconstructing the dishonest documentary Bowling for Columbine.

Fox 31 misleads on 'sniper' rifles. Despite news segment's claims, it takes more than mouse click to obtain firearms. Rocky Mountain News/Denver Post. October 27, 2002.

Shot Through the Heart. Anti-hunting propaganda on Showtime. Review of "Bang Bang, You're Dead." National Review Online. Oct. 16, 2002. With James Swan.

Dailies shoot from hip, miss. Mischaracterizations of D.C. gun-control group bespeak sloppy reporting, editing at newspapers. Rocky Mountain News/Denver Post. Jan. 27, 2002.

Why Reveal Who's Concealed? What possible motive could some arrogant anti-gun newspapers have for publishing the names of Right-to-Carry permit holders? America's 1st Freedom, May 2007. by Paul Gallant, with David B. Kopel and Joanne D. Eisen.

Round Table Discussion: Violence in the Media. David Kopel, Eleanor Acheson (Asst. U.S. Atty. Genl. for Policy Development), Charles W. Guswelle (Kansas City Star), and others. University of Kansas Law School symposium.

Dead Ringers. When it comes to Olympic shooting sports, TV is in blackout mode. National Review Online Weekend, Sept. 23-24, 2000.


Don't turn Aurora killer into celebrity. USA Today. July 19, 2012.

Reducing the risk of copycat killers. How papers can avoid glorifying perpetrators. Rocky Mountain News/Denver Post, Dec. 15, 2007.

Airing, publishing killer's photos, rants reckless. Publicity a fresh inducement to mass murderers. Rocky Mountain News/Denver Post, April 21, 2007.

Massaging the Medium: Analyzing and Responding to Media Violence without Harming the First Amendment. 4 Kansas Journal of Law and Public Policy 17 (1995).

New York Times

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

Did Heller matter? The New York Times says it did not, but Kopel details the Times' numerous omissions. iVoices.org podcast. April 3, 2009. MP3.

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