New Supreme Court citations: Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue, 591 U.S.---, no. 18-1195, pp. 2, 6, 6 n.6 (June 30, 2020) (Alito, J., concurring) (citing Independence Inst. amicus brief, and scholarship of Ind. Inst.'s prof. Rob Natelson).
Rogers v. Grewel, 590 U.S.---, no. 18–824, p. 10, note 3 (June 15, 2020) (Thomas, J., dissenting) (Regarding an advocate's claim about Sir John Knight's Case from England in 1686: "This assertion has been repudiated by subsequent scholarship. See Kopel, The First Century of Right to Arms Litigation, 14 Geo. J. L.& Pub. Pol’y 127, 135, n. 46 (2016)."
New brief: Young v. Hawaii, No. 12-17808 (9th Cir. en banc 2020). Amicus brief for Professors of Second Amendment Law, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, Cato Institute, Madison Society Foundation, California Gun Rights Foundation, Second Amendment Foundation, and Independence Institute. Hawaii ban on licensed open carry.
New video: Review of Supreme Court Oral Argument on States' Popular Votes and the Electoral College. C-Span. Hosted by the National Constitution Center. With Jeffrey Rosen and Paul Smith. May 13, 2020.
The Declaration of Independence will never be outmoded, as President Coolidge explained. Equality, inalienable rights, and consent of the governed can be opposed only by reactionaries. Reason, Volokh Conspiracy. July 4, 2020.
Does the Second Amendment prohibit slavery? What Lysander Spooner argued in 1845 became the law of the land in 1868. Reason/Volokh Conspiracy. June 19, 2020.
The pro-slavery origins of American gun control. Complete Colorado. June 14, 2020.
Gun control’s racist history still being written. Complete Colorado. June 9, 2020.
Your NRA’s Deep Connection to Memorial Day. Founded in 1871, the NRA began by dedicating itself to the safety of American soldiers. America's 1st Freedom. May 24, 2020.
How the NRA Helped to Reopen Massachusetts’s Gun Stores. America's 1st Freedom. May 14, 2020.
Preliminary injunction against dysfunctional California ammunition background checks. The law made it impossible for many law-abiding citizens to buy ammunition. Reason, Volokh Conspiracy. Apr. 24, 2020.
Our right to arms faces a death by a thousand cuts. The long-term strategy of the gun ban lobby. Colorado Politics. Apr. 8, 2020.
Masks For All: Sensible and Helpful. Wearing improvised masks in public will help defeat the viral invasion. Reason, Volokh Conspiracy. Apr. 3, 2020.
April 19, 1775. Battles of Lexington and Concord: The American Revolution Begins. Constituting America. Feb. 24, 2020.
The gun guy and illegal militia founder who became President: George Washington. Our first President understood that armed citizens are essential to American freedom. Reason/Volokh Conspiracy. Feb. 17, 2020.
In the Media
Joe Biden’s dubious claim about Revolutionary War cannon ownership. Politifact. June 29, 2020. Louis Jacobson.
18-to-20-Year-Olds and the Second Amendment: Challenge to Florida Law Can Continue. So holds a federal district court. The Volokh Conspiracy. May 5, 2020. Eugene Volokh.
When facing the devil, rule of law must be upheld. Denver Post. Apr. 10, 2020. Krista Kafer.
Colorado gun sales declined for a third straight year in 2019. But is a bump coming in 2020? Sales are still far higher than they were in 2008. Denver Post. Feb. 14, 2020. Sam Tabachnik.
Under Florida's "red flag" law, judges in Broward County almost always issue gun confiscation orders when police ask for them. Reason. Feb. 11, 2020. Jacob Sullum.
Virginia's Pending 'Red Flag' Law Includes Improvements but Still Falls Short of Due Process Again. Reason. Jan. 29, 2020. Jacob Sullum.
Boy, 4, Who Was Accidentally Shot While Play-Wrestling With His Father Has Died: Officials. CNN Wire/NTD News. Jan. 25, 2020. Petr Svab.
Defending The Second Amendment In Virginia. Townhill Finance. Jan 21, 2020. Daniel J. Mitchell.
Denver Man Gives Up His Guns After Agreeing To Colorado's First Extreme Risk Protection Order. Colorado Public Radio. Jan. 15, 2020. Hayley Sanchez.
Television, Radio, Podcasts
Colorado Inside Out. Aug. 1, 2020. Full episode. After declaration of public health emergency, homeless encampment at State Capitol is removed. Aurora protestors have free speech rights; Aurora criminal terrorists have no right to burn a courthouse or obstruct highways. Politically correct Colo. Dept. of Public Health bungles virus response. If schools aren't open, education funding should help families find alternatives. Disgrace/something nice. By profiting from CCP slave labor of racial minorities in China, NBA = "puppets of the slavemasters." For Colorado Day, study Colorado's wonderful constitution.
Guns: Culture, Control, and Trump. Devil's Advocate with Jon Caldara. July 24, 2020. Examining increases in gun ownership in 2020, and over the last seven decades. The racist history of American gun control. 36 minutes.
Colorado Inside Out. July 24, 2020. Full episode. Denver Police ordered not to interfere when communist mob assaults pro-police public assembly; like former pro-Klan Mayor Stapleton, Mayor Hancock is an active ally of violent hate groups. Denver's downward spiral worsens as homeless encampments take over public spaces. U.S. Postal Service tries to cut its deficit, with procedures that will slow down some mail by one day. Disgrace/somthing nice: N.Y. Gov. Andrew Cuomo issues arbitrary and capricious edict that bars must serve "substantial food," which does not include chicken wings. CU researchers invent fast new test for CCP virus.
Colorado Inside Out. July 17, 2020. Full episode. Gov. Polis's statewide mask mandate is sensible. Denver City Council examines city charter changes to reduce Mayor's power. Colorado school districts consider back to school plans amidst CCP virus pandemic. Disgrace/something nice: My error last week in calling Rep. Leslie Herod a senator. Rep. Tom Sullivan's good bill to improve mail-in ballot procedures.
Constitutional Chats, from Constituting Amerca. Federalist Paper 37, The Difficulties of Convention, by James Madison. June 9, 2020. Because of the limits of human knowledge and language, and the diversity of human interests, the proposed Constitution could not be expected to be theoretically perfect. One hour video.
"Faithless Electors" Supreme Court Argument Recap. We The People Podcast. National Constitution Center. Jeffrey Rosen, Paul Smith, and David Kopel. 56 minutes. May 21, 2020.
Duke Center for Firearms Law. A Conversation with Dave Kopel. Apr. 28, 2020. Guns in the pandemic.
Could The Supreme Court Provide Relief To Shuttered Gun Shops? Bearing Arms, Cam and Co. April 21, 2020.
Gun Rights, Emergencies, and Petty Tyrants. Bearing Arms, Cam and Co. April 15, 2020. 29 minutes.
Colorado Insisde Out. July 5, 2019. Full episode. Time machine 1923. The cast goes back in time to discuss the KKK, Denver Mayor Stapleton, alcohol prohibition, and much more. Patty Calhoun as Emily Griffith, Dave Kopel as future Governor and Senator "Big Ed" Johnson, and more. Meet the panel. Denver sheds its cowtown image. Benjamin Stapleton is Elected Mayor of Denver. Prohibition Takes a Tenuous Hold in Colorado. Jazz Sweeps the Country with Colo. Roots.
Latest Monographs & Journal articles
Antecedents of the Second Amendment. Supplemental online chapter 16 to Firearms Law and the Second Amendment: Regulation, Rights, and Policy (Wolters Kluwer, 2d ed. 2017). With Nicholas J. Johnson, George
Mocsary and Gregory Wallace. Covers ancient China, Greece, Rome, the Judeo-Christian tradition, and European political philosophy.
Federal Circuit Second Amendment Developments 2018. 7 Lincoln Memorial University Law Review (forthcoming 2019). With Joseph G.S. Greenlee.
The Second Amendment Rights of Young Adults. 43 Southern Illinois University Law Journal 495 (2019). With Joseph G.S. Greenlee.
The 'Sensitive Places' Doctrine: Locational Limits on the Right to Bear Arms. 13 Charleston Law Review 205 (2018).
History and Tradition in Modern Circuit Cases on the Second Amendment Rights of Young People. 43 Southern Illinois University Law Journal 119 (2018). With Joseph G.S. Greenlee.
Defining "Assault Weapons." The Regulatory Review (Univ. of Pennsylvania). Nov. 14, 2018.
Data Indicate Second Amendment Underenforcement. 68 Duke Law Journal Online 79 (2018). Problems in the Second, Fourth, and Ninth Circuits.
The Colorado Constitution's No Aid to Sectarian Institutions Clause and Its Impact on Civil Rights. Colorado Special Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights. Sept. 2018.
Federal Circuit Second Amendment Developments 2017-2018. Texas State Bar Association. Firearms Law Seminar. 2018. With Joseph Greenlee.
The Right to Arms in Nineteenth Century Colorado. 95 Denver University Law Review 329 (2018).
In the Courts and Congress
Young v. Hawaii, No. 12-17808 (9th Cir. en banc 2020). Amicus brief for Professors of Second Amendment Law, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, Cato Institute, Madison Society Foundation, California Gun Rights Foundation, Second Amendment Foundation, and Independence Institute. Hawaii ban on licensed open carry.
Vermont v. Misch, No. 2019–266 (Apr. 24, 2020). Amicus brief of Cato Institute, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, and Independence Institute. Vermont magazine ban violates the text, history, tradition, and policy of the Vermont Constitution's right to arms. Statutory addendum.
In re: Interrogatory Submitted by the Colorado General Assembly. No. 2020SA000100. Brief of Independence Institute. Mar. 24, 2020.
Rupp v. Becerra. No. 19-56004. 9th Circuit. Feb. 3, 2020. Amicus brief of Firearms Policy Coalition/Foundation, Second Amendment Foundation, Madison Society Foundation, California Gun Rights Foundation, and Independence Institute. By any standard, the semiautomatic firearms banned by California are in "common use," and therefore they may not be prohibited.
Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs v. Attorney General or New Jersey. No. 19-3142. 3d Circuit. Feb. 3, 2020. Amicus brief of Professors of Second Amendment Law, Firearms Policy Coalition/Foundation, Madison Society Foundation, California Gun Rights Foundation, and Independence Institute. Repeating firearms predate the Second Amendment by two centuries; by the time of the Second Amendment, repeaters holding more than 10 rounds were well established. Accordingly, New Jersey's confiscation of all such magazines is unconstitutional.
Worman v. Healey. No. 19-404. U.S. Supreme Court. Oct. 24, 2019. Cert. petition amicus brief. Massachusetts ban on common arms violates Supreme Court precedent. The Supreme Court should bring order to the conflicting lower cases about bans on common arms.
Espinoza v. Montana Dept. of Revenue. No. 18-1195. U.S. Supreme Court. Sept. 18, 2019. Merits amicus brief. Many state constitutions, including Montana's, prohibit government aid to "sectarian" educational institutions. According to the original meaning, on the nineteenth century, "sectarian" did not refer to religion in general, but only to religions that were considered extreme, heretical, fanatical, or bad.
RMGO v. Polis. No. 2018SC817. June 3, 2019. Colorado Supreme Court. Amicus brief of Colorado Law Enforcement Firearms Instructors Association, 32 County Sheriffs, and the Independence Institute. The ban on magazines over 15 rounds harms public safety and law enforcement. Motion for leave to file amicus brief.
People v. Vivian Claudine Brown. (Ill. 2019). Amicus brief on behalf of State’s Attorneys Stewart J. Umholtz and Brandon J. Zanotti, Professors Of Second Amendment Law, Firearms Policy Coalition, Firearms Policy Foundation, Citizens Committee For The Right To Keep And Bear Arms, Millennial Policy Center, Independence Institute, and Carlisle Moody. Illinois FOID licensing law for firearms possession cannot be applied to peaceable possession of a lawful gun on one's own property by a person who is not prohibited from owning guns.
New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. New York City. No. 28-280. May 14, 2019. Amicus brief for Professors of Second Amendment law, Second Amendment Foundation, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Millennial Policy Center, and Independence Institute. Appendix of professor biographies. The Second Circuit upheld New York City's ban on licensed handgun owners taking their handguns out of the City. The ban is contrary to good practices for safety training. The doctrinal errors found in the Second Circuit decision are prevalent in other circuits, demonstrating the need for further guidance from the Supreme Court.
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee, written testimony on "Red Flag Laws: Examining Guidelines for State Action." Hearing on mental health and gun legislation. Kopel starts at 31:36. March 26, 2019. Supplemental Questions for the Record, from Sen. Grassley.
Pena v. Horan. Cert. petition. No. 18-843. Feb. 1, 2019. Amicus brief for Second Amendment law professors, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Mountain States Legal Foundation, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Independence Institute, and Millennial Policy Center. California's "microstamping" mandate creates a de facto ban on all new models of semiautomatic pistols. The Ninth Circuit opinion uphold the ban was based on speculation and refusal to consider the plaintiffs' evidence.
Mance v. Whitaker. Cert. petition. No. 18-663. Dec. 20, 2018. Amicus brief for Second Amendment law professors, Independence Institute, and Millennial Policy Center. Challenge to federal ban on interstate handgun sales between consenting states. Argues that Court should take the case to explicate the proper test for Second Amendment challenges, due to conflicts in the lower courts, and nullification of the Second Amendment in some courts.
U.S. Senate Judiciary Committee. Dec. 6, 2017. Written testimony on: Bill to ban bump stocks and some gunsmithing. S 1916; Fix NICS Act, S. 2135; Bill to allow indefinite delays in background checks, S. 1923; interstate carry reciprocity, S. 446. Video of testimony (Kopel starts at 2:31:28). Written responses to Questions for the Record for Sen. Grassley.