Posts Tagged ‘Dave Kopel’

NRA Endorsements: Single issue organization fallacy

October 12, 2010

The National Rifle Association recently released it’s political endorsements for the upcoming elections. There is an excellent discussion about this HERE. Be sure to read through the comments as they are a bot more than enlightening. I had planned on an in depth posting on the subject, however Dave Kopel really beat me to it! 🙂

Now, speaking as a Life Member I have one thing to say about the NRA being a “single issue” organization. BOVINE FECES Mister Cox and Mister LaPierre. I seem to remember something about “It’s not about hunting ducks.” Yet, the NRA has an entire division devoted to hunting. Let’s not forget about the various marksmanship  and safety programs that are offered. Single issue? Hardly! Stop the hypocrisy, please!

Then we have the NRA rolling over time and time again; The NRA supported ex post facto law. The NRA has supported so-called “reasonable” restrictions on your Second Amendment rights on so many occasions that I won’t bother with citation.

Now, I happen to like many of the programs noted above, and believe that they are quite valuable resources. Just stop playing the game that, for all appearances, looks to simply be more pandering to high dollar donors. While at the same time going into damage control mode when the membership decides to take you to the wood shed over yet another action that is so clearly against their (the membership’s) wishes. And or dealing in appeasement politics.

Who will truly protect your rights on a national level? Gun Owners of America does. As does the Second Amendment Foundation and the National Association for Gun Rights. There are also regional and state organizations that refuse to kow tow to along the lines of the NRA. Rocky Mountain Gun Owners, and Wyoming Gun Owners come to mind, and there are others out there that I am not familiar with.

Sure, vote freedom first! Just make sure that is actually what you are doing, and support those organizations that truly defend your rights!


May 18, 2010

I do indeed agree with much of what Mr. Kopel says in what follows. However? He leaves much of the story out.

The NRA’s annual members meeting was held last weekend, in Charlotte, North Carolina. Since I’ve been going to these events for the last two decades, I’d like to offer a report on how the Convention has changed over the years, and some thoughts about the NRA’s past and present.

First of all, the annual meeting grown from “large” to “enormous.” This year’s convention drew 72,128 NRA members. It’s now so big that relatively few US cities have convention facilities that can accommodate it. The 2010 meeting was the largest event ever held in the city of Charlotte, and the people of Charlotte were very welcoming, and the facilities were well-run.

The Exhibit Hall, where manufacturers of firearms, hunting gear, and related accessories show off their products to consumers, was a three mile walk, if you went through each row. The shooting industry’s annual trade show (SHOT — Shooting, Hunting and Outdoor Trades) is even bigger, but you have to be a firearms retailer, or otherwise engaged in the firearms business, in order to be able to attend SHOT. So for most persons, the NRA exhibit hall is the best opportunity ever to examine products close up, talk to manufacturer’s representatives, and so on. As has become the norm in recent years, the exhibit hall was so full most of the day Saturday that it was difficult to walk at more than a slow space. (Friday and Sunday were easier.)

Traditionally, the highlight (at least for me) has been the annual members’ banquet on Saturday evening. Last year in Phoenix, the banquet set the record as “the largest meal ever served in the state of Arizona.” Even then, there were many people who wanted to attend, but could not get tickets. So this year, the banquet was replaced by an evening event at the nearby basketball arena (the Time-Warner Cable Center), which drew 11,754 to hear a Charlie Daniels concert, plus speeches by Glenn Beck and Newt Gingrich, as well as by NRA Executive Vice-President Wayne LaPierre.

A notable addition in recent years is the Friday afternoon “Celebration of American Values” leadership forum. This too took place at the basketball arena. As Jim Geraghty of National Review Online reported, the event now serves as a cattle call for politicians who may have national ambitions.  Speakers this year included Sarah Palin, John Thune, Haley Barbour, and Mike Pence, plus North Carolina Democratic Congressman Heath Shuler. The CAV is a relatively recent addition to the Annual Meeting. Because the Saturday banquet can only accommodate one or two headline speakers, the CAV provides NRA with an additional opportunity to build relationships with leading political figures.

New media were present, with NRA staff twittering the convention for the first time, plus the now-established events for the dozens of “gun bloggers” who attend. The most prominent “new media” at the convention was NRA News, the NRA’s satellite radio program which airs three hours every weekday on Sirius (and, starting today, also on XM) as well as on the Internet. NRA News had a studio on the convention floor, and broadcast nearly round the clock over the weekend. [For NRA News video of the weekend’s speeches, go the NRA News website, and then look in the video archives for May 14 or 15.]

The Continuing Legal Education seminar at the Annual Meeting has been in operation for about a decade and half, a Friday program that provides hundreds of lawyers with eight hours of low-cost CLE, and greatly helps to expand the number of lawyers who have the knowledge to handle firearms cases–whether the case is an administrative law issue for a licensed firearms dealer, or a constitutional defense.

Among the interesting presenters at the CLE was Stephen Halbrook, discussing his draft article for the Northeastern Law Review symposium, in which he commented on this passage in Chicago’s brief (p. 19, n. 9) in McDonald: incorporation “would raise questions whether a weapon generally in common use for lawful purposes in one locale (such as a high-powered hunting rifle with precision sighting equipment popular in rural Illinois) must be allowed elsewhere, precluding a ban on use by Chicago gangs seeking to assassinate rivals.”

Stated another way, Chicago wants the legal option to ban ordinary rifles used for hunting deer and other big game. Rifles which, by the way, are currently owned by Chicago residents, and are lawfully used by them for hunting and target shooting. Chicago’s argument certainly refutes the notion that nobody in the gun control movement wishes to ban hunting long guns.

Throughout the three days of the convention, there are seminars on all kinds of topics, from hunting to self-defense to firearms history. The one I attended was Sniper: Myths and the Media & Winning the Sniping War in Iraq. Major John Plaster gave a very interesting presentation on the sniper war in Iraq from 2004 to 2008, perhaps the most extended sniper conflict in the history of warfare. He explained how the Iraqi insurgents nearly won that conflict in 2005-06, and how the U.S. forces finally turned the tide by changing their tactics, and bringing in substantial additional resources, including forensics teams who could lift fingerprints from recovered insurgent guns.

But the main reason I went was for the other speaker, Stephen Hunter, the Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist from the Washington Post and the Baltimore Sun. Now retired from newspapers, Hunter is a novelist, and in his most recent mystery-adventure novel, I, Sniper, I am a very minor character. It’s the first time I have ever appeared in a novel, so like a Pirandello character in search of his author, I made sure to say hello to him, and get him to sign my book.

In sum, the NRA Annual Meeting showcased an organization that is strong and getting stronger, largely because of its increasing ability to mobilize the grassroots. Twentyfive years ago, if you joined the NRA, you got a monthly magazine, plus direct mail requests for additional donations, and occasional legislative alerts. Now, the NRA is in touch with its members daily (at least the members who want daily updates) via NRA News, the website, e-mails, blogs, and so on. As the Annual Meeting continues to scale up, the organizers are doing a solid job of giving members the opportunity not only to be part of very large crowds, but also to participate in smaller events with one-on-one conversations.

Throughout the meeting, at event after event, the key word was not “rifle” or “gun.” In Charlotte, as at every convention for at least the last ten years, the word was “American.” This is reflected in part in the genuine veneration which the NRA, at all levels, has for the American armed forces. The NRA membership and staff have a high proportion of military veterans, and at any convention event, a call-out to the active duty soldiers typically leads to a standing ovation.

But more broadly, the NRA considers itself the embodiment of American patriotism, as the direct descendant of Washington, Jefferson, and Madison. This isn’t a point about constitutional originalism, but it is a point about four million people who have never thought that it was uncool to be patriotic, and who very much see themselves as carrying forward the sacred flame of liberty that was lit in 1776, was fought for on the beaches at Normandy and Guadalcanal, and which is based on eternal truth.

Like any social and political movement, the NRA at times defines itself as oppositional–as resisting “the anti-gun mainstream media,” or Bill Clinton, or Michael Bloomberg. But the National Rifle Association of America is incapable of being oppositional to America itself, or of imagining itself to be countercultural. Founded in 1871 by Union army officers, and led in its early days by bipartisan Union Generals (such as retired U.S. President U.S. Grant, a Republican; and Winfield Scott Hancock, “the hero of Gettysburg” and the 1884 Democratic presidential nominee), the NRA has always defined itself as the mainstream of America. Probably the only civic organization whose membership has included more U.S. Presidents than the NRA is the Boy Scouts–and that’s because the Boy Scouts make every U.S. President into their honorary President. In short, Whig history is alive and well at the NRA, and based on the present and past successes of NRA in shaping American culture as a gun culture, that view of history cannot be said to be inaccurate.


And what of the NRA’s stance supporting ex post facto law? Just to name one utter failure…

What’s that Smell?

December 23, 2009

Dave Kopel’s latest newsletter (see the link on the blog roll) unloads yet again with logic and reason. Bits and snips, with links below.

To subscribe to this free e-mail newsletter, please send a request to:

Aiming for Liberty

David Kopel
Merril Press
December 4, 2009

Videocast on Aiming for Liberty

Dave Kopel with Jon Caldara
Independent Thinking, KBPI 12, Denver
November 27, 2009

Dave and Independence Institute President and program host Jon Caldara discuss his new book on this KBPI television broadcast, now available on YouTube. Part 1 is here:, Part 2, here: and Part 3, here: The playlist with all three is here:

New Law Review Articles by Kopel

The Right to Arms in the Living Constitution

David B. Kopel
Cardozo Law Review de Novo, Forthcoming; U. Denver Legal Studies Research Paper No. 09-34
December 17, 2009

“This Article presents a brief history of the Second Amendment as part of the living Constitution. From the Early Republic through the present, the American public has always understood the Second Amendment as guaranteeing a right to own firearms for self-defense. That view has been in accordance with ďż˝lite legal opinion, except for a period in part of the twentieth century.”

The Keystone of the Second Amendment: Quakers, the Pennsylvania Constitution, and the Questionable Scholarship of Nathan Kozuskanich

David B. Kopel with Clayton E. Cramer
Widener Law Journal, Vol. 19, 2010, forthcoming
December 19, 2009

Kopel and Cramer examine the historical underpinnings of historian Nathan Kozuskanich’s claim that the right to arms in the 1776 Pennsylvania constitution only guaranteed a right to serve in the commonwealth’s militia.

Kopel on the Health Bill

Health Bill and Gun Ownership

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
November 24, 2009

Dave responds to a putative rebutal of his concerns that the Government’s expanded role in health care may lead to ‘wellness programs’ that preclude firearms ownership.

Is the Senate health plan anti-gun?

Susan Ferrechio
The Washington Examiner
November 24, 2009

Ferrechio’s article includes Dave’s concern that a government putting itself in charge of people’s health may decides that habits such as firearms ownership are prohibitively expensive.

What’s that Smell?

Dave Kopel
America’s 1st Freedom
December, 2009

“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.”

Missouri Court Upholds Statute Against Gun Possession While Intoxicated

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
November 20, 2009

“In the 1979 case People v. Garcia, the Supreme Court of Colorado dealt with a similar statute. The ruled that the statute only applied to ‘actual or physical control.’ So if a person is drunk in his living room, and owns a gun which is stored in his downstairs closet, the statute would not apply. The Missouri decision is consistent with the Colorado standard, since Richard actually was possessing the handgun.”

Bloggingheads TV on Moses as the essential American hero

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
November 10, 2009

Dave here agrees with Bruce Feiler’s argument, in an interview on Robert Wright’s BloggingHeadsTV, that Moses is a figure of great interest as an exemplar to some of America’s most influential leaders.

United States v. Skoien

United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
November 18, 2009
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

The decision refers to Dave’s work on Heller on p.7, note 2.

Another Good Night for the Second Amendment

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
November 4, 2009

“In sum: A bad night for advocates of gun show restrictions. Another fine night (as were election nights 2006 and 2008) for Democrats with A ratings from NRA. And good news for Second Amendment advocates in blue New Jersey and purple Virginia.”

Will the Arms Trade Treaty Provide Effective Embargos on Human Rights Violators?

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
November 2, 2009

“Thus, the ATT might, at most, lead to more nominal embargos of arms; but nothing in an ATT can have greater force in international law than a Security Council order already does. Accordingly, the ATT will be of little or no use in achieving its purported objective. To the contrary, the ATT may be positively harmful, since it will probably declare a ‘right’ of governments to acquire arms. This ‘right’ could be used to claim that arms embargos outside the ATT system (e.g., unilateral embargos by the US, or the EU) are violations of international law.”

The Most Important Right to Arms Vote of 2009

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
November 4, 2009

“Repeal of the Canadian registry would, accordingly, be of tremendous global significance. Repeal would also shatter the claim by the Canadian gun prohibition lobby that gun control in Canada is an irreversible ratchet.”

Kopel on McDonald v. Chicago

The Kopel Amicus Brief

Brief Summary of the Kopel Brief

David B. Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
November 23, 2009

Here is a brief summary of the complete amicus brief, linked below, that Dave has written for the case of McDonald v. Chicago

Amicus Brief in McDonald v. Chicago: On Behalf of the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, Et Al.

David B. Kopel
Independence Institute; Denver University, Sturm College of Law
November 22, 2009

Here is a link to the full text of Dave’s brief on this important post-Heller case.

McDonald v. Chicago

Dave Kopel with Jon Caldara
Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Podcast
December 1, 2009

Kopel and Caldara discuss Dave’s completed amicus brief and the importance of this case.

JoshCasts: Interview with Dave Kopel on McDonald v. Chicago

Dave Kopel with Josh Blackman
Josh Blackman’s Blog
November 23, 2009

Here’s a podcast in which Law Clerk and Blogger-Tweeter Josh Blackman interviews Dave about the McDonald v. Chicago brief.

Dave’s Blogging on the Other Briefs in McDonald v. Chicago

Congressional brief in McDonald v. Chicago

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
November 23, 2009

Here is Dave’s reaction to the Congressional brief filed in the McDonald case. “Counsel of Record is former Solicitor General Paul D. Clement. Much of the brief recapitulates the lengthy historical record of congressional action (including but not limited to Reconstruction) to protect the individual right to arms from federal or state infringement.”

Academics for the Second Amendment brief in McDonald

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
November 23, 2009

“Well before Reconstruction, the Second Amendment was considered to be mainly a guarantee of a right to own and carry guns for personal protection. Back in 1998, I wrote a hundred-page article, The Second Amendment in the Nineteenth Century, 1998 BYU Law Review 1359, which focused mainly on cases and treatises. Olson/Hardy/Cramer have gone further, and brought forward extensive evidence about the understanding of the public and of elected public officials.”

McDonald amicus: Don’t trust Fairman and Berger

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
November 23, 2009

“Erik S. Jaffe has written a very interesting brief for the CalGuns Foundation. In short, the argument is: ‘Charles Fairman’s and Raoul Berger’s Work on Fourteenth Amendment Incorporation of the Bill of Rights Is Deeply Flawed, Inaccurate, and Should Not Be Relied Upon by this Court.’ ”

Cato brief in McDonald v. Chicago

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
November 23, 2009

“An outstanding brief, as one might expect. The bulk of the brief (21 pages, comprising Part I) shows that from the Founding Era into through the framing of the Fourteenth Amendment, national citizenship was paramount to state citizenship. Part II briefly argues that Slaughterhouse violated canons of constitutional construction such as by interpreting the Privileges or Immunities Clause to make it nothing more than a reiteration of the Supremacy Clause.”

Institute for Justice brief in McDonald v. Chicago

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
November 23, 2009

“The most important part of the brief is Part III, which begins: ‘To enslave a class of people requires three basic things: destroy their self-sufficiency, prevent them from fighting back, and silence any opposition.’ The brief then goes on to argue that the the Court should resist suggestions that it hold that the Privileges or Immunities clause makes the first eight amendments applicable against the states, but does nothing else.”

McDonald amicus briefs: Academics, Congress Redux, and California District Attorneys

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
November 25, 2009

“The new Kates-Ayers brief begins with a survey of the 17th-18th century philosophical view, with which the American Founders agreed, that self-defense was among the most fundamental of all rights, that it was also a duty, and that the right necessarily implied the right to use arms in self-defense.”

Privileges or Immunities Extravaganza

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
December 21, 2009

“The Question Presented by the Court asked if the bans should be considered unconstitutional under the Fourteenth Amendment’s Due Process clause, or under the Privileges or Immunities clause. There’s been plenty of interesting scholarship recently on Privileges or Immunities. Here’s a guide to some of the most important articles.”

More of Dave’s Podcasts on the Case

Interview with Alan Gura

Dave Kopel with Alan Gura
Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Podcast
December 7, 2009

Here is Dave’s lengthy (50 minutes) interview with Alan Gura, the lead attorney in the Heller case, now involved in McDonald v. Chicago.

McDonald v. Chicago: Is the 2nd Amendment Incorporated in the 14th Amendment? An Explanation of the Basic Constitutional Issues in the Case.

Dave Kopel with Jon Caldara
Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Podcast
December 7, 2009

Dave and Jon Caldara discuss Dave’s early work on his amicus brief, and the issues and precedents at stake in McDonald v. Chicago.

Stephen Halbrook Christmas Special.

Dave Kopel with Stephen Halbrook
Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Podcast
December 17, 2009

Kopel interviews Stephen Halbrook, the leading legal defender of the Second Amendment over the last three decades. 53 minutes.

More available at the sidebar link!

More on obamacare: Yes Santa, it is gun control

November 29, 2009

Better minds than mine could rest aside assurances that the United States Senate would never, ever, use the power of government to deprive people of their rights. It would not be difficult in the least to do so either. But? Will they? Based upon the records of people such as Barbara Boxer, Charles Schumer, Frank Lautenberg, and of course Nancy Pelosi I simply cannot believe that.

Nor can I agree with Dave Kopel about Harry Reid. The only thing that I can truly say about the lot of them is that Tar & Feathering would be too good after all the damage that they, collectedly, have done to this nation.

Read about this HERE.

OSHA CZAR: Yet another liberty hater

November 1, 2009

OSHA Czar David Michaels rabid anti liberty ideology makes him yet another perfect fit in the current administrations war on America. David Kopel explains just how dangerous this political animal is to your personal safety. Not to mention your liberty and freedom.

Read about that HERE.

What is it with team obama? Is there an end point to the collective hate that permeates this group? We are being assaulted from all sides. I guess that means that we can swing our swords in any direction because the enemy, is everywhere.

Independence Institute: Newsletter

September 18, 2009

From the bastion of freedom and free markets in Golden, Colorado!

Save The Date: Can you believe it, the Independence Institute turns 25 years young this year!! So save the date and book your seats now for our 25th Annual Founders’ Night Dinner with keynote speaker P.J. O’Rourke…it’s going to be huge! That’s Thursday, November 19th at the Infinity Park International Ballroom in Glendale, CO. Details and RSVP info here. Or you can call Mary at (303) 279-6536, or email her at Hurry, this event is filling up fast.

He’s Not My Doctor! Remember those anti-Bush bumper stickers that read, “He’s not my President”? Well, I am pleased to announce that we at the Independence Institute recently debuted our new awesomely awesome “He’s Not My Doctor” bumper stickers. If you’d like to show the world that Obama is not your doctor, email Mary MacFarlane at and send her your name, address, and primary email account, and we’ll send you a brand spanking new bumper sticker – free of charge! PS – Due to the overwhelming demand, please limit your requests to just 2 per household. Thanks!

Free Our Health Care: Our brilliant Health Care Policy Center director Linda Gorman alerted me to a couple great health care links. First, we have the Free Our Health Care Now online petition, that some 732,000-plus people have already signed. Let’s help spread the word to our elected officials that we do not want a government takeover of our health care. As much as some may want to see doctor’s offices resembling the DMV, I prefer that didn’t happen.

Second, we’ve got the Conservatives for Patient’s Rights website, which has a large amount of important links and resources.

And of course don’t forget our Patient Power Now blog, written mostly by health care policy analyst Brian Schwartz, with special guest appearances by Linda Gorman herself. Be sure to check out the John Goodman Health Policy Blog, where Linda is a featured writer.

Must Hear Podcast: Over at Jon Caldara sits down with Dave Kopel to discuss free speechand some of the historical limiters to speech, leading all the way to McCain-Feingold of present day. There is a new challenge to McCain-Feingold headed to the courts. How does Dave think it will turn out? Give a listen here.

Must See TV: Want to know who’s up and who’s down in Colorado’s political races? How about the ongoing efforts to close a state budget gap? Denver Post reporter Lynn Bartels and Tim Hoover join host Jon Caldara for an end of summer wrap up of state polics and the budget debate. Tune in this Friday night at 8:30 pm to KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Monday afternoon at 1:30 p.m..

Perspective: Ben DeGrow from the Education Policy Center thinks northeast Denver’s demand for more schools deserves some outside the box solutions. Check out his latest, “Stapleton School Shortage Needs Creative Thinking.”

Until next week…

Straight on

Jon Caldara

I2I newsletter

August 27, 2009

Jon Caldara at the Independence Institute brings us this newsletter. Commie’s cry, go ahead, it’s alright to whine…

Benefits of the H1N1 “swine” flu scare – Dave Kopel is wearing one of those surgical masks around the office.  The women here are saying the place never looked better.

He’s Not My Doctor! Remember those anti-Bush bumper stickers that read, “He’s not my President”? Well, I am pleased to announce that we at the Independence Institute recently debuted our new awesomely awesome “He’s Not My Doctor” bumper stickers. If you’d like to show the world that Obama is not your doctor, email Mary MacFarlane at and send her your name, address, and primary email account, and we’ll send you a brand spanking new bumper sticker – free of charge! PS – Due to the overwhelming demand, please limit your requests to just 2 per household. Thanks!

Free our health care: Our brilliant Health Care Policy Center director Linda Gorman alerted me to a couple great health care links. First, we have the Free Our Health Care Now online petition, that some 732,000-plus people have already signed. Let’s help spread the word to our elected officials that we do not want a government takeover of our health care. As much as some may want to see doctor’s offices resembling the DMV, I prefer that didn’t happen.

Second, we’ve got the Conservatives for Patient’s Rights website, which has a large amount of important links and resources.

And of course don’t forget our Patient Power Now blog, written mostly by health care policy analyst Brian Schwartz, with special guest appearances by Linda Gorman herself. Be sure to check out the John Goodman Health Policy Blog, where Linda is a featured writer.

Does Obama care violate the constitution? That’s the question posed by Independence Institute Senior Fellow and constitutional law expert Rob Natelson (and the answer appears to be a big, fat yes). Guest blogging over at The Cauldron, Rob lays out what he calls “profound” constitutional difficulties with “empowering the federal government with decisions over the life, death, and health of three hundred million Americans.”

Not only does Rob find constitutional issues with a federal takeover of health care from an “Originalist” perspective but also points out several glaring issues in the context of modern Supreme Court jurisprudence.

Meet the “Second most hated woman in America” (or so says Sean Hannity): Come to our personal legislative briefing with Minnessota Republican Congresswoman Michele Bachmann. Join us for an update on all the latest national issues — health care, cap and trade, stimulus and more — on Monday, August 31. RSVP online here.

Sexism run amok: Can you believe September 9th will be our 10th Independent Women’s Lunch?! I can’t believe I’ve let the women have this much fun without us. This time the keynote speaker is Lisa Schomp, CEO/President of Ralph Schomp Automotive. RSVP required!

Light rail losing its luster with the media? I recently saw a pig fly by my window and I think it had something to do with this Denver Post piece by editorial board member Chuck Plunkett. In an op-ed titled “Prius effect: Energy efficient cars undercut the appeal of light rail,” Chuck cites, and even agrees with some of the work of the Independence Institute’s own Randal O’Toole from the Center for the American Dream.

Money quote from the piece, “Light rail–useful from the gritty aired 1970s to not so long ago, when cars drank gasoline like frat boys drink beer–is now obsolete, and a transportation option that our environment can no longer afford.”

R.I.P. Rose Friedman: The wife of one of the greatest economists the world has ever known died last Tuesday of heart failure. Rose Friedman, who happens to be a damn good economist in her own right, was believed to have been 98 years young. I’ll never forget the day that I met both Rose and Milton Friedman. I was walking into an elevator as they were walking out. The elevator doors opened and I couldn’t help but blurt out, “Has anyone ever told you that you guys look just like Rose and Milton Friedman?!” To which they replied, “Well, that’s because we are!” And so we went an ate breakfast together. It was one of the best experiences of my life. I mean, it’s on the same level for me as getting to hang out Pete Townshend. It doesn’t get much better than that. Rest in peace, Rose, you and Milton will truly be missed.

In honor of both Rose and Milton, I urge you to watch the series Free to Choose, available in its entirety here.

Must See TV: What’s the state of property rights in Boulder County? Land use attorney Bob Hoban and Gary Zimmermand of the No Trail Alliance join guest host Jessica Corry on Independent Thinking to discuss the taking of private property in Boulder County to build a nature trail. Tune in this Friday night at 8:30 pm to KBDI Channel 12; repeated the following Tuesday evening at 5 p.m.

Perspective: Ex-Independence Institute mintern (minion/intern) Todd Hollenbeck reminds us all of the desperate and shrill tactics opponents of TABOR used to try and scare Colorado voters into saying no to TABOR in 1992. You will probably be hearing some of the same half-truths and outright lies about TABOR soon enough, so check out Todd’s piece, “Your tax dollars: Will they say anything to get them?”

Until next week…

Straight on

Jon Caldara

Second Amendment Newsletter: Dave Kopel

June 6, 2009

Kopel Newsletter []
Sent: 6/5/2009 3:44:53 PM

Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Newsletter

June 5, 2009
Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Project is based at the Independence Institute,
a free-market think tank in Golden, Colorado.

The Independence Institute publishes several newsletters on other topics, plus a weekly newsletter containing our most recent op-eds and news of our activities. E-mail subscription to any of these newsletters is free.

Delivery of this newsletter comes courtesy of the Second Amendment Foundation, in Bellevue, Washington.
This email was sent to

Please visit Dave Kopel’s website, containing articles on the Second Amendment and other freedom topics.

To subscribe to this free e-mail newsletter, please send a request to:

Table of Contents

  1. New by Kopel: Sotomayor; Nordyke v. King; No on Koh; Still More No on Koh; ‘Assault Weapons’ Ban; 10th Circuit on Firearms; Judge Wilkinson’s Errors on Heller; Journal on Firearms & Public Policy; Necessary and Proper Clause; Podcasts on Sotomayor; Nordyke, the Iliad; Chicago 7th Circuit Decision; Montana Firearms Freedom; Dave Debates Ken Gordon on TV on Nullifying the Electoral College
  2. Important Announcements! Alcohol, Tobacco, AND Firearms! Freedom Underground Symposium: Firing the Nanny (State), And… Dr. Rice Launches Web Page, Millions Affected! Or maybe just him…
  3. International: Koh wants to Ban International Firearms Trade; Canadian Gun Permit Prurience; Red Chinese Have Gun Problem; Germany Passes New Restrictions; Irish will have More Legal Guns; Mexican Border Sweeps Not Finding Guns; Tancredo weighs in on ‘90%’; UK Golfers Arrested for Taking Swings at Attackers
  4. Public Opinion, Culture & Media: The NRA Convention in Phoenix; Christian Science Monitors RKBA Bloggers; Gallup Finds Low Gun-Ban Support; AHSA ‘Rethinks’ RKBA Positions; Obama disappoints Brady Campaign; Failed War on Drugs leads to War on Guns; Philadelphia Gun Shop Protest Criminals; Anti-RKBA Former Surgeon General Indicted; LaPierre debates Rendell on CBS; ABC’s Laughable ‘Mass Shooting’ Simulation; Gun Group Hindered on Pennsylvania Campus? Barone on Elites vs. People on Guns and Climate; More on Gun-Free Zones
  5. Federal: Interior Department on Guns in National Parks; Democrats Giving Up Anti-RKBA; Obama Spares Tiahrt Amendment; New Bill on VA ‘No Gun’ List; RKBA Restoration for Minor Convictions; ‘Gun Show Loophole’ Re-Re-Redux; Tell the USAF about Your Guns
  6. States: Pro-Gun California City Attorney; D.C. having to cope with Legal Guns; Montana ‘Castles’; From Brady to NYC D.A?; OK allows trans-state Purchase; Texas Cracks Down (More) on Illegal Gun Trade; The NY Nunchaku Case
  7. Courts: RKBA Supporters Scared of Sotomayor; Gun Goes Off, +10 Years; SAF Sues California Sheriffs; No Guns on Colorado Campus; NRA vs. Chicago; Massachusetts Court Calls Banned Gun Possession ‘A Victimless Crime’; NJ Gun Rationing; NRA Sues Pittsburgh over ‘Report Stolen’ Law
  8. Research: VPC’s Figures Tell Pro-RKBA Tale; Brady Campaign Won’t Correct Article’s Outright Errors

New by Kopel


Sonia Sotomayor versus the Second Amendment

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
May 26, 2009

Judge Sotomayor’s record suggests hostility, rather than empathy, for the tens of millions of Americans who exercise their right to keep and bear arms.

Sotomayor vs. the Second Amendment, Part II

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
June 2, 2009

The opinion in Maloney v. Cuomo is not a good example of intellectual rigor. When a judge treats a constitutional right as non-fundamental—yet cites no legal authority, and does not even acknowledge that the issue has been raised on appeal—it raises the possibility that the judge may be hostile to that right. There is a dedicated entry on the Maloney case below.

Highly Dubious Claim against Sotomayor

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
May 26, 2009

The blog article which created this item has a small tag on the article which says “satire.”

Should Repubs. Fight Sotomayor? Left Bloggers say No; Righties Split

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
May 27, 2009

“I voted ‘Yes,’ and wrote: ‘The Democrats who tried to block Roberts and Alito appear to have suffered no adverse consequences. [And, I should have added, neither did the Dems. who filibustered Miguel Estrada, who, like Sotomayor, is a Hispanic with an impressive life story.] Sotomayor is on the wrong side of fairness, empathy, the Constitution and the American people in regards to firearms ownership (Maloney v. Cuomo; United States v. Sanchez-Villar); wealthy people using the government’s eminent domain power to extort money from small business (Didden v. Village of Port Chester); and a racial spoils system for government employees (Ricci v. DeStefano).’ ”

Sonia Sotomayor

Dave Kopel with Amy Oliver
The Amy Oliver Show on KFKA Radio
May 27, 2009

Dave and Amy talk about President Obama’s first, controversial, nomination of a judge to serve upon the Supreme Court of the United States.

National Parks

Respecting States’ Wishes

David B. Kopel
Room for Debate, a Blog of the New York Time
May 22, 2009

One of eight voices split on either side of the issue, Dave argues that state law will now regulate the practice of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the national parks, rather than national fiat.

Guns in Parks: The Hoplophobes’ Travel Guide to the United States

David Kopel
The New Ledger
May 29, 2009

Dave provides here a retrospective examination of the entire discussion on the New York Times blog, including analysis of the readers’ comments posted afterward. He then provides a helpful series of itineraries for those so affected by hoplophobia, the irrational fear of weapons, that they cannot transit entire areas in which legally-carried firearms might be present.

Nordyke vs. King

The State of Heller

Dave Kopel
America’s 1st Freedom
June, 2009
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

Dave here examines the 9th Circuit’s Nordyke decision, which held that the Second Amendment is enforceable against state and local government.

9th Circuit’s Ruling Applies 2nd Amendment to States

Dave Kopel
Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Podcast
April 20, 2009

Dave explains Nordyke v. King, in which the Ninth Circuit held that the 2nd Amendment is incorporated by the 14th.

Other Topics

The No on Koh Letter

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
May 20, 2009

Dean Koh is an excellent writer and an impressive scholar. But his legal vision is for a substantial diminution of the sovereignty of the American people, and as Legal Advisor to the State Department, he would have tremendous power to advance that vision. As Dean Koh has explained, his writings on transnationalism are not merely descriptive; they are also a strategy for activists. Of course Dean Koh has the right to advocate as sees fit. The Constitution, however, requires that major presidential appointees must earn the Advice and Consent of the United States Senate. The Senate’s duty to be especially careful on Advice and Consent would seem to be at its apex when an appointee’s record shows a long-standing determination to weaken the existing constitutional sovereignty of the United States of America.

Koh, No!

David Kopel
America’s 1st Freedom
July, 2009

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.

The Pieces Fall into Place

Dave Kopel
America’s 1st Freedom
May, 2009

With Gil Kerlikowske, President Obama continues the trend of appointing anti-gun activists to important positions in his administration.

The Second Amendment in the Tenth Circuit: Three Decades of (Mostly) Harmless Error

David B. Kopel
Denver University Law Review
Vol. 86, 901, 2009
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

Here is the final text of Dave’s article in the Denver University Law Review’s annual survey of the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals.

Unraveling Judicial Restraint: Guns, Abortion, and the Faux Conservatism of J. Harvie Wilkinson, III

David B. Kopel with Nelson Lund
The Virginia Journal of Law and Politics

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. Here is the updated, near-final version.

Journal on Firearms and Public Policy

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
May 20, 2009

The Journal on Firearms & Public Policy, published by the Second Amendment Foundation, is an annual interdisciplinary journal. It publishes a mix of original articles, and reprints of important articles published elsewhere. Among the the authors of original articles who may be best-known to newsletter subscribers are Gary Kleck, James Jacobs, Roy Wortman, Gary Mauser, Clayton Cramer, Andrew McClurg, and David Beito. I am happy to announce that 14 of the 20 volumes are now available on-line, with most of the remainder coming soon. The URL for the Journal’s archive is here:

The Necessary and Proper Clause: An Explanation

Dave Kopel with Rob Natelson
Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Podcast
May 14, 2009

Dave interviews University of Montana law professor Rob Natelson about the proper interpretation of the clause.

7th Circuit Court of Appeals Handgun Ruling

Dave Kopel with Jon Caldara
Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Podcast
June 4, 2009

In an interview with Jon Caldara, Dave explains the new decision in NRA v. Chicago.

The Montana Firearms Freedom Act

Dave Kopel with Amy Oliver
Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Podcast/KFKA Radio
June 4, 2009

Dave 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.

Should Colorado Join the Interstate Compact which Attempts to turn the Electoral College into a National Popular Vote?

Dave Kopel with Ken Gordon
Independent Thinking
April 10, 2009

Dave Kopel and former State Senator Ken Gordon debate the issue on KBDI Public Television’s Independent Thinking. Kopel argues that the Electoral College is superior, and that, in any case, the compact is unconstitutional. Part 2 is here:; Part 3 is here:

Important New Translation of Homer’s Iliad

Dave Kopel with E. Christian Kopff
Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Podcast
May 29, 2009

Homer’s masterpiece has been around since 800 BC, and adored ever since. Professor E. Christian Kopff of CU-Boulder recently wrote the introduction to the new translation of the Iliad; Dave interviews him about why this new version is important.

Important Announcements!

The Independence Institute’s 7th Annual Alcohol, Tobacco & and Firearms Party

Press Release
The Independence Institute
June 20, 2009

This annual event, in which all three of the above shall be indulged in proper sequence, features as a guest speaker Sam Wurzelbacher, AKA “Joe the Plumber.” Tickets sell QUICKLY.

Freedom Underground Symposium

Press Release
The Independence Institute
June 19, 2009

Dave and other regional and national thinkers shall discuss ways to resist Nannyism and the Nannyist state at the Warwick Hotel in Denver. The page contains registration costs and information.

Dr. Rice Announces Author’s Web Site!

Rob S. Rice
Informational Web Page
May 3, 2009

At last, the strange, sinister figure in between Dave and this newsletter sidles out from the shadows with an official author’s web site, as suggested long ago by… Dave! Upon this opaque sheet of photons shall you find samples of Dr. Rice’s historical prose, Dr. Rice’s hysterical comedic prose, his non-prose, his outright fabrications, and… one… song… Survivors will also find contact information, guides as to where to purchase Dr. Rice’s codified creativity, and with him explore the limits of good taste and self promulgation!


Koh’s Goal for the Legal Trade in Arms: Ban It

Theodore Bromund
The Heritage Foundation
May 11, 2009

“Harold Koh, the nominee for Legal Adviser to the State Department, supports ‘the global regulation of small arms’ and a ‘global gun control regime.’ And he believes it is ‘needlessly provocative’ for any U.S. representative to refer to the right to bear arms when speaking to a foreign audience: the very mention of the Second Amendment, apparently, is offensive. ”


Want a Gun Permit? Tell us About Your Sex Life

George Jonas
National Post (Canada)
April 15, 2009

“Before renewing his gun permit in 2007, the authorities decided to inquire into Lemieux’s bedroom history. Did he divorce anyone in the last two years? Did he break up with a girlfriend? If yes, use a separate sheet to explain.”


Staring Down the Barrel: the Rise of Guns in China

James T. Areddy
The Wall Street Journal
October 14, 2008

“China may be freer from gun crime than many nations, and official statistics show overall crime on a continuous down trend. Yet, these days, reports about gun crimes turn up as often as several times a week even in the tightly controlled state-run media.”


Germany Moves to Tighten Laws over Gun Control

Associated Press
May 28, 2009

“Germany’s cabinet approved legislation that would tighten gun restrictions, two months after a teenager shot and killed 12 people. The law, which requires parliamentary approval, would mean stricter checks on weapons owners and a higher age limit for users of large-caliber weapons.”


Handgun culture increasing in the State, says Deasy

Michael O’Regan
May 29, 2009

“Current licensing laws could mean 10,000 legally held handguns in the State over the next five years, John Deasy (FG) told the Dáil. ‘I believe society does not want that,’ he added.”


Southbound Checks at Border Yield Few Guns

Associated Press
May 17, 2009

“The findings? Wads of U.S. currency headed for Mexico, wedged into car doors, stuffed under mattresses, taped onto torsos, were sniffed out by dogs, seized by agents and locked away for possible investigations. No guns were found as the reporters watched; they rarely are.”

Why the Lies About Guns Going to Mexico?

Rep. Tom Tancredo
Human Events
April 30, 2009

“Mexico needs to face its own demons, beginning with the corruption within its law enforcement agencies and at its ports of entry. The U.S. can help in many ways, such as enhancing our own border security. But adding more restrictions on the ownership of guns by law-abiding Americans will not help Mexico.”

United Kingdom

Golfers Arrested after Fighting off Gang Attempting to Steal Clubs

The Telegraph (UK)
May 12, 2009

“A group of golfers have been arrested on assault charges after allegedly fighting off a gang who attempted to steal their clubs.”

Public Opinion, Culture, & Media

Facts from the NRA Convention

“Bitter Bitch”
Bitchin’ in the Kitchen: Food, Politics, and Comfort Food for the Soul
May 19, 2009

A blogger present reports some interesting and encouraging statistics from the NRA Convention held this May in Phoenix, Arizona.

Before Recent Shootings, Gun-Control Support was Fading

Lydia Saad
Gallup, Inc.
April 8, 2009

In this curiously worded and framed article, Ms. Saad expresses frequent surprise that in the light of shootings of the defenseless by the armed, American support for a ban on legal firearms is at an all-time low.

A Rifle in One Hand, a Laptop in the Other. Behind the Scene with Pro-gun Bloggers

Patrik Jonsson
The Christian Science Monitor
May 16, 2009

An even-handed survey of the presence, role, and effectiveness of the bloggers present at the NRA convention in Phoenix, with some interesting analysis.

The Myth of 90 Percent: Only a Small Fraction of Guns in Mexico Come from U.S.

Jacob Sullam
April 22, 2009

“The futile effort to stop Americans from consuming politically incorrect intoxicants is the real source of the violence in Mexico, since prohibition creates a market with artificially high prices and hands it over to criminals. ‘Because of the enormous profit potential,’ two senior federal law enforcement officials told the Senate Judiciary Committee last month, ‘violence has always been associated with the Mexican drug trade as criminal syndicates seek to control this lucrative endeavor.'”

Brady Campaign Rhetoric Then and Now: What a difference Six Months Makes

Kurt Hoffman
The St. Louis Examiner
May 21, 2009

What the Brady Campaign hoped to obtain from the Obama Administration and the Democrat-controlled Congress and what it has received so far are very different things.

AHSA 2.0: A New Beginning?

‘Dreams of Our Trailers’ Blog
May 24, 2009

The American Hunters and Shooters Association, a group generally considered to be a means of dividing pro-RKBA sportsmen, has announced that it is revising irs previous support for an ‘Assault Weapons’ ban and other legislation popularly considered antithetical to civilian firearms ownership.

Mennonite Preacher among those Arrested in Phila Gunshop Protests

Ken Ellingwood and Tracy Wilkinson
Pocono Record
May 24, 2009

“‘He purposely outraged people by doing stuff that was not acceptable in order to be able to create a new paradigm,’ Kauffman said. ‘I felt like that’s what I was doing. It’s so obvious we have problem and we have to… challenge the accepted way of doing things.’ ”

Phila. Gun-shop Protesters Acquitted

Vernon Clark
The Philadelphia Inquirer
May 27, 2000

“‘After the verdict, defense attorney Lawrence Krasner said, ‘Justice was done. I hope Mr. Colosimo thinks twice before he continues to do what he has been doing.'” Mr. Colosimo is the owner of the Philadelphia gun shop.

Another Corrupt Anti goes Down

Gun Legislation & Politics in New York Blog

Antonia Novello is a former New York health commissioner and was the U.S. surgeon general from 1990 to 1993. In 2004 she spoke at a rally of the anti-RKBA ‘Million Mom March’ rally. On May 12, 2009, General Novello was charged with twenty counts of fraud and abuse of her office as New York State Health Commissioner.

Heated Debate Over Assault Weapons

CBS Interactive
“Face the Nation” Website
April 19, 2009

“Governor Ed Rendell (D-Penn.) and the executive vice president of the National Rifle Association Wayne LaPierre engaged in a heated debate over the assault weapons ban on this morning’s Face The Nation.”

Debunking ABC’s 20/20 Episode “If I Only Had a Gun”

Rantings of the Last Skysurfer Blog
April 11, 2009

ABC’s laughable ‘demonstration’ that an armed civilian would be helpless against a putative mass-shooter receives here a thorough de-bunking.

Student says CCAC is Trying to Thwart Gun Advocacy Group

Bill Schackner
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette
May 28, 2009

“A Community College of Allegheny County student yesterday publicly accused the school of trying to stop her from organizing a group advocating the right to carry concealed firearms on campus.”

Elites out of Touch on Guns and Climate

Michael Barone
The Detroit News
May 26, 2009

Michael Barone discusses the Gallup poll treated above and cites it as an example of a growing divide between the putative leaders and followers of American political culture.

Gun Free School Zone Follies

David Rittgers
Cato @ Large Blog
May 18, 2009

Two recent examples—intruders at a birthday party and an accosted bicyclist—illustrate the unfortunate requirements of those who defend themselves to be prosecuted due to the location of their means to do so.


Interior Spokeswoman’s Statement on New Firearms Law for Parks and Refuges

Press Release
U.S. Department of the Interior
May 22, 2009

“The Department of the Interior will follow Congress’s directive and implement the new firearms law, which states that its provisions will take effect nine months from today. For the time being, the current Reagan Administration regulations governing possession of firearms in national parks and wildlife refuges remain in place…”

Democrats Hold Fire on Gun Control

Jim DiMascio
May 19, 2009

” ‘The NRA and its allies have succeeded in making the slippery slope argument stick,’ said Al Cross the Institute for Rural Journalism and Community Issues at the University of Kentucky. ‘Any form of gun control is a step in the direction of outlawing guns. People have heard that for so many years, it’s become a very hard thing for Democrats to go against.’ ”

Reaction from Anti-gunners to Obama’s Support for Law Enforcement on Gun Tracing is Telling

Dave Workman
The Seattle Examiner
May 12, 2009

“Because Barack Obama’s 2010 budget request reaffirms a federal statute – the so-called Tiahrt Amendment that protects sensitive gun trace data from the prying eyes of lawsuit-happy mayors and gun control lobby attorneys – gun prohibitionists are wailing and the press can’t even get it right.”

Moran Introduces Veterans Second Amendment Protection Act

Press Release
Rep. Jerry Moran

“Under current VA practice, veterans and other VA beneficiaries who have a fiduciary appointed to act on their behalf are deemed “mentally defective” and are reported to the FBI’s National Instant Criminal Background Check System (NICS), a system which prevents individuals from purchasing firearms. Moran’s legislation would require a judicial authority to determine that a VA beneficiary poses a danger to themselves or others before the VA may send their names to the FBI’s NICS.”

Tupak Re-Introduces Second Amendment Restoration Act

Press Release
Rep. Bart Stupak
April 29, 2009

“U.S. Congressman Bart Stupak (D-Menominee) has introduced legislation to restore the gun rights of individuals convicted of minor, non-violent crimes. H.R. 2153, the Second Amendment Restoration Act, ensures states have the discretion to restore individuals’ gun rights after conviction of minor crimes. The National Rifle Association (NRA) has endorsed the legislation.”

Lautenberg renews Push to Shut Gun Show ‘Loophole’

Jordy Yager
The Hill
April 21, 2009

“Several high-ranking senators led by Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.) on Tuesday relaunched their push to require gun sellers to conduct background checks on purchases of all types of guns at state gun shows.”

Don’t be Gun Shy: Register Your Firearms!

Senior Airman Torri Larson
21st Space Wing Public Affairs
May 6, 2009

“There are many things to do when arriving at a new duty station: find a house, enroll the kids in school and register the car, among others. One duty many Airmen may overlook when residing in on-base housing is to register their privately-owned firearms.



Chuck Michel’s partner elected LA County Attorney

David Hardy
Of Arms and the Law Blog
May 21, 2009

” ‘This is a tremendous victory for the Second Amendment, because Trutanich’s opponent, rabidly anti-gun- owner Los Angeles City Councilmember Jack Weiss, works closely with the gun ban lobby to advance its agenda. Weiss had promised to work with other anti-gun-owner cities and the Obama Administration to pass ill-conceived gun bans and to overturn the Supreme Court’s ruling confirming your Second Amendment rights…’ ”

District of Columbia

Guns are up in D.C., Violence is Down

Don Surber
The Charleston Daily Mail (WV)
May 28, 2009

“With the ban gone, Mayor Adrian Fenty was forced to ask city council to change the law and crack down on illegal gun ownership, said Peter Nickles, attorney general for the district.”


Montana Lawmakers Have it Right with New Statute on Self-defense

Dave Workman
The Seattle Examiner
April 30, 2009

“The new statute squarely puts the law in the hands of the citizens, by plainly stating they have no duty to retreat if attacked in a place where they have a right to be. The law also allows armed citizens to use force or threaten the use of force when he or she reasonably believes an attack is about to occur, or to stop an attack already in progress.”

New York

District Attorney Candidate Unveils Gun Platform

Sewell Chan
The New York Times
May 4, 2009

Richard Aborn is the former president of Handgun Control, Inc., the current Brady Campaign. He is running for Manhattan District Attorney. This story provides details of Aborn’s five-point outline to oppose firearms-related violence in New York City. Aborn’s scheme is replete with measures against civilian firearms ownership.


Governor Signs Gun Legislation

News Channel 8, KTUL Tulsa (OK)
April 21, 2009

“Oklahoma Governor Brad Henry has signed into law a bill that allows Oklahoma hunters and gun collectors to purchase guns in other states without violating the law.”

South Carolina

SC measure asks Voters whether Hunting is a Right

Associated Press
April 21, 2009

“South Carolina voters may be asked whether their right to hunt and fish should be protected by the state constitution. The House voted 106-1 on Tuesday to approve a proposal that would allow voters to decide. The vote easily met the required two-thirds approval needed for a constitutional amendment.”


Gun-smuggling Bill Ready for Perry to Sign: Legislature Passes Measure Aimed at Stopping the Flow of Weapons to Mexican Drug Cartels

Matt Stiles
The Houston Chronicle (TX)
May 22, 2009

“While illegal gun trafficking is already a federal crime, the bill’s authors said they hope the legislation will give state authorities more tools to fight the problem, too.”


Gun Rights Groups are Wary of Sotomayor

Declan McCullagh
CBS News Political Hotsheet
May 27, 2009

“Dave Kopel of the free-market Independence Institute predicts that ‘Judge Sotomayor’s record suggests hostility, rather than empathy, for the tens of millions of Americans who exercise their right to keep and bear arms.’ ”

Sonia Sotomayor on Gun Rights and Racial Preferences

Damon W. Root
Reason Online
May 26, 2009

“As a respected jurist with an impressive legal resume, Sotomayor appears just as qualified to sit on the Supreme Court as any recent nominee. But from the standpoint of individual liberty and limited constitutional government, there are significant reasons to be wary of her nomination.”

Court Upholds 10-Year Penalty for Robber’s Flub

Adam Liptak
The New York Times
April 29, 2009

The Supreme Court ruled that a bank robber who accidentally fired his pistol during a successful robbery must still serve the additional ten year penalty for discharging a firearm in relation to a crime.

SAF, Calguns Challenge Arbitrary Denial of Right to Bear Arms In California

Press Release
The Second Amendment Foundation
May 5, 2009

“In the action filed today, Plaintiffs challenge the policies of two California Sheriffs, in Sacramento and Yolo counties, who reject the basic human right of self defense by refusing to issue ordinary people gun carry permits. Of course, violent criminals in the impacted counties continue to carry guns without police permission.”

SAF Challenges D.C. Handgun Ban Scheme

Press Release
The Second Amendment Foundation
March 9, 2009

“The Second Amendment Foundation and three Washington, D.C. residents today filed a lawsuit challenging a regulation by District of Columbia city government that arbitrarily bans handguns based on a roster of ‘acceptable’ handguns approved by the State of California.”

Judge Dismisses Lawsuit over CU Gun Ban

John C. Ensslin
The Colorado Springs Gazette (CO)
March 27, 2009

“Miller found that the students incorrectly described the regents as a local government affected by the state’s concealed carry law. Rather, the regents are a statewide authority with their legislative powers. He also found nothing in the state constitution that would prohibit the regents from enacting a gun ban on campus.” The student group plans to appeal Miller’s ruling.

Nos. 08-4241, 08-4243 & 08-4244 National Rifle Association of America, Inc., Et Al., v. City of Chicago, Illinois, and Village of Oak Park, Illinois

Judges Frank H. Easterbrook, Judges Richard A. Posner and William J. Bauer
United States Court of Appeals for the 7th Circuit
June 2, 2009
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

A three judge Panel of the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals has affirmed the previous rejection of the NRA’s suits against the city of Chicago and Oak Park on the grounds that the Heller decision is not binding upon the laws of the individual states and municipalities. Supreme Court nominee Judge Sotomayor was among the judges ruling to this effect in the appealed decision. The plaintiffs have announced an intention to appeal to the U.S. Supreme Court.

08-4241 : National Rifle Assoc v. City of Chicago

Public Access to Oral Argument recordings, Opinions, Unpublished Orders, and other Selected Case Materials
Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals
March 13, 2009

Here can be found a recording of the oral arguments in the NRA vs. Chicago case. Case Filings

Mark Taff
The Second Amendment Foundation

The Chicago case filings are online here.

SJC Calls Illegal Gun Possession Victimless

John R. Ellement
The Boston Globe (MA)
May 5, 2009

The Supreme Judicial Court yesterday ruled that illegal gun possession is a ‘passive and victimless crime’ and that those charged with having illicit firearms cannot be held without bail as a danger to society.

NJ Court weighs Jersey City’s Handgun Limits

Victor Epstein
Associated Press
April 27, 2009

“The legal discussion revolved around whether the 2006 ordinance improperly pre-empts existing state gun laws by limiting handgun purchases to one per person each month. At issue is the ability of urban communities such as Newark, Camden and Jersey City to reduce gun-related crime by more closely regulating handgun purchases.” The link between limiting purchases and reducing crime receives no substantiation in the story.

NRA Sues to Overturn Pittsburgh’s Lost, Stolen Gun Law

Jeremy Boren
Pittsburgh Tribune-Review
April 24, 2009

“One of the four plaintiffs, Richard Haid, 60, of Mt. Washington, said the law unfairly punishes law-abiding gun owners… ‘What about the gun I use to shoot tin cans? I haven’t seen it in weeks. It’s locked in a cupboard. Am I supposed to do an inventory every day to see if it’s stolen?’ Haid said.”

Maloney v. Rice: The Nunchaku Case

James M. Maloney
Informational Web Page
April 30, 2009

“The mere possession of nunchaku or ‘chuka sticks’ within one’s own home for peaceful use in martial-arts practice (or for home defense) by a person with no criminal record is classified as a misdemeanor that may carry up to a one-year prison sentence. Possession by a person who ‘has been previously convicted of any crime’ is defined as a felony. Based upon research that I have conducted, it appears that New York and California are the only states in the United States that have ever defined and prosecuted as a crime the simple possession of nunchaku within one’s own home. (Ironically, the nunchaku, which was originally a farm implement, was adapted for use as a weapon by the People of Okinawa after invading oppressive governments disarmed them, making it illegal to possess a sword or spear.)”


Violence Policy Center Proves that More Guns Means Less Violent Crime, Murder

Howard Nemerov
The Austin Examiner
May 20, 2009

“Suicide rates drive the difference between ‘gun death’ in VPC’s ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ gun law states, but since ‘weak’ states also have higher rates of non-gun suicide, VPC must either admit there are other causative factors besides gun availability, or admit that if more guns cause more suicides, then guns also cause less homicide and violent crime. As it stands right now, VPC’s own data proves that more guns in the hands of law-abiding citizens is an effective anti-crime tool.”

Brady Campaign: Biased, Inaccurate Research

Howard Nemerov
The Austin Examiner
April 12, 2009

“In May of 2007, the Brady Center, research arm of the Brady Campaign, published a report entitled No Gun Left Behind: The Gun Lobby’s Campaign to Push Guns Into Colleges and Schools. Though nearly two years have passed, numerous inaccuracies remain which, having persisted this long in a publicly-accessible document, call into question the Brady Campaign’s ability to publish credible reports and/or their capacity for telling the truth.”

This newsletter is compiled with help from Dr. Rob S. Rice. For more on this exsanguinous, yet rubicund individual, see here: E. Christian Kopff was Dr. Rice’s undergraduate advisor. Dave Kopel is Dr. Rice’s current employer. Kopel interviews Kopff! Koincidence?

Al Qaeda delenda est!

Second Amendment Update, and a few other items

February 11, 2009

Dave Kopal is probably the smartest person that I have ever been privileged to meet. Albeit quite briefly. Dave’s newsletter is incredible and I would urge anyone interested in freedom, liberty, and law to subscribe. Here is the latest.

From: Kopel Newsletter []

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Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Newsletter

February 10, 2009
Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Project is based at the Independence Institute,
a free-market think tank in Golden, Colorado.

The Independence Institute publishes several newsletters on other topics, plus a weekly newsletter containing our most recent op-eds and news of our activities. E-mail subscription to any of these newsletters is free.

Delivery of this newsletter comes courtesy of the Second Amendment Foundation, in Bellevue, Washington.
This email was sent to

Please visit Dave Kopel’s website, containing articles on the Second Amendment and other freedom topics.

To subscribe to this free e-mail newsletter, please send a request to:

Table of Contents

  1. New by Kopel: Amicus brief in Oak Park Case; Law Review Articles on the Relationship between Guns and Freedom; Magazine articles and short essays on the new administration, ‘BEWARE THE RAHM!,’ Eric Holder, The Sword & the Tome, the SHOT Show, Kmiec v. Kmiec, IANSA Strikes Again, a new Podcast Series, one on Holder, one on Hillary Clinton, and… Twitter!
  2. Online Video: Satirical ‘Gun Free Zones,’ NRANews video archive
  3. International: Armed Nepalese; Pakistani Self-Defense; Uruguayan Gun Control
  4. Anti-Rights Movement: Obama’s Anti-RKBA Plans Surface; Brady Wish List; Philadelphia Protest; Regulatory Czar Stealth Agenda; Heller’s Lack of Effect; NRA on the Holder Nomination; Another SHOT Forecast
  5. Pro-Rights Movement: Firearms Retailer Defense Fund; Halbrook on Holder; Winnetka Caves in Illinois; Massachusetts Police Chief Charged; Minnesota Concealed Carry
  6. States and Failed States: Colorado Won’t Pre-Empt ‘Safe Storage’ or Castle; DC Busts USMC Amputee; NJ Gun Rationing; New York Loopholes and Legal Horrors
  7. Law: Federal Courts on Chambers and Heller, No OSHA Pre-Emption, SF Housing Authority Caves, National Parks Carry Suit; State Courts on Haney, Gary Suit Back On, Nebraska Locales can’t forbid Concealed Carry
  8. Research: Hardy on ‘Popular Understanding’ and St. George Tucker; The ‘Remainder Problem’ in Gun Control; Lund on Originalist Jurisprudence; Volokh vs. Brady Campaign in Fed. Soc Debate

New by Kopel

Legal Brief

Amicus brief in Chicago and Oak Park Handgun Ban Cases

David B. Kopel, Maureen Martin and James W. Ozog
In the United States Court of Appeals for the Seventh Circuit
February 4, 2009
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

Dave’s brief in the 7th Circuit appeal of the SAF and NRA challenges to the handgun bans in Chicago and Oak Park. The brief is filed on behalf of the Independence Institute, the International Law Enforcement Educators and Trainers Association, The Heartland Institute, Prof. David J. Bordua, Prof. William R. Tonso, and the Law Enforcement Alliance of America. The brief explains the social science evidence showing the public safety benefits of guns in law-abiding hands, and provides data showing the failure of the Chicago handgun ban.

Law Review Articles

The Second Amendment in the Tenth Circuit: Three Decades of (Mostly) Harmless Error

David B. Kopel
Denver University Law Review
Vol. 86, No. 3, 2009, forthcoming

This is Lead article in their annual Tenth Circuit Survey. It provides a detailed analysis of all Second Amendment cases which have been decided by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The article examines the Circuit’s superficial reasoning in its claims that the Second Amendment protects only militiamen, and the Circuit’s refusal even to address important sources of authority which took a different view.

Is There a Relationship between Guns and Freedom? Comparative Results from 59 Nations

David B. Kopel
Texas Review of Law and Politics
Vol. 13, 2009, Forthcoming

The near-final version of this forthcoming article from the Texas Review of Law & Politics is now available on SSRN. Dave wrote the article with Carl Moody and Howard Nemerov. Here’s the abstract: There are 59 nations for which data about per capita gun ownership are available. This Article examines the relationship between gun density and several measures of freedom and prosperity: the Freedom House ratings of political rights and civil liberty, the Transparency International Perceived Corruption Index, the World Bank Purchasing Power Parity ratings, and the Heritage Foundation Index of Economic Freedom. The data suggest that the relationships between gun ownership rates and these other measures are complex. The data show that (although exceptions can be found) the nations with the highest rates of gun ownership tend to have greater political and civil freedom, greater economic freedom and prosperity, and much less corruption than other nations. The relationship only exists for high-ownership countries. Countries with medium rates of gun density generally scored no better or worse than countries with the lowest levels of per capita gun ownership.

Magazine Articles and Short Essays

Gun Control

David B. Kopel
Change in Command Issue 24
January, 2009

Dave here examines how Americans should view the inauguration of President Obama from a 2nd Amendment perspective.


Dave Kopel
America’s First Freedom
January, 2009

“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.”


Dave Kopel
America’s First Freedom
February, 2009

On the heels of naming gun-banner Rahm Emanuel as his Chief of Staff, Barack Obama once again puts the lie to his supposed support of the Second Amendment by selecting former Clintonite and gun-hater Eric Holder as attorney general.

The Sword & the Tome

Dave Kopel
America’s First Freedom
February, 2009
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

With a new presidential administration that is hostile to private firearm ownership now in office, we’ll likely be hearing a renewed torrent of anti-gun rhetoric coming from all directions. As we prepare for these challenges and arguments, it’s a good time to recall some important quotes that provide a long-term perspective.

SHOT Show Report

David Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
January 17, 2009

Retailers, wholesalers, and manufacturers were happy that they had been making lots of money (because of concerns about the administration) but there was also great trepidation about the future.

Kmiec v. Kmiec regarding Heller

Dave Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
January 6, 2009

“It seems odd for a legal scholar to reverse his view of a major constitutional issue so completely and so vehemently in a such a short period of time, especially without an expalanation of how he came to the conclusion that his former view was so utterly mistaken–or without even an acknowledgement that he recently held his former view so firmly that he urged the Supreme Court to adopt it.”

Arms Trade Treaty’s Purpose: Block Arms Sales to Israel

Dave Kopel
The Volokh Conspiracy
January 30, 2009

“A recent statement by the International Action Network on Small Arms, the world’s leading gun prohibition lobby, states that the Arms Trade Treaty, currently being drafted in the United Nations, would prohibit arms sales to Israel and to Hamas.”

New Podcast Series

Attorney General Eric Holder

Dave Kopel
Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Podcast
Jan. 23, 2009

This is the first installment of a new series of weekly podcasts, to be published every Friday. The Feb. 6 topic will the the Seventh Circuit cases on the Chicago handgun ban.

Hillary Clinton

Dave Kopel
Dave Kopel’s Second Amendment Podcast
January 29, 2009

Hillary Clinton will be a strong Secretary of State, but her hostility to civillian ownership of firearms continues unabated.

Ongoing Dave Updates


Dave Kopel

Check in on Dave on Twitter. For the yet-unschooled, “Twitter is a free service that lets you keep in touch with people through the exchange of quick, frequent answers to one simple question: What are you doing?” Dave provides hyperlinks and other data related to his ongoing activities. The service lends itself to small, handheld internet devices.

Online Video

Gun Free Zones

The Half Hour News Hour
YouTube Video
July 16, 2007

A rather funny short from the canceled Fox satirical series about the concept of protecting oneself within the putative safety of a ‘gun free zone.’


Informational Web Site
The National Rifle Association

The NRA has produced weekly professional internet videos on subjects of interest to supporters of the Right to Keep and Bear Arms. This site offers access to the current week’s broadcast and an archive of past video.



All Nepalese should carry weapons, says Maoist Minister

Press Trust Of India
January 11, 2009

“All Nepali citizens should be given the right to carry arms for protecting themselves from ‘colonial powers’, a controversial Maoist Minister said. Gopal Kiranti did not elaborate on the “colonial powers”, but the statement comes a day after media quoted a yet-to-be released Maoist political document as saying that ‘American colonialism is moving ahead through Indian expansionism with the intention of increasing its hegemony in South Asia.’ “


For Middle-Class Pakistanis, a Gun Is a Must-Have Accessory: With Kidnappings and Violence on the Rise, Demand for Weapons Permits Grows

Peter Wonacott
The Wall Street Journal
January 6, 2009

After escaping kidnappers who chained him to a bed for 25 days, Mohammad Javed Afridi pressed Pakistani law enforcement for swift justice. The police offered him something else: temporary permits for four automatic assault rifles.


Discussing an Agenda for Gun Control

Comunidad Segura: Network of Ideas and Practicies in Citizen Security
UN Office for the Coordination of Humanitarian Affairs
January 16, 2009

“Congresswoman Daisy TournÄ°, one of the main champions of gun control in the Uruguayan Parliament is also currently head of the nation’s Ministry of Interior. Since she took office however, progress on the nation’s gun control agenda has been postponed by issues related to violence and insecurity, as well as social demands.”

The Anti-Rights Movement

Urban Policy

Informational Web Page
The White House
January 21, 2009

On this website, posted the day after the inaguration, the Obama/Biden administration lists its objectives in this area: repealing the Tiahrt Amendment, which they claim restricts the ability of local law enforcement to access important gun trace information, and which they say would give police officers across the nation the tools they need to solve gun crimes and fight the illegal arms trade. Obama and Biden also favor ‘commonsense measures’ that respect the Second Amendment rights of gun owners, while keeping guns away from children and from criminals. They support closing the ‘gun show loophole’ and making guns in this country childproof, the term is undefined. They also support making the expired federal Assault Weapons Ban permanent.

Gun Violence in America: Proposals for the Obama Administration

Press Release
Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence
December 28, 2008
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

The Brady Campaign here makes its own case for ‘common sense’ gun laws to the impending Obma Administration. The document treats the need for immediate gun control as part of the President’s health care agenda.

5 Activists Arrested at Gun Shop Protest

Dafney Tales
The Philadelphia Daily News
January 15, 2009

Five activists were arrested by Philadelphia Police after refusing to leave Colosimo’s Gun Center, despite multiple warnings.

Obama ‘Regulatory Czar’ has Secret Animal-Rights Agenda, Says Consumer Group

Press Release
Center for Consumer Freedom
January 15, 2009

“The nonprofit Center for Consumer Freedom said today that Cass Sunstein, the Harvard University Law School professor tapped by President-elect Obama to head the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs, has a secret aim to push a radical animal-rights agenda in the White House. Sunstein supports outlawing sport hunting, giving animals the legal right to file lawsuits, and using government regulations to phase out meat consumption.”

Letter on the Eric Holder Nomination for Attorney General of the United States

Wayne LePierre and Chris W. Cox
The National Rifle Association
January 9, 2009
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

The Executive Vice-President of the NRA and the Executive Director of the NRA’s Institute for Legislative Action wrote an open letter to Senators Patrick Leahy and Arlen Specter on their grave misgivings over President Obama’s nomination of Eric Holder to be the next Attorney General. Holder opposed Heller, declared that the 2nd Amendment is not an individual right, and supported restrictive fierarms control legislation.

The New Second Amendment: A Bark Worse than Its Right

Adam Winkler
The Huffington Post
January 2, 2009

“To date, the lower federal courts have ruled in over 60 different cases on the constitutionality of a wide variety of gun control laws. There have been suits against laws banning possession of firearms by felons, drug addicts, illegal aliens, and individuals convicted of domestic violence misdemeanors. The courts have ruled on the constitutionality of laws prohibiting particular types of weapons, including sawed-off shotguns and machine guns, and specific weapons attachments. Defendants have challenged laws barring guns in school zones and post offices, and laws outlawing “straw” purchases, the carrying of concealed weapons, possession of an unregistered firearm, and particular types of ammunition. The courts have upheld every one of these laws. Since Heller, its Gun Control: 60, Individual Right: 0.” Winkler is a law professor at the UCLA School of Law.

Post-SHOT Recovery

Michael Bane
The Michael Bane Blog
January 25, 2009

Dave made reference to this summary of the firearms scene at the SHOT Show and in the political environment in Washington.

The Pro-Rights Movement

Firearms Retailer Defense Fund Launched

January 13, 2009

“The Firearms Retailer Defense Fund is a new non-profit corporation created to assist independent retailers with legal expenses should they need to defend themselves against industry-altering litigation.”

FRDF: Firearms Retailer Defense Fund, LLC.

Informational Web Page

“The Firearms Retailer Defense Fund (FRDF) has been created to assist firearms retailers should they find themselves involved in litigation filed by politicians, municipalities or anti-gun orgnanizations that scrutinize your business practices. As independent firearms retailers, you need not feel alone in your battle to defend your business and your rights to keep and bear arms.”

Halbrook to Testify in Hearings on Eric Holder for Attorney General

David Theroux
The Beacon Blog
January 16, 2009

Here is Theroux’s blog posting of the testimony of Stephen P. Halbrook on the nomination of Eric Holder to be the next Attorney General of the United States, with comments and links.

Testimony of Stephen P. Halbrook on the Nomination of Eric H. Holder, Jr., For Attorney General of the United States

Stephen P. Halbrook
The Senate Judiciary Committee
January 14, 2009

Here is the verbatim transcript of Halbrook’s testimony.

Outdoor Sports

Ark. Lawmaker Seeks Amendment to Protect Hunting

AP (Arkansas)
January 12, 2009

“State Sen. Steve Faris is trying again for an amendment creating a constitutional right for Arkansans to hunt and fish.”

PETA wants to Rename Fish “sea kittens”

Lindsay Barnett
The Los Angeles Times
January 12, 2009

PETA has come up with an interesting tactic to discourage human consumption and sporting pursuit of fish.

Proposed Rule Clarifies Hunting Rule Changes at National Wildlife Refuges

Fish and Wildlife Service, U.S. Department of the Interior
Federal Register
January 13, 2009
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

This document describes proposed changes in policy and regulations regarding U.S. Wildlife refuges.

States and Failed States


Brophy bill to Protect Homeowners Killed in Committee

Colorado State Senate News
January 26, 2009

Dave testified in favor of a bill to forestall municipalities from passing ‘safe storage’ laws that render firearms useless for immediate home defense. Democrats killed the bill in a strict party-line vote in the Senate Committee on State, Veteran, and Military Affairs.

Committee Dems Refuse to ‘Make My Day Better’

Colorado State Senate News
January 28, 2009

“Republican efforts to extend to the workplace the same rights Colorado citizens already have to protect their homes from violent intruders were stymied by ruling Democrats today.” The Democrats of the committee voted unanimously against the bill.

District of Columbia

Marine Amputee Acquitted On Gun Possession Charges

Keith L. Alexander
The Washington Post
January 14, 2009

“After being deadlocked twice, a D.C. Superior Court jury yesterday acquitted a Marine amputee on felony charges of gun possession stemming from an arrest while he was on the way to Walter Reed Army Medical Center.”

New Jersey

N.J. Fight on “Straw” Gun Buys Heats Up

Jonathan Tamari
The Philadelphia Inquirer
January 4, 2009

“New Jersey could soon become the fourth state to limit handgun purchases to one a month, a move aimed at fighting “straw” gun buyers who purchase weapons legally and pass them to criminals.”

New York

Old Firearms Given New Life by Restrictive New York Gun Control Laws

J.D. Tuccille
January 19, 2009

With criminals ignoring New York City’s gun restrictions, citizens are purchasing exempted black powder muzzle-loading revolvers in an effort to protect themselves.

Does Nassau County D.A.’s No-Handgun-Possession Policy Violate New York Law?

Eugene Volokh
The Volokh Conspiracy
January 13, 2009

Nassau County prohibits its assistant D.A.’s from applying for a handgun permit or owning a handgun while in office. Gene Volokh isn’t certain that New York state law allows an employer to do that.

My Time in a NYC Jail

January 21, 2009

A retired Marine and a current Defense contractor spent two days and one night in a New York City jail after being improperly arrested in violation of federal law while trying to transport an unloaded firearm required for his work overseas.

NYC Jailhouse Blues

Brian Doherty
Reason Magazine
January 23, 2009

Here’s a notice and further comment upon the account above.


Federal Courts


Associate Justice David Breyer
January 13, 2009

In Chambers v. US, the Court clarified the potential impact of failing to report for penal confinement if you are later convicted of being a felon with a firearm. Under the Armed Career Criminal Act, an individual convicted of being a felon in possession of a firearm gets a mandatory 15 year sentence if they have three prior convictions for serious drug offenses, violent felonies, or both. Federal prosecutors wanted to use a previous conviction for failing to show up to jail as one of Mr. Chambers “violent felonies.” The Supreme Court said no in an opinion by Justice Breyer, Justice Alito concurred.

Oral Argument on the Nordyke Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals case

Case No. 07-15763
U.S. 9th Circuit Court of Appeals
January 15, 2009

Here is the actual audio of the oral arguments presented in the Nordyke vs. King case, the suit contesting an Alameda County law prohibiting gun shows on county property.

Federal Act Does Not Pre-empt Oklahoma Gun Law

Marie Price
The Journal Record (Oklahoma City)
January 21, 2009

“The federal agency in charge of workplace safety does not believe the Occupational Safety and Health Act pre-empts an Oklahoma law prohibiting employers from forbidding the storing of firearms in workers’ cars, according to a letter filed in an appeal with the 10th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.”

Housing Authority Settles Gun Lawsuit

Bob Egelko
The San Francisco Chronicle
January 14, 2009

The San Francisco Housing Authority has agreed to allow its residents to own guns in a settlement of a National Rifle Association lawsuit that followed last year’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the right to bear arms.

Settlement Agreement in Doe v. San Francisco Housing Authority

Trutanich-Michel LLP and Henry Alvarez, Executive Director of the San Francisco Housing Authority
United States District Court for the Northern District of California, San Francisco Division
January 12, 2009
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

Here is the actual agreement in facsimile.

New National Parks Rule Allowing Loaded Guns Challenged by Lawsuit

Michael Sangiacomo
The Cleveland Plain Dealer
January 7, 2009

“The National Parks Conservation Association and the Coalition of National Park Service Retirees filed suit this week in U.S. District Court to stop enforcement of a new regulation allowing loaded, concealed firearms in national parks, including the Cuyahoga Valley National Park.”

The First (?) Post-Heller Case Holding a Gun Control Law Unconstitutional

Eugene Volokh
The Volokh Conspiracy
January 12, 2009

“That’s U.S. v. Arzberger. The gun control law is the part of 18 U.S.C. § 3142(c)(1)(B) that requires that when someone is charged with possessing child pornography (among other crimes) and is freed on bail, he be ordered not to possess any firearm.” Dr. Volokh provides some commentary by Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV.

United States of America vs. Jason Arzberger

Magistrate Judge James C. Francis IV
United States District Court, Southern District of New York
December 31, 2008
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

Here is the actual decision.

State Law and Cases

Interesting Georgia Case

David Hardy
Arms and the Law
January 19, 2009

“The gun owner was convicted of a drug offense in 1969, and received a full pardon in 1995. When he tried to purchase a firearm, the NICS staff called a local judge and asked him to revoke the fellow’s pistol permit (which I suspect is a BIG violation of the Privacy Act). Basis was a Georgia statute that says persons convicted of a drug offense are forever ineligible to get a pistol permit.Initially he surrendered his permit, then got new counsel, John Monroe and Douglas King, and they put up a fight. The judge ultimately rules for them. A pardon is an executive act, authorized by the state Constitution. The Legislature cannot change its effect. He then sued for an injunction against Federal authorities stopping his purchase and seeking an injunction against them prosecuting him. Here’s the webpage on the pleadings. Word is that the government caved in, and provided him with a certification that he is not prohibited to purchase and possess.”

In Re Haney

Probate Court of Forsyth County
State of Georgia
December 23, 2008
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

The actual order of the court In Re Haney is here.

Indiana Supreme Court Green-lights Lawsuit that Blames Gun Makers for Gary’s Crime Problems: Case Alleges Gun Makers, Dealers Knew Weapons Would Go to Criminals

Jon Murray
The Indianapolis
January 13, 2009

“The Indiana Supreme Court declined to review a lower court ruling, ending the second round of appeals since the case was filed in 1999. Gary’s suit alleges that 16 gun makers, including Smith & Wesson and Beretta, and six Northern Indiana gun dealers sold handguns they knew would get into the hands of criminals barred from owning them.”

Authority of Local Political Subdivisions to Prohibit the Carrying of Concealed Handguns by Permit Holders under the Concealed Handgun Permit Act

Jon Bruning
Attorney General, State of Nebraska
January 14, 2009

The Nebraska Attorney General opinion explains that cities and towns may not ban the licensed carrying of handguns, because such a ban is preempted by state law. Localities may ban licensed carry in places (e.g., schools) were the mere possession of handguns is prohibited.


Original Popular Understanding of the 14th Amendment as Reflected in the Print Media of 1866-68

David T. Hardy
Working Paper
January 1, 2009

Hardy argues that the decision in Heller arose from a belief that is not the intent of the body that proposed an amendment, but the understanding of the people at large who ratified it that matters in understanding a constitutional right. In that context, he analyzes the 14th Amemendment, arguing that the Slaughterhouse decisions invalidated what was understood by the mass of the people supporting its ratification to be that amendment’s expansion of the Bill of Rights to preclude its abrogation by the states.

The Lecture Notes of St. George Tucker: A Framing Era View of the Bill of Rights

David T. Hardy
Northwestern University Law Review: Colloquy
December 22, 2008

“Given contemporary adherence to originalist interpretation, and the likelihood of future conflict—as demonstrated in Heller—between varieties of originalist analysis, dissemination of Tucker’s hitherto unpublished lecture notes may offer an important contextualization of the Bill of Rights during the Founding period. It is my hope that working to democratize, as it were, the availability of these documents will assist future historical and legal analysis.”

Imagining Gun Control in America: Understanding the Remainder Problem

Nicholas J. Johnson
Wake Forest Law Review
January 13, 2009
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

“Without a commitment to or capacity for eliminating the existing inventory of private guns, the supply-side ideal and regulations based on it cannot be taken seriously. It is best to acknowledge the blocking power of the remainder and adjust ourgun control regulations and goals to that reality. Policymakers who continue to press legislation grounded on the supply-side ideal while disclaiming the goal of prohibition are deluded or pandering.”

The Second Amendment, Heller, and Originalist Jurisprudence

Nelson Lund
UCLA Law Review
2009 Forthcoming
PDF files require Adobe Acrobat Reader or similar software.

While Lund agrees with the majority’s conclusion, he is disappointed in, for example, its dicta regarding how certain laws would still pass muster, which is given without any explanation derived from original understanding.

Gun Policy Debate Podcast

Charlie Blek and Eugene Volokh
Los Angeles chapter of Federalist Society and the Libertarian Law Society
December 5, 2008

Here is the audio of a fifty-one minute debate, moderated by Chief Judge Alex Kozinski, U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit, between Mr. Charlie Blek of the Brady Campaign and Professor Eugene Volokh of the UCLA Law School on the subject of firearms policy.

This newsletter is compiled with help from Dr. Rob S. Rice. For more on this hyperenervated, yet volitional individual, see here: Dr. Rice also labors assiduously on his non-fiction, for examples of which see here:

Al Qaeda delenda est!

Dems derail Brophy bill to protect homeowners

January 28, 2009

State Senator Greg Brophy has been stabbed in his own home, so to speak. Despite the logic, and indeed inalienable right to properly and effectively defend themselves Democrats stopped this needed legislation.

A Republican effort that would have reinforced Coloradans’ ability to defend their families against home intruders hit a dead end today in a Senate committee.

Assistant Senate GOP leader Greg Brophy, R-Wray, presented Senate Bill 74 before the Senate Committee on State, Veterans, and Military Affairs, calling it a matter of “statewide concern.”

SB 74 would prohibit local governments from passing any law or regulation that requires a person to store their lawfully-owned firearms in a way that renders them inoperable. The Democrat-controlled committee voted to postpone the bill indefinitely, effectively killing it.

Brophy said the bill addresses and recognizes the landmark United States Supreme Court decision made last summer in the District of Columbia v. Heller case.  The Heller decision held that gun ownership is an individual right and that any government in the U.S. cannot put individuals in the position where they would be inadequately prepared to defend themselves against home invasion.

“We need to pass the ban on safe-storage laws in Colorado,” Brophy said in the committee. “I think the Heller case raised this issue to the national spotlight and brought it forward so that everybody is aware of it.”

Research Director of the Independence Institute Dave Kopel, left, tesifies in favor of Sen. Greg Brophy’s Senate Bill 74.

“This would save the citizens of Colorado the trouble of being forced to go the courts and have the courts say, ‘yes indeed the Supreme Court has already ruled on this,'” Brophy said.

Currently, the cities of Denver and Boulder have so-called “safe-storage” laws that require guns be disassembled or secured with a trigger lock while stored in private homes.

In his testimony in favor of the bill, renowned Second Amendment expert and constitutional lawyer Dave Kopel, who is research director at the Golden-based think tank the Independence Institute, offered evidence showing that cities with safe-storage laws actually have higher rates of home intrusion and violence because criminals are all too aware that homeowners are unable to defend themselves.

“Law-abiding gunowners in Denver and the public in general continue to be in danger due to unreasonable laws that prevent families from teaching gun safety in their own homes and make it way too difficult for crime victims in Denver to be able to protect themselves,” Kopel said after the bill was killed.

While ruling Democrats offered few insights to their opposition to the bill, Fort Collins Democrat Bob Bacon rasied concerns about second-guessing local-government policies on the issue of gun ownership.

Brophy countered that such concerns reflect misplaced priorities.

“They’re giving City Hall the right to preempt your own right to defend yourself and your family,” Brophy said. “And I think that’s just wrong.”

Assistant Senate Republican Leader Greg Brophy, of Wray, sits in disappointment after his bill, which would have given homeowners more power to defend themselves, was killed in a Democrat-controlled committee.


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