About the Author
Dave Kopel is Research Director of the Independence Institute, a civil liberties think tank in Golden, Colo., and an Associate Policy Analyst with the Cato Institute, in Washington, D.C. He has served as an Assistant Attorney General for Colorado, enforcing hazardous waste and Superfund law. In 1985 he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where he served on the law review. In 1982 he graduated from Brown University, with Highest Honors for his history thesis on Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. In 1998-99 he was an adjunct professor of law at New York University.
Kopel is a regular panelist on the PBS public affairs show "Colorado Inside-Out" in Denver, a columnist for the Rocky Mountain News, and a Contributing Editor for National Review Online and Liberty. He has testified many times before Congress and state legislatures on topics including gun control, free speech, and criminal justice. His website is davekopel.org.
Kopels books related to firearms law and policy include, Gun Control and Gun Rights (with Andrew McClurg and Brannon Denning), which is the first law school and university textbook on the subject; No More Wacos: Whats Wrong with Federal Law Enforcement, and How to Fix It (with Paul Blackman), which won the Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties; Guns: Who Should Have Them?; Gun Control in Great Britain: Saving Lives or Constricting Liberty?; and The Samurai, the Mountie, and the Cowboy: Should America Adopt the Gun Controls of Other Democracies?, which was named Book of the Year by the International Criminology Division of the American Society of Criminology. He was a member of the Editorial Board for Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law.
He has authored dozens of articles in scholarly journals, including the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Brown Journal of World Affairs, Connecticut Law Review, Maryland Law Review, Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, Quarterly Journal of Ideology, Michigan Law Review, BYU Law Review, Tennessee Law Review, Temple Law Review, Journal of Contemporary Law, Asia-Pacific Law Review, St. Louis University Public Law Review, William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, Political Communication, Arizona Law Review, Criminal Justice Policy Review, and the American Journal of Criminal Law. Kopel is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal on Firearms & Public Policy.
Stephen P. Halbrook is an attorney in private practice with offices in Fairfax, Virginia. He has successfully argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court: Castillo v. United States, 530 U.S. 120 (2000), which upheld the right to jury trial concerning firearms types in the Branch Davidian prosecution; Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 98 (1997), which struck down federal mandates to the states under the Brady law; and United States v. Thompson/Center Arms Co., 504 U.S. 505 (1992), which applied the rule of lenity to firearms definitions.
His books include, That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right; Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms; Firearms Law Deskbook; A Right to Bear Arms; and Target Switzerland: Swiss Armed Neutrality in World War II, which has also been published in German, French, and Italian editions.
Halbrook holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Florida State University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. His litigation practice includes representation of the National Rifle Association and other nonprofit organizations, and his pro bono amicus curiae clients include the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Cato Institute. He is a Fellow with the Independent Institute. To learn more about Mr. Halbrook, visit stephenhalbrook.com.
Alan Korwin, author of three books and co-author of seven others, is a full-time freelance writer, consultant and businessman with a twenty-five-year track recor
Excerpt. © Reprinted by permission. All rights reserved.
"SUPREME COURT GUN CASES"
Release in September 2003, "Supreme Court Gun Cases" dispels the myth that the High Court has been quiet on the subject of guns. The book runs 672 pages, covers 92 gun-related cases, and this is the bottom line: the Supreme Court has upheld the legal tradition and historical record of private gun ownership, self defense, and armed self defense, since the country began. The days of saying Americans have no individual gun rights are now over.
Time and time again, the Court recognizes the individual right to keep and bear arms that we observe in every facet of American life, in this scrupulously researched text. The anti-rights argument collapses under the weight of the evidence. Gun banners will be forced to find something new to say. Americans have a constitutionally protected right to keep arms and right to bear arms.
Here's the tip of the iceberg:
(WARNING: The following is not legal advice. Local jurisdictions may not adhere to these Supreme Court results, may have introduced conflicting precedents, and may have enacted laws in direct conflict with these decisions or provisions in the Constitution.)
- A dozen nearly forgotten self-defense cases expressly recognized people's right to use personally owned firearms in defense of self, family and property.
- Going home to get your handgun for protection after being threatened was a reasonable act under the given circumstances.
- Borrowing a rifle for protection after you were threatened was a reasonable act under the given circumstances.
- Using a shotgun you normally carry for protection was a reasonable act under the given circumstances.
- Defending yourself against a criminal attack, in a place where you had a right to be, matching force with force, was perfectly legal under the given circumstances.
- Standing your ground against a criminal attack is justifiable, and although you can run if you are able or prefer to, there is normally no duty to retreat under American law. (Note that some states may have abandoned this fundamental principle.)
- The rights of the people to keep arms and to bear arms predates the Constitution and is protected by the Bill of