Before the U.S. Supreme Court in Castillo v. U.S. (2000)

“Stephen Halbrook is an attorney with extensive knowledge of the historical underpinnings of the Second Amendment and practical knowledge of litigating in this rapidly evolving area of law. His writings include topics as diverse as Gun Control in the Third Reich and The Founders’ Second Amendment, and he was heavily involved in Heller and McDonald.”

– U.S. District Judge Michael J. Reagan
Shepard v. Madigan, 2014 WL 4825592, *7 (S.D. Ill. 2014)

Supreme Court Practice

Practice Areas

Gun Control Act/National Firearms Act

  • Firearm technical classifications
  • ATF regulatory compliance
  • FFL warning conferences, license denials,
    and revocations
  • Forfeitures
  • Legal disabilities and restoration of civil rights
  • Criminal defense

State and Local Laws

  • “Assault weapon” restrictions
  • Legal status of firearms
  • Challenging restrictions

Civil and Criminal Cases Litigated >>

Books

Congressional Testimony

Scholarly Articles

Op-Eds & Short Articles

TV Appearances

Radio Interviews

Instagram Updates

"At the turn of the eras, Ovid wrote: 'The laws al "At the turn of the eras, Ovid wrote: 'The laws allow arms to be taken against an armed foe.' These words were to be repeated sixteen hundred years later in the definitive expression of the English common law. And two centuries into the Christian era, the influential Ulpian repeated the provision of natural law that 'one may repel arms with arms.' "  From That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right, p. 19.
.
.
.
#ovid #PubliusOvidiusNaso #romanpoet #poet #ovidio #latinpoet #latinliterature #Englishcommonlaw #christianera #romanjurist #romanjuristUlpian #naturallaw #selfdefense #repelarmswitharms #thateverymanbearmed #rtba #rtkba #rkba #weaponlaw #weaponlaws #righttocarry #righttobeararms #beararms #2ahistory #armedpopulace #armedcitizen #firearmslawhistory #humanright #selfdefenselaws #ancientrome

"At the turn of the eras, Ovid wrote: 'The laws allow arms to be taken against an armed foe.' These words were to be repeated sixteen hundred years later in the definitive expression of the English common law. And two centuries into the Christian era, the influential Ulpian repeated the provision of natural law that 'one may repel arms with arms.' "  From That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right, p. 19.
.
.
.
#ovid #PubliusOvidiusNaso #romanpoet #poet #ovidio #latinpoet #latinliterature #Englishcommonlaw #christianera #romanjurist #romanjuristUlpian #naturallaw #selfdefense #repelarmswitharms #thateverymanbearmed #rtba #rtkba #rkba #weaponlaw #weaponlaws #righttocarry #righttobeararms #beararms #2ahistory #armedpopulace #armedcitizen #firearmslawhistory #humanright #selfdefenselaws #ancientrome
...

Allen Dulles, head of America's spy network operat Allen Dulles, head of America's spy network operating against Germany from his base in Switzerland during World War II, wrote: "At the peak of its mobilization Switzerland had 850,000 men under arms or standing in reserve, a fifth of the total population. . . . That Switzerland did not have to fight was thanks to its will to resist and its large investment of men and equipment in its own defense.  The cost to Germany of an invasion of Switzerland would certainly have been very high." Allen Dulles, The Secret Surrender, p. 25. Quoted in The Swiss and The Nazis: How the Alpine Republic Survived in the Shadow of the Third Reich, p. 3.  See this book for fascinating stories about Allen Dulles's role in Switzerland during WWII.

Dulles was born on this date in 1893.  Photo is Dulles's CIA identification card
.
.
.
#allendulles #allenwelshdulles #spy #espionage #ww2spy #cia #fascist #wwii #ww2 #naziinvasion #theswissandthenazis 
#armedswiss #swissresistance #nazi #nazigermany #resistance #naziinvasion #WWIIhistory #Switzerlandhistory #swissarmywwii #swissarmy #armedneutrality #swissarmedneutrality #switzerland #historybuff #americanhero #onthisday #onthisdate #centralintelligenceagency #ciahistory

Allen Dulles, head of America's spy network operating against Germany from his base in Switzerland during World War II, wrote: "At the peak of its mobilization Switzerland had 850,000 men under arms or standing in reserve, a fifth of the total population. . . . That Switzerland did not have to fight was thanks to its will to resist and its large investment of men and equipment in its own defense.  The cost to Germany of an invasion of Switzerland would certainly have been very high." Allen Dulles, The Secret Surrender, p. 25. Quoted in The Swiss and The Nazis: How the Alpine Republic Survived in the Shadow of the Third Reich, p. 3.  See this book for fascinating stories about Allen Dulles's role in Switzerland during WWII.

Dulles was born on this date in 1893.  Photo is Dulles's CIA identification card
.
.
.
#allendulles #allenwelshdulles #spy #espionage #ww2spy #cia #fascist #wwii #ww2 #naziinvasion #theswissandthenazis 
#armedswiss #swissresistance #nazi #nazigermany #resistance #naziinvasion #WWIIhistory #Switzerlandhistory #swissarmywwii #swissarmy #armedneutrality #swissarmedneutrality #switzerland #historybuff #americanhero #onthisday #onthisdate #centralintelligenceagency #ciahistory
...

Back in the day, before "social distancing." Girls Back in the day, before "social distancing." Girls rifle team, University of Maryland, 1925.
.
.
.
#rifleteam #girlsrifleteam #gunsandsmiles #girlsandguns #girlsandfirearms #womenhistory #empoweredwomen #1925 #rifle #rifles #vintagephoto #1920s #historyphoto #1920sfashion #shootingisfun #2a #2ndamendment #marksmanship #marksmanshiptraining #firearmstraining #riflepractice #accurateshooting #womenhistory #rifles #rifle #rifletraining #universityofmaryland #uofmdsports #teamsports #collegerifleteam

Back in the day, before "social distancing." Girls rifle team, University of Maryland, 1925.
.
.
.
#rifleteam #girlsrifleteam #gunsandsmiles #girlsandguns #girlsandfirearms #womenhistory #empoweredwomen #1925 #rifle #rifles #vintagephoto #1920s #historyphoto #1920sfashion #shootingisfun #2a #2ndamendment #marksmanship #marksmanshiptraining #firearmstraining #riflepractice #accurateshooting #womenhistory #rifles #rifle #rifletraining #universityofmaryland #uofmdsports #teamsports #collegerifleteam
...

Firearms sales skyrocketed last month for a number Firearms sales skyrocketed last month for a number of reasons, not just the Coronavirus. Newsweek published an article this past Thursday, after interviewing me.  Here are a couple excerpts: "A lot of people believe in individualism and figure that 'Really, I really am my first responder, what if I can't protect my family when seconds count and law enforcement is minutes away.' That is an American thought," Stephen Halbrook, constitutional attorney and author of The Founders' Second Amendment, told Newsweek.

He believed sales had already been starting to rise on the Democratic primary campaign trail when frontrunner Joe Biden talked about tougher gun laws.

Also fueling the rush to gun stores, in Halbrook's view, were the rulings in some states such as New Jersey, to initially ignore federal guidance that gun stores were essential businesses that should stay open during the pandemic." . . . "Halbrook said that with the release of some prisoners due to the coronavirus, and fears of overstretched law enforcement in the coming months during a time of panic, "people, especially first time gun owners, have a sense of uneasiness and they want to get guns to protect themselves." "People have just come to the conclusion, 'well maybe it would be wise to get a gun if I don't have one or to get more ammunition,'" he added.

To read the entire article, go to:  https://www.newsweek.com/second-amendment-guns-coronavirus-1495725 "People Think it's 'Wise to Get a Gun' During Pandemic, says 2nd Amendment Attorney as Firearms Sales Soar," Newsweek, Apr. 20, 2020.
.
.
.
#firearmsales #joebiden #gunlaws #gunbackgroundchecks 
#2amendment #rtkba #tkba #righttokeepandbeararms #rightofthepeople #defendthe2nd #gunowndership #gunstore #gunstores #nicscheck  #fbinics #nationalinstantcriminalbackgroundchecksystem #covidlegal #covidlegalchallenges #emergencydecree #individualliberty #2avscoronavirus #2ndamendmentvscoronavirus #coronavirus #convid19 #pandemic #quarantine #selfdefense #stephenhalbrook #newsweek

Firearms sales skyrocketed last month for a number of reasons, not just the Coronavirus. Newsweek published an article this past Thursday, after interviewing me.  Here are a couple excerpts: "A lot of people believe in individualism and figure that 'Really, I really am my first responder, what if I can't protect my family when seconds count and law enforcement is minutes away.' That is an American thought," Stephen Halbrook, constitutional attorney and author of The Founders' Second Amendment, told Newsweek.

He believed sales had already been starting to rise on the Democratic primary campaign trail when frontrunner Joe Biden talked about tougher gun laws.

Also fueling the rush to gun stores, in Halbrook's view, were the rulings in some states such as New Jersey, to initially ignore federal guidance that gun stores were essential businesses that should stay open during the pandemic." . . . "Halbrook said that with the release of some prisoners due to the coronavirus, and fears of overstretched law enforcement in the coming months during a time of panic, "people, especially first time gun owners, have a sense of uneasiness and they want to get guns to protect themselves." "People have just come to the conclusion, 'well maybe it would be wise to get a gun if I don't have one or to get more ammunition,'" he added.

To read the entire article, go to:  https://www.newsweek.com/second-amendment-guns-coronavirus-1495725 "People Think it's 'Wise to Get a Gun' During Pandemic, says 2nd Amendment Attorney as Firearms Sales Soar," Newsweek, Apr. 20, 2020.
.
.
.
#firearmsales #joebiden #gunlaws #gunbackgroundchecks 
#2amendment #rtkba #tkba #righttokeepandbeararms #rightofthepeople #defendthe2nd #gunowndership #gunstore #gunstores #nicscheck  #fbinics #nationalinstantcriminalbackgroundchecksystem #covidlegal #covidlegalchallenges #emergencydecree #individualliberty #2avscoronavirus #2ndamendmentvscoronavirus #coronavirus #convid19 #pandemic #quarantine #selfdefense #stephenhalbrook #newsweek
...

"To Bear Arms for Self-Defense: A 'Right of the Pe "To Bear Arms for Self-Defense: A 'Right of the People' or a Privilege of the Few?" Here is part 2 of my paper published in The Federalist Society Review, Vol. 21. (Part Two.) This article continues to trace the history of our American right to bear arms.  Here I begin with the 14th Amendment and the postbellum Black Codes and go up through modern Supreme Court cases like the Heller case and the current New York City ban on transport outside the home.  The paper begins:

The Fourteenth Amendment was understood to protect the right to keep and bear arms from state infringement. Under the postbellum black codes, officials had discretion over whether to issue licenses to freedmen to carry arms outside of their homes and even to keep arms at all. Those who ratified the Fourteenth Amendment considered such laws to violate the right to bear arms. “In the aftermath of the Civil War, there was an outpouring of discussion of the Second Amendment in Congress and in public discourse, as people debated whether and how to secure constitutional rights for newly free slaves,” Heller relates. The slave codes were reenacted as the black codes, including prohibitions on both the keeping and the carrying of firearms by African Americans. As Frederick Douglass explained in 1865, “the black man has never had the right either to keep or bear arms." Links to both parts 1 and 2 are available on my website, stephenhalbrook.com.  Or, here is the direct link for part 2 on the Federalist Society website:  https://fedsoc.org/commentary/publications/to-bear-arms-for-self-defense-a-right-of-the-people-or-a-privilege-of-the-few-part-2
.
.
.
#antebellumsouth #civilrightsact1866 #civilrightsact1871 #jimcrow #McDonaldvChicago #nysrpa #federalistsociety #civilrights #constitution #2a #2ndamendment #2amendment #2ahistory #rtkba #tkba #righttokeepandbeararms #rightofthepeople #stephenhalbrook #constitutionalrights #dcvheller #hellercase #billofrights #concealedcarry #14amendment #14thamendment #concealedcarrylaws #concealedcarrypermit #frederickDouglass #blackrightsmatter #justicescalia

"To Bear Arms for Self-Defense: A 'Right of the People' or a Privilege of the Few?" Here is part 2 of my paper published in The Federalist Society Review, Vol. 21. (Part Two.) This article continues to trace the history of our American right to bear arms.  Here I begin with the 14th Amendment and the postbellum Black Codes and go up through modern Supreme Court cases like the Heller case and the current New York City ban on transport outside the home.  The paper begins:

The Fourteenth Amendment was understood to protect the right to keep and bear arms from state infringement. Under the postbellum black codes, officials had discretion over whether to issue licenses to freedmen to carry arms outside of their homes and even to keep arms at all. Those who ratified the Fourteenth Amendment considered such laws to violate the right to bear arms. “In the aftermath of the Civil War, there was an outpouring of discussion of the Second Amendment in Congress and in public discourse, as people debated whether and how to secure constitutional rights for newly free slaves,” Heller relates. The slave codes were reenacted as the black codes, including prohibitions on both the keeping and the carrying of firearms by African Americans. As Frederick Douglass explained in 1865, “the black man has never had the right either to keep or bear arms." Links to both parts 1 and 2 are available on my website, stephenhalbrook.com.  Or, here is the direct link for part 2 on the Federalist Society website:  https://fedsoc.org/commentary/publications/to-bear-arms-for-self-defense-a-right-of-the-people-or-a-privilege-of-the-few-part-2
.
.
.
#antebellumsouth #civilrightsact1866 #civilrightsact1871 #jimcrow #McDonaldvChicago #nysrpa #federalistsociety #civilrights #constitution #2a #2ndamendment #2amendment #2ahistory #rtkba #tkba #righttokeepandbeararms #rightofthepeople #stephenhalbrook #constitutionalrights #dcvheller #hellercase #billofrights #concealedcarry #14amendment #14thamendment #concealedcarrylaws #concealedcarrypermit #frederickDouglass #blackrightsmatter #justicescalia
...

"The Right to Bear Arms: For Me, But Not for Thee? "The Right to Bear Arms: For Me, But Not for Thee?" is my newly published scholarly article in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.  Here is an excerpt:

The question being hotly litigated in the minority of states that have enacted so-called discretionary license issuance for carrying handguns is whether “bear arms” means that you have a constitutional right to carry a firearm outside your home. The words of the Second Amendment alone seem to be conclusive about that—a right to keep arms and a right to bear arms. These are two distinct rights: keeping arms would obviously include keeping them at home. “Bear” means nothing if it means you can only carry arms in your home. It has to mean something more than that. When the Bill of Rights restricts some element of the subject to the home, it says so very clearly. In the Third Amendment, for example, soldiers will not be “quartered in any house” without the consent of the owner, unless in times of war. The word “houses” appears in the Fourth Amendment in terms of search and seizure issues. So, when restricting an activity to the home, the Bill of Rights plainly says so.

Article link is on my website, stephenhalbrook.com.  Or the direct link is: harvard-jlpp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2020/03/Halbrook-FINAL.pdf

The Right to Bear Arms: For Me, But Not for Thee?" 43 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 1, 331-46 (Spring 2020).
.
.
.
#beararms #3rdamendment #4thamendment #constitutionalrights #guncases #civilrights #rightsofthepeople #dcvheller #mcdonaldvchicago #2ndamendmentmeaning #2ameaning #freedmansbureau 
#2a #2ndamendment #billofrights #2amendment #2ahistory #rtkba #tkba #righttokeepandbeararms #rightofthepeople #constitutionalrights #2adefender #defendthe2nd #defendthe2ndamendment #gunowndership #individualliberty #stephenhalbrook #harvardjournaloflaw #itmeanswhatitsays

"The Right to Bear Arms: For Me, But Not for Thee?" is my newly published scholarly article in the Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy.  Here is an excerpt:

The question being hotly litigated in the minority of states that have enacted so-called discretionary license issuance for carrying handguns is whether “bear arms” means that you have a constitutional right to carry a firearm outside your home. The words of the Second Amendment alone seem to be conclusive about that—a right to keep arms and a right to bear arms. These are two distinct rights: keeping arms would obviously include keeping them at home. “Bear” means nothing if it means you can only carry arms in your home. It has to mean something more than that. When the Bill of Rights restricts some element of the subject to the home, it says so very clearly. In the Third Amendment, for example, soldiers will not be “quartered in any house” without the consent of the owner, unless in times of war. The word “houses” appears in the Fourth Amendment in terms of search and seizure issues. So, when restricting an activity to the home, the Bill of Rights plainly says so.

Article link is on my website, stephenhalbrook.com.  Or the direct link is: harvard-jlpp.com/wp-content/uploads/sites/21/2020/03/Halbrook-FINAL.pdf

The Right to Bear Arms: For Me, But Not for Thee?" 43 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 1, 331-46 (Spring 2020).
.
.
.
#beararms #3rdamendment #4thamendment #constitutionalrights #guncases #civilrights #rightsofthepeople #dcvheller #mcdonaldvchicago #2ndamendmentmeaning #2ameaning #freedmansbureau 
#2a #2ndamendment #billofrights #2amendment #2ahistory #rtkba #tkba #righttokeepandbeararms #rightofthepeople #constitutionalrights #2adefender #defendthe2nd #defendthe2ndamendment #gunowndership #individualliberty #stephenhalbrook #harvardjournaloflaw #itmeanswhatitsays
...

Will the Second Amendment Survive Coronavirus?  T Will the Second Amendment Survive Coronavirus?  This is what my Op-Ed, published in yesterday's National Review, explores. "The panic comes at a time when many police departments, to reduce spread of the virus, have curtailed arrests and are releasing certain criminals from prison. This is exactly the type of situation that the Second Amendment is meant to address. The White House has publicly recognized that reality. Yet many public officials insist on flaunting the Second Amendment, ordering gun shops closed or banning firearm sales." Here is the link: https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/03/coronavirus-second-amendment-protect-constitution-during-crisis/
.
.
.
#billofrights #2amendment #2ahistory #rtkba #tkba #righttokeepandbeararms #rightofthepeople #constitutionalrights #2adefender #defendthe2nd #defendthe2ndamendment #gunowndership #gunstore #gunstores #nicscheck  #fbinics #nationalinstantcriminalbackgroundchecksystem #covidlegal #covidlegalchallenges #emergencydecree #individualliberty 
#2avscoronavirus #2ndamendmentvscoronavirus #coronavirus #convid19 #pandemic #quarantine #selfdefense #nationalreview #stephenhalbrook

Will the Second Amendment Survive Coronavirus?  This is what my Op-Ed, published in yesterday's National Review, explores. "The panic comes at a time when many police departments, to reduce spread of the virus, have curtailed arrests and are releasing certain criminals from prison. This is exactly the type of situation that the Second Amendment is meant to address. The White House has publicly recognized that reality. Yet many public officials insist on flaunting the Second Amendment, ordering gun shops closed or banning firearm sales." Here is the link: https://www.nationalreview.com/2020/03/coronavirus-second-amendment-protect-constitution-during-crisis/
.
.
.
#billofrights #2amendment #2ahistory #rtkba #tkba #righttokeepandbeararms #rightofthepeople #constitutionalrights #2adefender #defendthe2nd #defendthe2ndamendment #gunowndership #gunstore #gunstores #nicscheck  #fbinics #nationalinstantcriminalbackgroundchecksystem #covidlegal #covidlegalchallenges #emergencydecree #individualliberty 
#2avscoronavirus #2ndamendmentvscoronavirus #coronavirus #convid19 #pandemic #quarantine #selfdefense #nationalreview #stephenhalbrook
...

Marathon & Triathlon Photos

Reykjavík Half-Marathon, 2019
Reykjavík, Iceland

Jungfrau Marathon, 2004
Jungfrau, Switzerland

Marine Corps Marathon
Washington, D.C.

Alcatraz Triathlon, 2001
San Francisco, California

Berlin Marathon, 2019
Berlin, Germany

Berlin Marathon, 2017
Berlin, Germany