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

Instagram post 2252331836638657096_8257969936 The media and the ignorant love to demonize AR-style rifles.  However, as Justice Thomas has written: “Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. . . . The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting.” Justice Scalia, author of Heller, joined in that view.  Friedman v. City of Highland Park, Ill., 136 S. Ct. 447, 449 (2015) (Thomas, J., dissenting from denial of cert.). Photo source: flickr.com/photos/simonov/7726392272
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#firearms #firearmlaws #supremecourt #ussupremecourt #2a #2ndamendment  #rtkba #righttobeararms #gunrestrictions #gunrights #guncase #supremecourtjustice #gunowner #gunowners #heller #hellercase #justicethomas #justicescalia #friedmanvcityhighlandpark #ar15 #ar15rifle #righttokeepandbeararms #2asupporter #2ndamendmentrights #armedcitizenry #2A #pewpewlife #AR15nation #Americasrifle #gunrightsarecivilrights

The media and the ignorant love to demonize AR-style rifles.  However, as Justice Thomas has written: “Roughly five million Americans own AR-style semiautomatic rifles. . . . The overwhelming majority of citizens who own and use such rifles do so for lawful purposes, including self-defense and target shooting.” Justice Scalia, author of Heller, joined in that view.  Friedman v. City of Highland Park, Ill., 136 S. Ct. 447, 449 (2015) (Thomas, J., dissenting from denial of cert.). Photo source: flickr.com/photos/simonov/7726392272
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#firearms #firearmlaws #supremecourt #ussupremecourt #2a #2ndamendment  #rtkba #righttobeararms #gunrestrictions #gunrights #guncase #supremecourtjustice #gunowner #gunowners #heller #hellercase #justicethomas #justicescalia #friedmanvcityhighlandpark #ar15 #ar15rifle #righttokeepandbeararms #2asupporter #2ndamendmentrights #armedcitizenry #2A #pewpewlife #AR15nation #Americasrifle #gunrightsarecivilrights
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Instagram post 2251613879964877792_8257969936 An excellent quote from the classic The Swiss Family Robinson: "As I looked at my two young sons, each with his gun, and considered how much the safety of the party depended on these little fellows, I felt grateful to you, dear husband, for having acquainted them in childhood with the use of firearms." -- Elizabeth Robinson (ch. 3). Swiss pastor Johann David Wyss published Der Schweizerische Robinson in 1812. In this Robinson Crusoe-ish story, a Swiss family is shipwrecked on an island in the East Indies. Through the family's adventures and hard work to survive, the book teachs self-reliance, family values, and good husbandry.
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#swissfamilyrobinson #theswissfamilyrobinson #JohannDavidWyss #johannwyss #DerSchweizerischeRobinson #greatliterature #swissfamily #shipwrecked #eastindies #survivalskills #treehouse #selfreliance #familyvalues #husbandry #classicliterature #learnfrombooks #firearm #firearms #selfprotection #selfdefense #rtkba #rifle #boysshootingguns #greatoutdoorslife #greatoutdoors #learninginnature #naturesbenefits  #getoutside #screenfreekids #letthemexplore

An excellent quote from the classic The Swiss Family Robinson: "As I looked at my two young sons, each with his gun, and considered how much the safety of the party depended on these little fellows, I felt grateful to you, dear husband, for having acquainted them in childhood with the use of firearms." -- Elizabeth Robinson (ch. 3). Swiss pastor Johann David Wyss published Der Schweizerische Robinson in 1812. In this Robinson Crusoe-ish story, a Swiss family is shipwrecked on an island in the East Indies. Through the family's adventures and hard work to survive, the book teachs self-reliance, family values, and good husbandry.
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#swissfamilyrobinson #theswissfamilyrobinson #JohannDavidWyss #johannwyss #DerSchweizerischeRobinson #greatliterature #swissfamily #shipwrecked #eastindies #survivalskills #treehouse #selfreliance #familyvalues #husbandry #classicliterature #learnfrombooks #firearm #firearms #selfprotection #selfdefense #rtkba #rifle #boysshootingguns #greatoutdoorslife #greatoutdoors #learninginnature #naturesbenefits  #getoutside #screenfreekids #letthemexplore
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Instagram post 2250893956523280498_8257969936 "Defending America’s Rifle: The AR-15” is the title of my talk I'll be giving this Thursday at this year's CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) in National Harbor, Maryland. ( cpac.conservative.org )  I will be joined by Amy Swearer, Senior Legal Policy Analyst, Heritage Foundation who will speak on “Bearing Arms: The Second Amendment Outside the Home.” Join us at #CPAC2020 in Chesapeake B Room, on Thursday, February 27, at 3-5 PM.
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#stephenhalbrook #independentinstitute #amyswearer #heritagefoundation #cpac #cpac2020 #ar15 #ar15rifle #2a #2aamendment #rtkba #rtba #righttobeararms #righttokeepandbeararms #2asupporter #2ndamendmentrights 
#armedcitizenry #2A #blackgunsmatter #pewpewlife #AR15nation #Americasrifle #gunrightsarecivilrights #armedequality #americanpolitics #freedom #americanvalues #liberty #conservative

"Defending America’s Rifle: The AR-15” is the title of my talk I'll be giving this Thursday at this year's CPAC (Conservative Political Action Conference) in National Harbor, Maryland. ( cpac.conservative.org )  I will be joined by Amy Swearer, Senior Legal Policy Analyst, Heritage Foundation who will speak on “Bearing Arms: The Second Amendment Outside the Home.” Join us at #CPAC2020 in Chesapeake B Room, on Thursday, February 27, at 3-5 PM.
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#stephenhalbrook #independentinstitute #amyswearer #heritagefoundation #cpac #cpac2020 #ar15 #ar15rifle #2a #2aamendment #rtkba #rtba #righttobeararms #righttokeepandbeararms #2asupporter #2ndamendmentrights 
#armedcitizenry #2A #blackgunsmatter #pewpewlife #AR15nation #Americasrifle #gunrightsarecivilrights #armedequality #americanpolitics #freedom #americanvalues #liberty #conservative
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Instagram post 2248709223211147987_8257969936 "No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms . . . . "  Thomas Jefferson (1776), from 1 The Papers of Thomas Jefferson 344-45 (1950). Photo:  Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Charles Willson Peale (1790s)
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#jefferson #presidentjefferson #ussecretaryofstate #americanpresident #americanpresidents #monticello #thomasjefferson #2a #2ndamendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #foundingfathers #thomasjeffersonquote #americanfounders #colonialamerica #gunquotes #2ahistory #charleswillsonpeale #rtba #righttocarry #selfdefense #2ndamendmentrights #2ndamendmentsupporter #2asupporter #ushistory #1776 #thepapersofthomasjefferson #americanrights #americanrevolution

"No freeman shall ever be debarred the use of arms . . . . "  Thomas Jefferson (1776), from 1 The Papers of Thomas Jefferson 344-45 (1950). Photo:  Portrait of Thomas Jefferson by Charles Willson Peale (1790s)
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#jefferson #presidentjefferson #ussecretaryofstate #americanpresident #americanpresidents #monticello #thomasjefferson #2a #2ndamendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #foundingfathers #thomasjeffersonquote #americanfounders #colonialamerica #gunquotes #2ahistory #charleswillsonpeale #rtba #righttocarry #selfdefense #2ndamendmentrights #2ndamendmentsupporter #2asupporter #ushistory #1776 #thepapersofthomasjefferson #americanrights #americanrevolution
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Instagram post 2247985285862754790_8257969936 Former slave Peter Salem joined the Framingham militia to defy the Redcoats at Concord Bridge in 1775.  He fought at the Battles of Concord and Lexington. Then gained fame when he fought with the Americans against the British in the Battle of Bunker Hill.  There is he credited for killing British officer Major John Pitcairn. One eye witness recalled: "The British Major Pitcairin had passed the storm of our fire and had mounted the redoubt, when waving his sword, he commanded in a loud voice, the rebels to surrender. His sudden appearance and his commanding air at first startled the men immediately below him. They neither answered or fired, probably not being exactly certain what was to be done. At this critical moment, a negro soldier stepped forward and, aiming his musket at the major’s bosom, blew him through." Photo: "Peter Salem fires the fatal shot that kills Major Pitcairn at the Battle of Bunker Hill by J.E. Taylor" — Image by © CORBIS
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#petersalem #colonialhistory #africanamericanpatriots #battleofbunkerhill #colonialmilitia #johnpitcairin #concordandlexington 
#keepandbeararms #revolutionarywar #patriots #ushistory #americanhistory #militia #rtkba #colonialamerica #uspatriot #historybuff #revolutionaryhistory #greatmeninhistory #welltrainedmilitia #africanamericanhistory #blackmanwithagun #blackhistorymatters #ushistory #americanhistory #freedman #bornenslaved #blackhistorymonth #blackhistorymonth2020 #blackhistory2020

Former slave Peter Salem joined the Framingham militia to defy the Redcoats at Concord Bridge in 1775.  He fought at the Battles of Concord and Lexington. Then gained fame when he fought with the Americans against the British in the Battle of Bunker Hill.  There is he credited for killing British officer Major John Pitcairn. One eye witness recalled: "The British Major Pitcairin had passed the storm of our fire and had mounted the redoubt, when waving his sword, he commanded in a loud voice, the rebels to surrender. His sudden appearance and his commanding air at first startled the men immediately below him. They neither answered or fired, probably not being exactly certain what was to be done. At this critical moment, a negro soldier stepped forward and, aiming his musket at the major’s bosom, blew him through." Photo: "Peter Salem fires the fatal shot that kills Major Pitcairn at the Battle of Bunker Hill by J.E. Taylor" — Image by © CORBIS
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#petersalem #colonialhistory #africanamericanpatriots #battleofbunkerhill #colonialmilitia #johnpitcairin #concordandlexington 
#keepandbeararms #revolutionarywar #patriots #ushistory #americanhistory #militia #rtkba #colonialamerica #uspatriot #historybuff #revolutionaryhistory #greatmeninhistory #welltrainedmilitia #africanamericanhistory #blackmanwithagun #blackhistorymatters #ushistory #americanhistory #freedman #bornenslaved #blackhistorymonth #blackhistorymonth2020 #blackhistory2020
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Instagram post 2247262715186131163_8257969936 The seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia depicts Virtus, with sword and spear, standing over the slain Tyranny, and includes the caption, Sic semper tyrannis (“Thus always to tyrants”). Its symbolism of virtuous, armed citizens protecting freedom is unmistakable.  Resistance to unconstitutional laws is part and parcel of the American tradition.

Excellent news that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's push to ban modern sporting rifles, noise moderators, standard-capacity magazines, and other constitutionally-protected arms,  failed in a Senate committee on Monday.
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#supportthesecondamendment #assaultweaponsban #highcapacitymagazine #virginiaflag #sicsempertyrannis #thusalwaystotyrants #armedcitizens 
#2asanctuary #2asanctuarycounties #governornortham #virginialaws #righttobeararms #rtkba #rtba #2ndamendmentrights #firearmslaw #gunowner #vagunlaws #vagunowners #defendthe2nd #guncontrol #2a #donotinfringe #2arights #gunrestrictions #lawabidinggunowner #semiautomaticrifle #guncontrolkills #donttreadonme #moregunslesscrime

The seal of the Commonwealth of Virginia depicts Virtus, with sword and spear, standing over the slain Tyranny, and includes the caption, Sic semper tyrannis (“Thus always to tyrants”). Its symbolism of virtuous, armed citizens protecting freedom is unmistakable.  Resistance to unconstitutional laws is part and parcel of the American tradition.

Excellent news that Virginia Governor Ralph Northam's push to ban modern sporting rifles, noise moderators, standard-capacity magazines, and other constitutionally-protected arms, failed in a Senate committee on Monday.
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#supportthesecondamendment #assaultweaponsban #highcapacitymagazine #virginiaflag #sicsempertyrannis #thusalwaystotyrants #armedcitizens 
#2asanctuary #2asanctuarycounties #governornortham #virginialaws #righttobeararms #rtkba #rtba #2ndamendmentrights #firearmslaw #gunowner #vagunlaws #vagunowners #defendthe2nd #guncontrol #2a #donotinfringe #2arights #gunrestrictions #lawabidinggunowner #semiautomaticrifle #guncontrolkills #donttreadonme #moregunslesscrime
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Instagram post 2246538068538825135_8257969936 Did the 14th Amendment protect the right of African Americans to keep and bear arms in post-Civil War America?  There was much debate about this at the legislative level.  In 1870, "Senator Charles Drake of Missouri pointed out that 'the negro . . . has no arms to defend himself.' 'If you discover a burglar coming into your house at night to rob you, and you have a pistol in your hand,' Drake asked, 'do you throw a pillow at him instead of a bullet?' "  From Securing Civil Rights: Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, p. 104.
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#rtba #rtkba #guncontrol #righttobeararms #1870 #postcivilwarhistory #americancivilwar #ushistory #historygeek #civilwarhistory #2a #2ndamendment #civilrights #freedmen #14amendment #blackgunrights #securingcivilrights #14thamendment #blackmanwithagun #blackgunsmatter #reconstruction #reconstructioncongress #legalhistory #blackhistorymonth #2amatters #righttocarry #gunrestrictions #selfdefense #homeinvasion #africanamericanrights

Did the 14th Amendment protect the right of African Americans to keep and bear arms in post-Civil War America?  There was much debate about this at the legislative level.  In 1870, "Senator Charles Drake of Missouri pointed out that 'the negro . . . has no arms to defend himself.' 'If you discover a burglar coming into your house at night to rob you, and you have a pistol in your hand,' Drake asked, 'do you throw a pillow at him instead of a bullet?' "  From Securing Civil Rights: Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms, p. 104.
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#rtba #rtkba #guncontrol #righttobeararms #1870 #postcivilwarhistory #americancivilwar #ushistory #historygeek #civilwarhistory #2a #2ndamendment #civilrights #freedmen #14amendment #blackgunrights #securingcivilrights #14thamendment #blackmanwithagun #blackgunsmatter #reconstruction #reconstructioncongress #legalhistory #blackhistorymonth #2amatters #righttocarry #gunrestrictions #selfdefense #homeinvasion #africanamericanrights
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Instagram post 2245823567183106845_8257969936 What do U.S Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Donald J. Trump have in common?  They have all been members of the National Rifle Association (Grant was even an NRA President), which was founded in 1871.  Today is Presidents Day and it is interesting to think about how many pre-1871 Presidents would have joined the NRA if it had existed during their lifetime.  But would there have been any need to?  Originally the 2nd Amendment meant just what it said and there was no question about it.
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#presidentsday #presidentsday2020 #uspresidents #UlyssesSGrant #presidentgrant #TheodoreRoosevelt #teddyroosevelt #presidentroosevelt #WilliamHowardTaft #presidenttaft #DwightDEisenhower #presidenteisenhower #JohnFKennedy #presidentkennedy #RichardMNixon #presidentnixon #RonaldReagan #presidentreagan #DonaldJTrump #presidenttrump #nra #nationalrifleassociation #nramembers #protectthe2nd 
#2a #2ndamendment #2amendmentrights #2amendmentsupporter #2amendmentmatters #2ndamendmentright

What do U.S Presidents Ulysses S. Grant, Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, Dwight D. Eisenhower, John F. Kennedy, Richard M. Nixon, Ronald Reagan, and Donald J. Trump have in common?  They have all been members of the National Rifle Association (Grant was even an NRA President), which was founded in 1871.  Today is Presidents Day and it is interesting to think about how many pre-1871 Presidents would have joined the NRA if it had existed during their lifetime.  But would there have been any need to?  Originally the 2nd Amendment meant just what it said and there was no question about it.
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#presidentsday #presidentsday2020 #uspresidents #UlyssesSGrant #presidentgrant #TheodoreRoosevelt #teddyroosevelt #presidentroosevelt #WilliamHowardTaft #presidenttaft #DwightDEisenhower #presidenteisenhower #JohnFKennedy #presidentkennedy #RichardMNixon #presidentnixon #RonaldReagan #presidentreagan #DonaldJTrump #presidenttrump #nra #nationalrifleassociation #nramembers #protectthe2nd 
#2a #2ndamendment #2amendmentrights #2amendmentsupporter #2amendmentmatters #2ndamendmentright
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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