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

Comments on ATF Regulation Proposals

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

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Scholarly Articles

“Право народа на хранение и ношение оружия: вторая поправка билля о правах сша” [“The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms: the Second Amendment in the U.S. Bill of Rights”], 2 Ukrainian Law Journal “Law of the USA” (2013), 240-50.

“The Right of the People to Keep and Bear Arms: the Second Amendment in the U.S. Bill of Rights,” 2 Ukrainian Law Journal “Law of the USA” (2013), 240-50.

“Banning America’s Rifle: An Assault on the Second Amendment?,” 22 Federalist Society Law Review (June 28, 2021).

“Virginia’s Second Amendment Sanctuaries: Do They Have Legal Effect?,” Regent University Law Review, No. 2, 277 (2020-2021).

“The Eidgenössisches Schützenfest: a Traditional Shooting Festival,” Swiss American Historical Society Review (Nov. 2020).

“To Bear Arms for Self-Defense: A ‘Right of the People’ or a Privilege of the Few? Part 2” Federalist Society Review Vol. 21 (Mar. 31, 2020).

The Right to Bear Arms: For Me, But Not for Thee? 43 Harvard Journal of Law and Public Policy 1, 331-46 (Spring 2020).

“To Bear Arms for Self-Defense: A ‘Right of the People’ or a Privilege of the Few? Part 1” Federalist Society Review Vol. 21 (Mar. 23, 2020).

View More Scholarly Articles >>

Op-Eds & Short Articles

TV Appearances

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Presentations

Debate on NYSRPA v. Bruen: What Rights Does the 2nd Amendment Guarantee Outside the Home? – The Federalist Society (Nov. 17, 2021)

The Bruen Case in the Supreme Court – University of Texas Law School (Oct. 20, 2021)

2nd Amendment Redux in Supreme Court – Future of Freedom Foundation (Sept. 2021)

Discussing The Right to Bear Arms – The Ben Shapiro Show (June 2021)

View More Presentations >>

Instagram Updates

"Annie Oakley, the renowned 'Little Miss Sure Shot "Annie Oakley, the renowned 'Little Miss Sure Shot' who starred in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show from 1885 to 1901, personally taught 15,000 women how to shoot. 'I would like to see every woman know how to handle [firearms] as naturally as they know how to handle babies,' she stated. She encouraged women to carry pistols in their purses for self-protection. Professor Mary Zeiss Stange has noted: 'Annie Oakley felt a handgun was the appropriate firearm for self-defense -- it could be neatly tucked away in a muff or parasol. Given her own history of apparent sexual abuse, she had good reason to take self-defense seriously.'" 

Annie Oakley was born on this date in 1860.

Quotes from Halbrook, The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, p. 262 (hardback edition).

Photo caption: "Photo taken in Annie’s later years when she taught shooting to children and adults as an employee of resort hotels in Pinehurst, N.C. Annie Oakley Photo File, UW American Heritage Center."
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#annieoakley #littlemisssureshot #littlemissy #phoebeannmosey #littlesureshot #exhibitionshooter #sharpshooter #onthisday #onthisdate #bornonthisdate #bornonthisday #womenoftheamericanwest #outdoorswoman #womenshooters #womenandguns #gunquotes #inspiringquote #buffalobillswildwestshow #rtkba #rtba #individualrights #keepandbeararms #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #righttobeararms #selfdefense #selfprotection #carryapistol #carryagun #carryahandgun

"Annie Oakley, the renowned 'Little Miss Sure Shot' who starred in Buffalo Bill's Wild West show from 1885 to 1901, personally taught 15,000 women how to shoot. 'I would like to see every woman know how to handle [firearms] as naturally as they know how to handle babies,' she stated. She encouraged women to carry pistols in their purses for self-protection. Professor Mary Zeiss Stange has noted: 'Annie Oakley felt a handgun was the appropriate firearm for self-defense -- it could be neatly tucked away in a muff or parasol. Given her own history of apparent sexual abuse, she had good reason to take self-defense seriously.'"

Annie Oakley was born on this date in 1860.

Quotes from Halbrook, The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, p. 262 (hardback edition).

Photo caption: "Photo taken in Annie’s later years when she taught shooting to children and adults as an employee of resort hotels in Pinehurst, N.C. Annie Oakley Photo File, UW American Heritage Center."
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#annieoakley #littlemisssureshot #littlemissy #phoebeannmosey #littlesureshot #exhibitionshooter #sharpshooter #onthisday #onthisdate #bornonthisdate #bornonthisday #womenoftheamericanwest #outdoorswoman #womenshooters #womenandguns #gunquotes #inspiringquote #buffalobillswildwestshow #rtkba #rtba #individualrights #keepandbeararms #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #righttobeararms #selfdefense #selfprotection #carryapistol #carryagun #carryahandgun
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"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make w "The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms.  History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing."  -- Adolf Hitler ranting in April 1942

From Hitler's Secret Conversations quoted in Halbrook, Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and "Enemies of the State", p. 212.
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#naziregime #3rdreich #nazihistory #nazigermany #guncontrol #disarm #gunregistration #weaponsban #guncontrolinthethirdreich #rtkba #disarmedpopulace #naziguncontrol #ww2 #wwii #learnfromthepast #gunconfiscation#selfdefense #firearmsban  #hitlerhistory #firearmsregistration #firearmsconfiscation #germanyhistory #righttobeararms #firearms #thirdreichhistory #armspossession #disarm #disarmthepeople #possessarms #hitlerssecretconversations

"The most foolish mistake we could possibly make would be to allow the subject races to possess arms.  History shows that all conquerors who have allowed their subject races to carry arms have prepared their own downfall by so doing."  -- Adolf Hitler ranting in April 1942

From Hitler's Secret Conversations quoted in Halbrook, Gun Control in the Third Reich: Disarming the Jews and "Enemies of the State", p. 212.
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#naziregime #3rdreich #nazihistory #nazigermany #guncontrol #disarm #gunregistration #weaponsban #guncontrolinthethirdreich #rtkba #disarmedpopulace #naziguncontrol #ww2 #wwii #learnfromthepast #gunconfiscation#selfdefense #firearmsban  #hitlerhistory #firearmsregistration #firearmsconfiscation #germanyhistory #righttobeararms #firearms #thirdreichhistory #armspossession #disarm #disarmthepeople #possessarms #hitlerssecretconversations
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Yesterday I was interviewed by Gary Nolan on his r Yesterday I was interviewed by Gary Nolan on his radio show.  We discussed the origins of the Second Amendment - going back to Plato and Aristotle, the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, and my latest book The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?  We also talked about how wealthy elites like Michael Bloomberg call for gun control yet surround himself with armed guards but for ordinary people, we are our first protector and therefore need the right to keep and bear arms.  

Gary Nolan is an American talk radio host and a former candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination for President of the U.S.  Through his radio shows he shares "his message of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and constitutionally-limited government."

The episode is about 20 minutes long and can be found on Independent Institute's website (multimedia tab) at:  

https://www.independent.org/multimedia/detail.asp?id=7197
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#garynolan #garynolanradio #stephenhalbrook #rtkba #rtba #keepandbeararms #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #righttobeararms #2a #2ndamendment #2ahistory #armed #armedcitizen #nysrpavbruen #2acase #concealedcarry #selfdefense #firearmslaws #firearmslicense #ccw #totalitariangovernment #reconstruction #civilrights #jimcrow #14thamendment #14a #aristotle #plato #disarm

Yesterday I was interviewed by Gary Nolan on his radio show.  We discussed the origins of the Second Amendment - going back to Plato and Aristotle, the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling in New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen, and my latest book The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?  We also talked about how wealthy elites like Michael Bloomberg call for gun control yet surround himself with armed guards but for ordinary people, we are our first protector and therefore need the right to keep and bear arms.  

Gary Nolan is an American talk radio host and a former candidate for the Libertarian Party nomination for President of the U.S.  Through his radio shows he shares "his message of individual liberty, personal responsibility, and constitutionally-limited government."

The episode is about 20 minutes long and can be found on Independent Institute's website (multimedia tab) at:  

https://www.independent.org/multimedia/detail.asp?id=7197
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#garynolan #garynolanradio #stephenhalbrook #rtkba #rtba #keepandbeararms #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #righttobeararms #2a #2ndamendment #2ahistory #armed #armedcitizen #nysrpavbruen #2acase #concealedcarry #selfdefense #firearmslaws #firearmslicense #ccw #totalitariangovernment #reconstruction #civilrights #jimcrow #14thamendment #14a #aristotle #plato #disarm
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"The Second Amendment refers to 'the right of the "The Second Amendment refers to 'the right of the people.' The term 'people' was defined as 'persons in general' in Webster's 1806 dictionary, and 'the people' was defined as 'the commonalty, as distinct from men of rank' in his 1828 dictionary.  Noah Webster was a prominent Federalist spokesman in the debates on the Constitution in 1787, and his latter dictionary was adopted as the standard by Congress and the American people."

From Halbrook, The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, p. 12 (hardback edition).
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#noahwebster #webstersdictionary #webstersdictionary1806 #webstersdictionary1828 #federalist #federalistspokesman #peopledefined #thepeople #constitutionaldebates #constitution #politicalwriter #rtkba #rtba #individualrights #keepandbeararms #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #righttobeararms #rightofthepeople #2a #2ndamendment #2ahistory #armedpeople #armedpopulace #armed #armedcitizen #gunrightsmatter #defendthe2nd #constitutionalright #2ahistory

"The Second Amendment refers to 'the right of the people.' The term 'people' was defined as 'persons in general' in Webster's 1806 dictionary, and 'the people' was defined as 'the commonalty, as distinct from men of rank' in his 1828 dictionary.  Noah Webster was a prominent Federalist spokesman in the debates on the Constitution in 1787, and his latter dictionary was adopted as the standard by Congress and the American people."

From Halbrook, The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, p. 12 (hardback edition).
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#noahwebster #webstersdictionary #webstersdictionary1806 #webstersdictionary1828 #federalist #federalistspokesman #peopledefined #thepeople #constitutionaldebates #constitution #politicalwriter #rtkba #rtba #individualrights #keepandbeararms #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #righttobeararms #rightofthepeople #2a #2ndamendment #2ahistory #armedpeople #armedpopulace #armed #armedcitizen #gunrightsmatter #defendthe2nd #constitutionalright #2ahistory
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Timeless words:  "Tyranny, like hell, is not easi Timeless words:  "Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."  -- Thomas Paine, The American Crisis (Dec. 23, 1776)

Quoted in Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, p. 115.

Painting: "Bunker Hill" by Don Troiani
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#thomaspaine #thomaspainequotes #1776 #liberty #freedom #lifeandliberty #keepandbeararms #citizenrights #constitutionalright #therightofthepeople #rightofthepeople #foundingfathers #foundingfather #foundingfathersquotes #patriot #americanhistory #ushistory #secureliberty #donttreadonme #oppression #politicalessayist #americanrevolution #timelesswisdom #theamericancrisis #commonsense #tyrannylikehell #tyrannylikehellisnoteasilyconquered #timesthattrymenssouls #thefounderssecondamendment #tyrannicalgoverment

Timeless words:  "Tyranny, like hell, is not easily conquered; yet we have this consolation with us, that the harder the conflict, the more glorious the triumph."  -- Thomas Paine, The American Crisis (Dec. 23, 1776)

Quoted in Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, p. 115.

Painting: "Bunker Hill" by Don Troiani
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#thomaspaine #thomaspainequotes #1776 #liberty #freedom #lifeandliberty #keepandbeararms #citizenrights #constitutionalright #therightofthepeople #rightofthepeople #foundingfathers #foundingfather #foundingfathersquotes #patriot #americanhistory #ushistory #secureliberty #donttreadonme #oppression #politicalessayist #americanrevolution #timelesswisdom #theamericancrisis #commonsense #tyrannylikehell #tyrannylikehellisnoteasilyconquered #timesthattrymenssouls #thefounderssecondamendment #tyrannicalgoverment
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If you're a woman alone for the afternoon on a ran If you're a woman alone for the afternoon on a ranch in Montana in the 1890s, and a stranger suddenly surprises you and gives you all the wrong vibes, what should you do?  Nannie Alderson knew how to handle the situation.  She recalled:  "I cooked him a dinner with my husband's six shooter and belt buckled on under my apron."  And for good measure she later tucked a straight razor into the front of her corset.  

From A Bride Goes West by Nannie T. Alderson and Helena Huntington Smith.

My daughter, Lisa, highly recommends this memoir by Nannie Alderson, a woman who started a little ranch in Montana with her new husband in 1882.  The book is full of stories about ranching, people, and conflict with the land and Indians.  It was a hard, dangerous, and yet exciting and rewarding time to be a pioneer out west.

Photo caption: "This lass is dressed in the latest fashion—for the late 19th century, that is—including her then-high-tech Colt Lightning pump-action carbine." 
[truewestmagazine.com/lightning-without-thunder/]
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#womenoftheamericanwest #womenshooters #womenandguns #vintagephoto #oldwest #wildwest #oldwest #americanwest 
#americanhistory #memoir #abridegoeswest #helenahuntingtonsmith #historicalmemoir #lifeonaranch #montanaranch #montanahomestead #cowgirl #cowboys #nannieAlderson #nannieTalderson #cowboysandindians #montanahistory #homestead #pioneer #coltlightning #coltpumpactioncarbine #coltcarbine #pumpaction #pumpactioncarbine #womenandguns #selfdefense #selfprotection

If you're a woman alone for the afternoon on a ranch in Montana in the 1890s, and a stranger suddenly surprises you and gives you all the wrong vibes, what should you do?  Nannie Alderson knew how to handle the situation.  She recalled:  "I cooked him a dinner with my husband's six shooter and belt buckled on under my apron."  And for good measure she later tucked a straight razor into the front of her corset.  

From A Bride Goes West by Nannie T. Alderson and Helena Huntington Smith.

My daughter, Lisa, highly recommends this memoir by Nannie Alderson, a woman who started a little ranch in Montana with her new husband in 1882.  The book is full of stories about ranching, people, and conflict with the land and Indians.  It was a hard, dangerous, and yet exciting and rewarding time to be a pioneer out west.

Photo caption: "This lass is dressed in the latest fashion—for the late 19th century, that is—including her then-high-tech Colt Lightning pump-action carbine." 
[truewestmagazine.com/lightning-without-thunder/]
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#womenoftheamericanwest #womenshooters #womenandguns #vintagephoto #oldwest #wildwest #oldwest #americanwest 
#americanhistory #memoir #abridegoeswest #helenahuntingtonsmith #historicalmemoir #lifeonaranch #montanaranch #montanahomestead #cowgirl #cowboys #nannieAlderson #nannieTalderson #cowboysandindians #montanahistory #homestead #pioneer #coltlightning #coltpumpactioncarbine #coltcarbine #pumpaction #pumpactioncarbine #womenandguns #selfdefense #selfprotection
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Firearms possession in Nazi occupied France w Firearms possession in Nazi occupied France was punishable by death.  Citizens were executed for possession of firearms on an almost daily basis.  Le Matin, a French newspaper that took a pro-Nazi stance during the war, often condemned those who dared defy the Nazis and hid arms and explosives. For those who were caught and arrested, Le Matin found their swift executions to be just.  The October 25, 1941 issue of Le Matin had this tongue-lashing: "They were keeping arms, why? There are people who foolishly or deliberately hide arsenals at home. . . . Anyone in possession of a pistol or a gun can only be looked at as a potential assassin.  And expect the most serious sanctions." 

From Halbrook, Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France, p. 114.

Photo caption: "Members of the French Resistance being taken for execution after a trial, Paris, 14 April 1942"
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#lematin #lematinnewspaper #1941 #explosives #arsenalfirearms #franceguncontrol #wwii #gunconfiscation #firearmsconfiscation  #firearmsban #wwiihistory #frenchguncontrol #nazifrance #naziguncontrol #guncontrol #nazioccupiedfrance #righttobeararms #gunregistration #guncontrolinnazioccupiedfrance #nazilaws #disarm #ww2history #wwiihistory #rtkba #righttobeararms #francehistory #turninyourweapons #possessionofarms #resistance #frenchresistance

Firearms possession in Nazi occupied France was punishable by death.  Citizens were executed for possession of firearms on an almost daily basis.  Le Matin, a French newspaper that took a pro-Nazi stance during the war, often condemned those who dared defy the Nazis and hid arms and explosives. For those who were caught and arrested, Le Matin found their swift executions to be just.  The October 25, 1941 issue of Le Matin had this tongue-lashing: "They were keeping arms, why? There are people who foolishly or deliberately hide arsenals at home. . . . Anyone in possession of a pistol or a gun can only be looked at as a potential assassin.  And expect the most serious sanctions." 

From Halbrook, Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France, p. 114.

Photo caption: "Members of the French Resistance being taken for execution after a trial, Paris, 14 April 1942"
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#lematin #lematinnewspaper #1941 #explosives #arsenalfirearms #franceguncontrol #wwii #gunconfiscation #firearmsconfiscation  #firearmsban #wwiihistory #frenchguncontrol #nazifrance #naziguncontrol #guncontrol #nazioccupiedfrance #righttobeararms #gunregistration #guncontrolinnazioccupiedfrance #nazilaws #disarm #ww2history #wwiihistory #rtkba #righttobeararms #francehistory #turninyourweapons #possessionofarms #resistance #frenchresistance
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August is National Shooting Sports Month which me August is National Shooting Sports Month which means it's time to spend a fun day at a gun range practicing target-shooting sports.  Rifles, handguns, shotguns ... targets, clays ... shooting offers variety. According to NSSF, "Millions of Americans have purchased their first firearm over the last two years and millions more show great interest in learning about recreational shooting . . . ."  If you're an experienced shooter, this is a great time to help teach the novice some shooting skills. 

NSSF has plenty of help and suggestions on their website for ways that both new and experienced shooters can participate: https://www.letsgoshooting.org/

Photo: I enjoyed working with some of my grandsons earlier this year and teaching them to shoot both with different guns and in different positions.
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#letsgoshooting #nssf #NationalShootingSportsFoundation #NationalShootingSportsMonth #shootingsportsmonth #americanfreedom #americantradition #keepandbeararms #2a #rtkba #rtba #2ndamendment #righttobeararms #righttokeepandbeararms #2afreedom #shootingsports #shootingtradition #firearm #firearms #shootingskill #shootingguns #shooting #teachingshooting #shootinglessons #targetpractice #shootmore #learntoshoot #firearmstraining #teachkidstoshoot #teachkidstoshootsafely

August is National Shooting Sports Month which means it's time to spend a fun day at a gun range practicing target-shooting sports.  Rifles, handguns, shotguns ... targets, clays ... shooting offers variety. According to NSSF, "Millions of Americans have purchased their first firearm over the last two years and millions more show great interest in learning about recreational shooting . . . ."  If you're an experienced shooter, this is a great time to help teach the novice some shooting skills. 

NSSF has plenty of help and suggestions on their website for ways that both new and experienced shooters can participate: https://www.letsgoshooting.org/

Photo: I enjoyed working with some of my grandsons earlier this year and teaching them to shoot both with different guns and in different positions.
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#letsgoshooting #nssf #NationalShootingSportsFoundation #NationalShootingSportsMonth #shootingsportsmonth #americanfreedom #americantradition #keepandbeararms #2a #rtkba #rtba #2ndamendment #righttobeararms #righttokeepandbeararms #2afreedom #shootingsports #shootingtradition #firearm #firearms #shootingskill #shootingguns #shooting #teachingshooting #shootinglessons #targetpractice #shootmore #learntoshoot #firearmstraining #teachkidstoshoot #teachkidstoshootsafely
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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