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

“The Second Amendment Was Adopted to Protect Liberty, Not Slavery: A Reply to Professors Bogus and Anderson,” 20 Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy 575 (2022).

“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).

View More Scholarly Articles >>

Op-Eds & Short Articles

TV Appearances

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Presentations

America’s Rifle: The Case for the AR-15 – Four Boxes Diner (Jan. 21, 2023)

The ATF Pistol Brace Rules – Four Boxes Diner (Jan. 15, 2023)

Aftermath of Bruen – Federalist Society National Convention (Nov. 12, 2022, begin at 12:25)

America’s Rifle: The Case for the AR-15 – SAF Gun Rights Policy Conference (Oct. 1, 2022)

The ATF Can’t Ban Bump Stocks – Four Boxes Diner (Sept. 13, 2022)

Gun Registries Are Dangerous (and Illegal) – Four Boxes Diner (Sept. 11, 2022)

Americans Have a Right to Ghost Guns – Four Boxes Diner (Sept. 10, 2022)

ATF and Pistol Braces – Four Boxes Diner (Sept. 9, 2022)

View More Presentations >>

Instagram Updates

"As for repelling invasions, a reservoir of citize "As for repelling invasions, a reservoir of citizens with arms will always remain relevant. In 1941, when fear existed of a Nazi invasion of the United Kingdom, George Orwell wrote about the Home Guard, of which he was a member: “The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do: they cannot give the factory-worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer’s cottage, is the symbol of democracy."  -- George Orwell 

From George Orwell, “Don’t Let Colonel Blimp Ruin the Home Guard,” Evening Standard, Jan. 8, 1941, quoted in Halbrook, America's Rifle: The Case for the AR-15, p. 339.
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#americasrifle #AmericasRifleTheCaseForTheAR15 #georgeorwell #georgeorwellquote #georgeorwellquotes #orwellian #famousauthors #democraticsocialist #totalitarian #totalitarianism #democracy #rifle #rifles #symbolofdemocracy #preserveliberty #2amendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #rtba #selfdefense #armed #progun #gunquote #gunquotes #armedselfdefense #naziinvasion #homeguard #colonelblimp #totalitarianstates #citizenswitharms

"As for repelling invasions, a reservoir of citizens with arms will always remain relevant. In 1941, when fear existed of a Nazi invasion of the United Kingdom, George Orwell wrote about the Home Guard, of which he was a member: “The totalitarian states can do great things, but there is one thing they cannot do: they cannot give the factory-worker a rifle and tell him to take it home and keep it in his bedroom. That rifle hanging on the wall of the working-class flat or labourer’s cottage, is the symbol of democracy."  -- George Orwell 

From George Orwell, “Don’t Let Colonel Blimp Ruin the Home Guard,” Evening Standard, Jan. 8, 1941, quoted in Halbrook, America's Rifle: The Case for the AR-15, p. 339.
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#americasrifle #AmericasRifleTheCaseForTheAR15 #georgeorwell #georgeorwellquote #georgeorwellquotes #orwellian #famousauthors #democraticsocialist #totalitarian #totalitarianism #democracy #rifle #rifles #symbolofdemocracy #preserveliberty #2amendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #rtba #selfdefense #armed #progun #gunquote #gunquotes #armedselfdefense #naziinvasion #homeguard #colonelblimp #totalitarianstates #citizenswitharms
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"The supposed quietude of a good man allures the r "The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. ... Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them [arms]; ... the weak will become a prey to the strong."  -- Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine 

From: Halbrook, The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, p. 151 (hardback edition).
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#thomaspaine #thomaspainequotes #keepandbeararms #therightofthepeople #foundingfather #shallnotbeinfringed #lawabidinggunowner #gunrights #2amendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #2ahistory #progun #foundingfathersquote #armedcitizen #selfdefenseisaright #rtba #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #armedpeople #selfdefense #righttokeepandbeararms #gunrightsmatter #gunowners #preserveorder #vintagegunads #iverjohnson #iverjohnsonad #iverjohnsonrevolvers #iverjohnsonarmsandcycleworks

"The supposed quietude of a good man allures the ruffian; while on the other hand, arms like laws discourage and keep the invader and the plunderer in awe, and preserve order in the world as well as property. ... Horrid mischief would ensue were one half the world deprived of the use of them [arms]; ... the weak will become a prey to the strong."  -- Thomas Paine, Pennsylvania Magazine 

From: Halbrook, The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, p. 151 (hardback edition).
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#thomaspaine #thomaspainequotes #keepandbeararms #therightofthepeople #foundingfather #shallnotbeinfringed #lawabidinggunowner #gunrights #2amendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #2ahistory #progun #foundingfathersquote #armedcitizen #selfdefenseisaright #rtba #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #armedpeople #selfdefense #righttokeepandbeararms #gunrightsmatter #gunowners #preserveorder #vintagegunads #iverjohnson #iverjohnsonad #iverjohnsonrevolvers #iverjohnsonarmsandcycleworks
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"While French regimes historically imposed various "While French regimes historically imposed various restrictions on gun ownership, in 1935 Prime Minister Laval issued an unprecedented decree imposing firearm registration.  The timing could not have been worse.  The German occupation that began in 1940 decreed the death penalty for gun ownership, and the French police--the repository of the registration records--enforced German policy.  Laval became the collaborator-in-chief."  

From Halbrook, Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France, pgs. 3-4.
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#primeministerlaval #pierrelaval #germanoccupation #frenchregime #gunownership #gunrestrictions #franceguncontrol #wwii #wwiihistory #frenchguncontrol #naziguncontrol #francehistory #guncontrol #nazioccupiedfrance #righttobeararms #guncontrolinnazioccupiedfrance #ww2guns #gunconfiscation #firearmregistration #gunregistration #nazilaws #ww2history #disarm #gunrestriction #franceguns #frenchpolice #gunregistrationrecords #germanoccupation #deathpenalty #collaboratorinchief

"While French regimes historically imposed various restrictions on gun ownership, in 1935 Prime Minister Laval issued an unprecedented decree imposing firearm registration.  The timing could not have been worse.  The German occupation that began in 1940 decreed the death penalty for gun ownership, and the French police--the repository of the registration records--enforced German policy.  Laval became the collaborator-in-chief."  

From Halbrook, Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France, pgs. 3-4.
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#primeministerlaval #pierrelaval #germanoccupation #frenchregime #gunownership #gunrestrictions #franceguncontrol #wwii #wwiihistory #frenchguncontrol #naziguncontrol #francehistory #guncontrol #nazioccupiedfrance #righttobeararms #guncontrolinnazioccupiedfrance #ww2guns #gunconfiscation #firearmregistration #gunregistration #nazilaws #ww2history #disarm #gunrestriction #franceguns #frenchpolice #gunregistrationrecords #germanoccupation #deathpenalty #collaboratorinchief
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Mark W. Smith of 4 Boxes Diner ( @thefourboxesdin Mark W. Smith of 4 Boxes Diner ( @thefourboxesdiner ) and I discussed my new book, America's Rifle: The Case for the AR-15.

The interview is titled "AMERICA'S RIFLE: The Case For The AR-15..." and is available on "The Four Boxes Diner" YouTube channel at:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtddE-9g5Do

Timestamps:

0:00 Intro
0:51 New History Book
1:51 Why AR-15 Book?
3:42 SCOTUS "Arms Ban" Standard
7:25 HELLER: "handguns commonly used"
8:13 200,000 stun guns
9:08 AR-15=super popular
12:37 'Assault Weapon' Term
16:20 Staples v. US
17:55 Semi-auto rifles are COMMON
19:17 'Arms' Ban Legal Standard 
20:48 AR rifles popular
22:59 ATF data Proves
24:30 Article I Patents
25:50 Thomas Jefferson in France
27:39 Malum prohibitum v. In aw
30:40 Malum prohibitum gun laws
31:32 'Modern Sporting Rifle' term
35:35 World War II "confiscation" history
39:10 2A Clauses
40:50 "Collective Rights" Theory
42:38 Armed Citizenry
44:48 President Biden's Arguments
47:47 America's Rifle
52:00 Outro
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#americasrifle #AmericasRifleTheCaseForTheAR15 #stephenhalbrook #ar15 #ar15rifle #ar15nation #ar15s #ar15world #ar15daily #ar15fanatics #ar15gunownersofamerica #semiautomaticrifle #semiautomaticrifles #2ahistory #gunhistory #firearmhistory #firearmsban #gunban #therightofthepeople #2ndamendment #righttobeararms #hellercase #nysrpavbruen #2acases #flashsuppressor #shoulderstock #assaultweapon #machinegun #m16 #repeatingfirearm

Mark W. Smith of 4 Boxes Diner ( @thefourboxesdiner ) and I discussed my new book, America's Rifle: The Case for the AR-15.

The interview is titled "AMERICA'S RIFLE: The Case For The AR-15..." and is available on "The Four Boxes Diner" YouTube channel at:  

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=EtddE-9g5Do

Timestamps:

0:00 Intro
0:51 New History Book
1:51 Why AR-15 Book?
3:42 SCOTUS "Arms Ban" Standard
7:25 HELLER: "handguns commonly used"
8:13 200,000 stun guns
9:08 AR-15=super popular
12:37 'Assault Weapon' Term
16:20 Staples v. US
17:55 Semi-auto rifles are COMMON
19:17 'Arms' Ban Legal Standard
20:48 AR rifles popular
22:59 ATF data Proves
24:30 Article I Patents
25:50 Thomas Jefferson in France
27:39 Malum prohibitum v. In aw
30:40 Malum prohibitum gun laws
31:32 'Modern Sporting Rifle' term
35:35 World War II "confiscation" history
39:10 2A Clauses
40:50 "Collective Rights" Theory
42:38 Armed Citizenry
44:48 President Biden's Arguments
47:47 America's Rifle
52:00 Outro
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#americasrifle #AmericasRifleTheCaseForTheAR15 #stephenhalbrook #ar15 #ar15rifle #ar15nation #ar15s #ar15world #ar15daily #ar15fanatics #ar15gunownersofamerica #semiautomaticrifle #semiautomaticrifles #2ahistory #gunhistory #firearmhistory #firearmsban #gunban #therightofthepeople #2ndamendment #righttobeararms #hellercase #nysrpavbruen #2acases #flashsuppressor #shoulderstock #assaultweapon #machinegun #m16 #repeatingfirearm
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The American colonists' skills in hunting and targ The American colonists' skills in hunting and target shooting combined with their militia experience to create good marksmen.  David Ramsay, in his History of the American Revolution (1789), wrote of the battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775):

"None of the provincials in this engagement were riflemen, but they were all good marksmen.  The whole of their previous military knowledge had been derived from hunting, and the ordinary amusements of sportsmen.  The dexterity which by long habit they had acquired in hitting beasts, birds, and marks, was fatally applied to the destruction of the British officers." 

Ramsay noted this contrast:  "Europeans, from their being generally unacquainted with fire arms are less easily taught the use of them than Americans, who are from their youth familiar with these instruments of war . . . ."

From Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, pgs. 96-97.
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#battleofbunkerhill #bunkerhill #HistoryoftheAmericanRevolution #americanrevolution #colonialamerica #thefounderssecondamendment #1775 #marksmen #shootingskills #huntingskills #targetshooting #riflemen #sportsmen #2a #2ndamendment #2amendment #rtkba #rtba #firearm #firearms #righttobeararms #2ndamendmentmeaning #2ahistory #militia #selfdefense #coloniamilitia #armedcitizen #righttokeepandbeararms #selfdefense #selfprotection

The American colonists' skills in hunting and target shooting combined with their militia experience to create good marksmen.  David Ramsay, in his History of the American Revolution (1789), wrote of the battle of Bunker Hill (June 17, 1775):

"None of the provincials in this engagement were riflemen, but they were all good marksmen.  The whole of their previous military knowledge had been derived from hunting, and the ordinary amusements of sportsmen.  The dexterity which by long habit they had acquired in hitting beasts, birds, and marks, was fatally applied to the destruction of the British officers." 

Ramsay noted this contrast:  "Europeans, from their being generally unacquainted with fire arms are less easily taught the use of them than Americans, who are from their youth familiar with these instruments of war . . . ."

From Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, pgs. 96-97.
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#battleofbunkerhill #bunkerhill #HistoryoftheAmericanRevolution #americanrevolution #colonialamerica #thefounderssecondamendment #1775 #marksmen #shootingskills #huntingskills #targetshooting #riflemen #sportsmen #2a #2ndamendment #2amendment #rtkba #rtba #firearm #firearms #righttobeararms #2ndamendmentmeaning #2ahistory #militia #selfdefense #coloniamilitia #armedcitizen #righttokeepandbeararms #selfdefense #selfprotection
...

"Around 1450, a German gunsmith cut spiraled groov "Around 1450, a German gunsmith cut spiraled grooves inside a gun barrel to cause the ball to spin, making it far more accurate than a smoothbore barrel.  Such guns were called riffeln (from the German verb for “to cut or groove”). By 1650, this Jäger rifle had a flintlock ignition system. The Germans brought this gun to America, where it was made in Pennsylvania but later dubbed the “Kentucky rifle.” A German proverb went: Ohne Schweffel und Salzpeter gibt’s keine Freiheit! (Without sulfur and saltpeter, there can be no freedom!). Unlike the musket, the rifle had good front and rear sights together with a longer barrel that fired a smaller caliber ball at greater distances."

From Halbrook, America's Rifle: The Case for the AR-15, p. 101.

Photo: John Spitzer - Kentucky Rifle - Walters 511434 - Side A.jpg
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#americasrifle #AmericasRifleTheCaseForTheAR15 #stephenhalbrook #2ahistory #gunhistory #firearmhistory #firearmshistory #germanproverb #germanproverbs #freiheit #freedom #gunsmith #germangunsmith #gunbarrel #riflebarrel #smoothborebarrel #Jägerrifle #Jäger #flintlock #flintlockignitionsystem #longbarrelrifle #kentuckyrifle #longrifle #pennsylvaniarifle #americanlongrifle #rifledfirearm #musket #muskets #riflesight #riflesights

"Around 1450, a German gunsmith cut spiraled grooves inside a gun barrel to cause the ball to spin, making it far more accurate than a smoothbore barrel.  Such guns were called riffeln (from the German verb for “to cut or groove”). By 1650, this Jäger rifle had a flintlock ignition system. The Germans brought this gun to America, where it was made in Pennsylvania but later dubbed the “Kentucky rifle.” A German proverb went: Ohne Schweffel und Salzpeter gibt’s keine Freiheit! (Without sulfur and saltpeter, there can be no freedom!). Unlike the musket, the rifle had good front and rear sights together with a longer barrel that fired a smaller caliber ball at greater distances."

From Halbrook, America's Rifle: The Case for the AR-15, p. 101.

Photo: John Spitzer - Kentucky Rifle - Walters 511434 - Side A.jpg
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#americasrifle #AmericasRifleTheCaseForTheAR15 #stephenhalbrook #2ahistory #gunhistory #firearmhistory #firearmshistory #germanproverb #germanproverbs #freiheit #freedom #gunsmith #germangunsmith #gunbarrel #riflebarrel #smoothborebarrel #Jägerrifle #Jäger #flintlock #flintlockignitionsystem #longbarrelrifle #kentuckyrifle #longrifle #pennsylvaniarifle #americanlongrifle #rifledfirearm #musket #muskets #riflesight #riflesights
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"A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse th "A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that."  Wisdom from Shane, the main character of the 1953 classic Western movie, Shane.  
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#gunwisdom #guntruth #shanemovie #shane1953 #westernmovie #cowboywestern #westernfilm #westernfilms #westerncinema #classicmovie #50swestern  #classicwesternmovie #hollywoodclassics #gunfighter #homesteaders #revolver #revolvers #selfdefense #rtkba #rtba #2a #gunquote #gunquotes #gunwisdom #agunisatool #oldwest  #guncommonsense #gunresponsibility  #westernmoviequotes

"A gun is a tool, Marian; no better or no worse than any other tool: an axe, a shovel or anything. A gun is as good or as bad as the man using it. Remember that."  Wisdom from Shane, the main character of the 1953 classic Western movie, Shane.  
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#gunwisdom #guntruth #shanemovie #shane1953 #westernmovie #cowboywestern #westernfilm #westernfilms #westerncinema #classicmovie #50swestern  #classicwesternmovie #hollywoodclassics #gunfighter #homesteaders #revolver #revolvers #selfdefense #rtkba #rtba #2a #gunquote #gunquotes #gunwisdom #agunisatool #oldwest #guncommonsense #gunresponsibility #westernmoviequotes
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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