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

Scholarly Articles

“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

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

"Tench Coxe, a friend of Madison and a prominent F "Tench Coxe, a friend of Madison and a prominent Federalist, argued in his influential 'An American Citizen' that, should tyranny threaten, the 'friends to liberty . . . using those arms which Providence has put into their hands, will make a solemn appeal to "the power above."  '  Coxe also wrote:  'The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, will render many troops quite unnecessary.  They will form a powerful check upon the regular troops, and will generally be sufficient to over-awe them. . . .' "

From Halbrook, That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right, p. 68.

Photo: 1931 women's rifle team, University of Idaho
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#tenchcoxe #foundingfathers #jamesmadison #AnAmericanCitizen #federalist #militia #americanmilitia #americanbirthright #stayarmed #inthehandsofthepeople #governmentalpower #constitution #liberty #freedom #patriots #freedomfighter #fightforliberty #americanhistory #billofrightshistory #2ahistory #sacredrights #naturalrights #humanrights  #defendyourrights #keepyourrights #tyranny #firearms #womensrifleteam #universityofidaho #rifles

"Tench Coxe, a friend of Madison and a prominent Federalist, argued in his influential 'An American Citizen' that, should tyranny threaten, the 'friends to liberty . . . using those arms which Providence has put into their hands, will make a solemn appeal to "the power above."  '  Coxe also wrote:  'The militia, who are in fact the effective part of the people at large, will render many troops quite unnecessary.  They will form a powerful check upon the regular troops, and will generally be sufficient to over-awe them. . . .' "

From Halbrook, That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right, p. 68.

Photo: 1931 women's rifle team, University of Idaho
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#tenchcoxe #foundingfathers #jamesmadison #AnAmericanCitizen #federalist #militia #americanmilitia #americanbirthright #stayarmed #inthehandsofthepeople #governmentalpower #constitution #liberty #freedom #patriots #freedomfighter #fightforliberty #americanhistory #billofrightshistory #2ahistory #sacredrights #naturalrights #humanrights #defendyourrights #keepyourrights #tyranny #firearms #womensrifleteam #universityofidaho #rifles
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"One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, a "One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.”  - Niccolò Machiavelli (from The Prince).  We've been enjoying seeing this fox couple in our yard lately.

 #Machiavellian #niccolòmachiavelli #niccolomachiavelli #machiavelli #machiavellitheprince #theprince #machiavelliquote #machiavelliquotes #naturesbenefits #learnfromnature #redfox #redfoxes #redfoxoutdoor #foxes #wildlifephoto #foxesofig #foxesofinstagram #thefox #foxcouple #foxcouples #foxesinsnow #slyasafox #slyfox #studyanimals #watchfortraps #outdooranimals #beautifulfoxes #lookoutside #lookforwildlife #bewise

"One must therefore be a fox to recognize traps, and a lion to frighten wolves.”  - Niccolò Machiavelli (from The Prince).  We've been enjoying seeing this fox couple in our yard lately.

 #Machiavellian #niccolòmachiavelli #niccolomachiavelli #machiavelli #machiavellitheprince #theprince #machiavelliquote #machiavelliquotes #naturesbenefits #learnfromnature #redfox #redfoxes #redfoxoutdoor #foxes #wildlifephoto #foxesofig #foxesofinstagram #thefox #foxcouple #foxcouples #foxesinsnow #slyasafox #slyfox #studyanimals #watchfortraps #outdooranimals #beautifulfoxes #lookoutside #lookforwildlife #bewise
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What is essential to the preservation of liberty?  "The establishment of a militia, which is putting arms in the hands of the people, for their defence, was a point which the patriots lately carried in the mother country, and contended for, as essential to the preservation of their liberties."  From the New York Journal, March 31, 1774.  Quoted in Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, p. 31. 
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 #2ahistory #ushistory #americanhistory #billofrights #gunrights #constitutionalrights #thefounderssecondamendment #2a #2ndamendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #militia #uspatriot #individualrights #armedcitizen #keepandbeararms #selfdefense #selfdefence #firearm #firearms #gunowner #liberty #rtba #armedpeople #nyjournal #newyorkjournal #1774 #americanpatriots #preservationofliberty #essentialtoliberty

What is essential to the preservation of liberty?  "The establishment of a militia, which is putting arms in the hands of the people, for their defence, was a point which the patriots lately carried in the mother country, and contended for, as essential to the preservation of their liberties."  From the New York Journal, March 31, 1774.  Quoted in Halbrook, The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, p. 31. 
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 #2ahistory #ushistory #americanhistory #billofrights #gunrights #constitutionalrights #thefounderssecondamendment #2a #2ndamendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #militia #uspatriot #individualrights #armedcitizen #keepandbeararms #selfdefense #selfdefence #firearm #firearms #gunowner #liberty #rtba #armedpeople #nyjournal #newyorkjournal #1774 #americanpatriots #preservationofliberty #essentialtoliberty
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French Resistance leader Guillian de Bénouville French Resistance leader Guillian de Bénouville noted "how firearms were essential for the personal security of members of the Resistance as they carried out their functions." In his book Unknown Warriors, he recalled, "The death penalty had just been decreed in France for anyone carrying arms without a special permit.  Until we could get hold of a permit in order to make duplicates for our men, we had to take every precaution to conceal our arms.  But whatever the risk, the arms were necessary.  At least we would have a chance to escape in case of arrest, and it was better to shoot it out than to face the awful torture that would certainly be in store for some of us if captured.  Besides, it was good for our comrades to know that their chiefs did not intend to be taken alive."

From Halbrook, Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France: Tyranny and Resistance, pgs. 99-100.

Poster: "Louvat, R. French Resistance helps throttle the Boche., poster, 1944"  from https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc471/

[Note: "Boche" was a derogatory word for Germans.]
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#GuilliandeBénouville #UnknownWarriors #guncontrol #nazigermany #disarm #weaponssearch #naziguncontrol #francehistory #nazioccupiedfrance #righttobeararms #gunregistration #guncontrolinnazioccupiedfrance #weaponsconfiscation #firearmsban #wwIIhistory #ww2history  #turninyourweapons #disarmingthefrench #frenchresistance #hideyourguns #selfdefense #concealedfirearm #concealedfirearms #gunpermit #bravemen #deathpenalty #Boche #fighttothedeath #wwiiposter #defendyourself

French Resistance leader Guillian de Bénouville noted "how firearms were essential for the personal security of members of the Resistance as they carried out their functions." In his book Unknown Warriors, he recalled, "The death penalty had just been decreed in France for anyone carrying arms without a special permit.  Until we could get hold of a permit in order to make duplicates for our men, we had to take every precaution to conceal our arms.  But whatever the risk, the arms were necessary.  At least we would have a chance to escape in case of arrest, and it was better to shoot it out than to face the awful torture that would certainly be in store for some of us if captured.  Besides, it was good for our comrades to know that their chiefs did not intend to be taken alive."

From Halbrook, Gun Control in Nazi-Occupied France: Tyranny and Resistance, pgs. 99-100.

Poster: "Louvat, R. French Resistance helps throttle the Boche., poster, 1944"  from https://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc471/

[Note: "Boche" was a derogatory word for Germans.]
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#GuilliandeBénouville #UnknownWarriors #guncontrol #nazigermany #disarm #weaponssearch #naziguncontrol #francehistory #nazioccupiedfrance #righttobeararms #gunregistration #guncontrolinnazioccupiedfrance #weaponsconfiscation #firearmsban #wwIIhistory #ww2history  #turninyourweapons #disarmingthefrench #frenchresistance #hideyourguns #selfdefense #concealedfirearm #concealedfirearms #gunpermit #bravemen #deathpenalty #Boche #fighttothedeath #wwiiposter #defendyourself
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"The framers gave us the Second Amendment not so w "The framers gave us the Second Amendment not so we could go deer or duck hunting but to give us a modicum of protection against congressional tyranny." - Walter E. Williams.  
Williams (1936-2020) was a great American scholar and patriot.
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#walterwilliams #walterewilliams #duckhunter #2a #2ndamendment #2amendmentrights #2amendmentsupporter #2amendmentmatters #2ndamendmentrights #2ndamendmentright #2ndamendmentsupporter #foundingfathers #constitution #usconstitution #billofrights #duckhunting #deerhunting #deerhunter #freedom #tyranny #governmenttyranny #hunter #hunting #huntingrights #righttokeepandbeararms #rtkba #rtba #gunquotes #2aquotes #congressionaltyranny

"The framers gave us the Second Amendment not so we could go deer or duck hunting but to give us a modicum of protection against congressional tyranny." - Walter E. Williams.  
Williams (1936-2020) was a great American scholar and patriot.
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#walterwilliams #walterewilliams #duckhunter #2a #2ndamendment #2amendmentrights #2amendmentsupporter #2amendmentmatters #2ndamendmentrights #2ndamendmentright #2ndamendmentsupporter #foundingfathers #constitution #usconstitution #billofrights #duckhunting #deerhunting #deerhunter #freedom #tyranny #governmenttyranny #hunter #hunting #huntingrights #righttokeepandbeararms #rtkba #rtba #gunquotes #2aquotes #congressionaltyranny
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"Decades before the Glorious Revolution of 1688, g "Decades before the Glorious Revolution of 1688, gunsmiths had designed, among other handguns, the English screw-barrel flintlock pistol, and they were being made in ever-greater quantities, in pocket and medium sizes, by the end of the century.  During and after the reign of Queen Anne, who succeeded William III, these pistols were widely carried, such as by travelers for defense against highwaymen."  

From The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, p. 91.

More photos plus description at: icollector.com/English-Screw-Barrel-Flintlock-Pistol_i11871952
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#EnglishScrewBarrelFlintlockPistol #screwbarrel #flintlock #flintlockpistol #flintlockpistols #handgun #handguns #historicgun #pocketgun #pocketguns #44cal #44caliber #selfdefense #travelersprotection #highwaymen #gunsmiths #1600s #kingwilliamiii #queenanne #gloriousrevolution #2ahistory #rtkba #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #armedpeople #2a #2ndamendment #gunrightsmatter #2amendmentsupporter #carryagun

"Decades before the Glorious Revolution of 1688, gunsmiths had designed, among other handguns, the English screw-barrel flintlock pistol, and they were being made in ever-greater quantities, in pocket and medium sizes, by the end of the century.  During and after the reign of Queen Anne, who succeeded William III, these pistols were widely carried, such as by travelers for defense against highwaymen."  

From The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, p. 91.

More photos plus description at: icollector.com/English-Screw-Barrel-Flintlock-Pistol_i11871952
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#EnglishScrewBarrelFlintlockPistol #screwbarrel #flintlock #flintlockpistol #flintlockpistols #handgun #handguns #historicgun #pocketgun #pocketguns #44cal #44caliber #selfdefense #travelersprotection #highwaymen #gunsmiths #1600s #kingwilliamiii #queenanne #gloriousrevolution #2ahistory #rtkba #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #armedpeople #2a #2ndamendment #gunrightsmatter #2amendmentsupporter #carryagun
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To shoot or not to shoot ... that is the question. To shoot or not to shoot ... that is the question.  Vintage Stevens ad from National Sportsman Magazine, September 1, 1905. 
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#gunads #vintagegunads #stevensshotgun #stevensshotguns #stevensshotgunad #vintageads #historyinads #stevensad  #jstevensarms #jstevensarmscompany #vintagegunad #1900sadvertising #responsiblegunowner #responsiblegunownership #stevensarms #toshootornottoshoot #sportswoman #womanhunter #womenhunters #womenthathunt #womenandguns #aimgame #reliablegun #nationalsportsmanmagazine #stevensrifles #stevenspistols #rifletelescopes #gunaccuracy #historicgunad #huntingdog

To shoot or not to shoot ... that is the question.  Vintage Stevens ad from National Sportsman Magazine, September 1, 1905. 
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#gunads #vintagegunads #stevensshotgun #stevensshotguns #stevensshotgunad #vintageads #historyinads #stevensad  #jstevensarms #jstevensarmscompany #vintagegunad #1900sadvertising #responsiblegunowner #responsiblegunownership #stevensarms #toshootornottoshoot #sportswoman #womanhunter #womenhunters #womenthathunt #womenandguns #aimgame #reliablegun #nationalsportsmanmagazine #stevensrifles #stevenspistols #rifletelescopes #gunaccuracy #historicgunad #huntingdog
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In January 1956, Martin Luther King Jr.'s house wa In January 1956, Martin Luther King Jr.'s house was bombed, and armed black men scrambled to protect him and his wife Coretta, and their young daughter.  "King even sought a permit to carry a concealed gun in his car. But local authorities determined that he had not shown 'good cause' for needing a permit to carry a firearm. A generation later, protests against the caprice and cronyism that pervaded these types of discretionary permit systems would spark a movement toward nondiscretionary, 'shall issue' concealed-carry permits that would become the American norm."  Quoted from Johnson, Negroes and the Gun, 262.

The denial of King’s application made the newspapers:  "A Negro boycott leader whose home was bombed earlier this week has been denied a pistol permit, the sheriff’s department said yesterday.
"The Rev. M. L. King and two other Negro clergymen requested the permit Wednesday, Sheriff Mac Sim Butler said.
"Sheriff Butler said he declined to issue a pistol permit which King said he wanted for a night watchman at his home.
"He said threats against him have been received “continuously” and he felt the need for a watchman."
(From “Negro Leader Fails to Get Pistol Permit,” Montgomery Advertiser, Feb. 4, 1956, at 3B.)

For more details, see my amicus brief NYSRPA v. Bruen, pgs. 31-34. It is on my website, StephenHalbrook.com (1st item in "On Brief" section on left of home page).  
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#martinlutherking #martinlutherkingjr #concealedcarry #concealedcarrypermit #gunpermitdenied #alabamahistory #1956 #blackhistory #mlkday #mlkday2021 #martinlutherkingjrday #civilrights #blackgunrights #gunrights #selfdefense #gunlicense #2a #2amendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #constitutionalright #historybuff #selfdefense #BlackGunsMatter #MLK #carryconcealed  #negroesandthegun #pistolpermit #NYSRPAvBruen #MontgomeryAdvertiser

In January 1956, Martin Luther King Jr.'s house was bombed, and armed black men scrambled to protect him and his wife Coretta, and their young daughter.  "King even sought a permit to carry a concealed gun in his car. But local authorities determined that he had not shown 'good cause' for needing a permit to carry a firearm. A generation later, protests against the caprice and cronyism that pervaded these types of discretionary permit systems would spark a movement toward nondiscretionary, 'shall issue' concealed-carry permits that would become the American norm."  Quoted from Johnson, Negroes and the Gun, 262.

The denial of King’s application made the newspapers:  "A Negro boycott leader whose home was bombed earlier this week has been denied a pistol permit, the sheriff’s department said yesterday.
"The Rev. M. L. King and two other Negro clergymen requested the permit Wednesday, Sheriff Mac Sim Butler said.
"Sheriff Butler said he declined to issue a pistol permit which King said he wanted for a night watchman at his home.
"He said threats against him have been received “continuously” and he felt the need for a watchman."
(From “Negro Leader Fails to Get Pistol Permit,” Montgomery Advertiser, Feb. 4, 1956, at 3B.)

For more details, see my amicus brief NYSRPA v. Bruen, pgs. 31-34. It is on my website, StephenHalbrook.com (1st item in "On Brief" section on left of home page).  
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#martinlutherking #martinlutherkingjr #concealedcarry #concealedcarrypermit #gunpermitdenied #alabamahistory #1956 #blackhistory #mlkday #mlkday2021 #martinlutherkingjrday #civilrights #blackgunrights #gunrights #selfdefense #gunlicense #2a #2amendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #constitutionalright #historybuff #selfdefense #BlackGunsMatter #MLK #carryconcealed  #negroesandthegun #pistolpermit #NYSRPAvBruen #MontgomeryAdvertiser
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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