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

“What This U.S. Supreme Court Decision Will Mean for America,” America’s 1st Freedom, Aug. 24, 2022.

“Supreme Court Second Amendment Ruling Is about Self-Defense,” Washington Examiner, July 15, 2022.

“What Firearms Have ‘Common-Use’ Protections?,” America’s 1st Freedom, May 22, 2022.

“Ukraine War Reintroduces U.S. Politicians to the Second Amendment, The Washington Times, Mar. 29, 2022.

“What Will the U.S. Supreme Court Decide?,” America’s 1st Freedom, Jan. 2, 2022.

“When Is a Constitutional Right Not a Right?,” The Wall Street Journal, Nov. 2, 2021.

“In New York State Rifle, the Court Should Look to Text, History, and Tradition,” SCOTUSblog, Oct. 30, 2021.

New York State Rifle Association v. Bruen: The Volokh Conspiracy, Oct.-Nov. 2021.

View More Op-Eds and Short Articles >>

TV Appearances

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Presentations

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)

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)

View More Presentations >>

Instagram Updates

"We start by getting our terms straight.  An ordi "We start by getting our terms straight.  An ordinary rifle is a shoulder weapon that fires one shot with a single function of the trigger.  A semiautomatic or self-loading rifle loads a round after a shot is fired, but it, too, requires the trigger to be pulled to fire another shot.  As that term is commonly used, the AR-15 is a semiautomatic rifle and is the most popular rifle today, owned by millions of Americans, which could thus be called America's rifle.  By contrast, a machine gun is a weapon that fires automatically more than one shot by a single function of the trigger."

The above is from the beginning of the first chapter of my new book, America's Rifle: The Case for the AR-15.  (p. 13)
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#americasrifle #AmericasRifleTheCaseForTheAR15 #stephenhalbrook #ar15 #ar15news #ar15rifle #ar15nation #ar15s #ar15world #ar15daily #ar15fanatics #ar15gunownersofamerica #semiauto #semiautomatic #semiautomaticrifle #semiautomaticrifles #2ahistory #gunhistory #firearmhistory #firearmshistory #repeatingrifles #firearmsban #gunban #therightofthepeople #2a #2ndamendment #righttobeararms #rtba #rtkba #machinegun

"We start by getting our terms straight.  An ordinary rifle is a shoulder weapon that fires one shot with a single function of the trigger.  A semiautomatic or self-loading rifle loads a round after a shot is fired, but it, too, requires the trigger to be pulled to fire another shot.  As that term is commonly used, the AR-15 is a semiautomatic rifle and is the most popular rifle today, owned by millions of Americans, which could thus be called America's rifle.  By contrast, a machine gun is a weapon that fires automatically more than one shot by a single function of the trigger."

The above is from the beginning of the first chapter of my new book, America's Rifle: The Case for the AR-15.  (p. 13)
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#americasrifle #AmericasRifleTheCaseForTheAR15 #stephenhalbrook #ar15 #ar15news #ar15rifle #ar15nation #ar15s #ar15world #ar15daily #ar15fanatics #ar15gunownersofamerica #semiauto #semiautomatic #semiautomaticrifle #semiautomaticrifles #2ahistory #gunhistory #firearmhistory #firearmshistory #repeatingrifles #firearmsban #gunban #therightofthepeople #2a #2ndamendment #righttobeararms #rtba #rtkba #machinegun
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This morning I shot a nice spike buck with my old This morning I shot a nice spike buck with my old Winchester 670 in .30-06 that I bought just out of law school.  It ran into the woods but my Beagle, Sadie, found it right away.
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#winchesterguns #winchester670 #boltactionrifle #thirtyoughtsix #thirtyaught6 #riflehunting #deerhunting #deerhuntingseason #deerhunting2022 #deerseason2022 #wvhunting #riflehunter #hunting #venison #americandeer #buckhunting #spikebuck #hunter #fillthefreezer #lawyersthathunt #attorneysthathunt #hunt #righttohunt #gamehunting #huntinglife #hunters #fieldhunting #gohunt #americanhunter #americanhunters

This morning I shot a nice spike buck with my old Winchester 670 in .30-06 that I bought just out of law school.  It ran into the woods but my Beagle, Sadie, found it right away.
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#winchesterguns #winchester670 #boltactionrifle #thirtyoughtsix #thirtyaught6 #riflehunting #deerhunting #deerhuntingseason #deerhunting2022 #deerseason2022 #wvhunting #riflehunter #hunting #venison #americandeer #buckhunting #spikebuck #hunter #fillthefreezer #lawyersthathunt #attorneysthathunt #hunt #righttohunt #gamehunting #huntinglife #hunters #fieldhunting #gohunt #americanhunter #americanhunters
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The Recorder of London, the city's top legal advis The Recorder of London, the city's top legal advisor, wrote in 1780:  "The right of his majesty's Protestant subjects, to have arms for their own defense, and to use them for lawful purposes, is most clear and undeniable.  It seems, indeed, to be considered, by the ancient laws of this kingdom, not only as a right, but as a duty; for all the subjects of the realm, who are able to bear arms, are bound to be ready, at all times, to assist the sheriff, and other civil magistrates, in the execution of the laws and the preservation of the public peace.  And that right, which every Protestant most unquestionably possesses, individually, may, and in many cases must, be exercised collectively, is likewise a point which i conceive to be most clearly established by the authority of judicial decisions and ancient acts of parliament, as well as by reason and common sense."

From: Halbrook, The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, p. 81 (hardback edition).

Painting: "Mr. and Mrs. Andrews" by Thomas Gainsborough (1750)
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#recorderoflondon #londonhistory #englishgunlaws #britishgunlaws #1780 #armsforselfdefense #lawfulpurposes #selfdefenseisaright #selfdefenseisaduty #actsofparliament #reasonandcommonsense #englishjudicialdecisions #armedandready #2ahistory #rtkba #rtba #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #righttobeararms #armedpopulace #armedpeople #selfdefense #keepandbeararms #2a #2ndamendment #righttokeepandbeararms #gunrightsmatter #gunowners #ThomasGainsborough #mrandmrsandrews

The Recorder of London, the city's top legal advisor, wrote in 1780:  "The right of his majesty's Protestant subjects, to have arms for their own defense, and to use them for lawful purposes, is most clear and undeniable.  It seems, indeed, to be considered, by the ancient laws of this kingdom, not only as a right, but as a duty; for all the subjects of the realm, who are able to bear arms, are bound to be ready, at all times, to assist the sheriff, and other civil magistrates, in the execution of the laws and the preservation of the public peace.  And that right, which every Protestant most unquestionably possesses, individually, may, and in many cases must, be exercised collectively, is likewise a point which i conceive to be most clearly established by the authority of judicial decisions and ancient acts of parliament, as well as by reason and common sense."

From: Halbrook, The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, p. 81 (hardback edition).

Painting: "Mr. and Mrs. Andrews" by Thomas Gainsborough (1750)
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#recorderoflondon #londonhistory #englishgunlaws #britishgunlaws #1780 #armsforselfdefense #lawfulpurposes #selfdefenseisaright #selfdefenseisaduty #actsofparliament #reasonandcommonsense #englishjudicialdecisions #armedandready #2ahistory #rtkba #rtba #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #righttobeararms #armedpopulace #armedpeople #selfdefense #keepandbeararms #2a #2ndamendment #righttokeepandbeararms #gunrightsmatter #gunowners #ThomasGainsborough #mrandmrsandrews
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It is almost hard to believe now, but in the 1700s It is almost hard to believe now, but in the 1700s, "New York Law required 'that all men generally be ready, and armed and accoutered, . . . and at the cry of the country, to pursue and arrest felons.'"  Just imagine how crime would decrease there if this were still the law.  

From Laws of the State of New York, Comprising the Constitution, and the Acts of the Legislature, Since the Revolution, From the First to the Fifteenth Session, Inclusive, vol. 1 (1792) quoted in Halbrook, The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, p. 150 (hardback edition).

Photo: A flintlock pistol, c. 1700-1730. English lock and stock. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)
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#nygunlaws #nyhistory #nycrime #armedandready #readyandarmed #readyarmedaccoutered #fightcrime #fightcrimeshootback 
 #2ahistory #rtkba #rtba #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #righttobeararms #armedpopulace #rightofthepeople #armedpeople #selfdefense #keepandbeararms #2a #2ndamendment #righttokeepandbeararms #gunrightsmatter #thateverymanbearmed #gunowner #gunowners #armed #progun #arrestcriminals #colonialhistory

It is almost hard to believe now, but in the 1700s, "New York Law required 'that all men generally be ready, and armed and accoutered, . . . and at the cry of the country, to pursue and arrest felons.'"  Just imagine how crime would decrease there if this were still the law.  

From Laws of the State of New York, Comprising the Constitution, and the Acts of the Legislature, Since the Revolution, From the First to the Fifteenth Session, Inclusive, vol. 1 (1792) quoted in Halbrook, The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, p. 150 (hardback edition).

Photo: A flintlock pistol, c. 1700-1730. English lock and stock. (Metropolitan Museum of Art, New York)
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#nygunlaws #nyhistory #nycrime #armedandready #readyandarmed #readyarmedaccoutered #fightcrime #fightcrimeshootback 
 #2ahistory #rtkba #rtba #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #righttobeararms #armedpopulace #rightofthepeople #armedpeople #selfdefense #keepandbeararms #2a #2ndamendment #righttokeepandbeararms #gunrightsmatter #thateverymanbearmed #gunowner #gunowners #armed #progun #arrestcriminals #colonialhistory
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"Society in every state is a blessing, but governm "Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer."  -- Thomas Paine, Common Sense (Jan. 1776)
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#thomaspaine #thomaspainequotes #thomaspainecommonsense #1776 #liberty #freedom #lifeandliberty #citizenrights #constitutionalright #rightofthepeople #foundingfathers #foundingfather #foundingfathersquotes #patriot #americanhistory #ushistory #secureliberty #donttreadonme #oppression #politicalessayist #americanrevolution #timelesswisdom #theamericancrisis #commonsense #tyrannicalgoverment #necessaryevil #intolerablegovernment

"Society in every state is a blessing, but government, even in its best state, is but a necessary evil; in its worst state an intolerable one: for when we suffer, or are exposed to the same miseries by a government, which we might expect in a country without government, our calamity is heightened by reflecting that we furnish the means by which we suffer."  -- Thomas Paine, Common Sense (Jan. 1776)
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#thomaspaine #thomaspainequotes #thomaspainecommonsense #1776 #liberty #freedom #lifeandliberty #citizenrights #constitutionalright #rightofthepeople #foundingfathers #foundingfather #foundingfathersquotes #patriot #americanhistory #ushistory #secureliberty #donttreadonme #oppression #politicalessayist #americanrevolution #timelesswisdom #theamericancrisis #commonsense #tyrannicalgoverment #necessaryevil #intolerablegovernment
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The 2022-2023 edition of my Firearms Law Deskb The 2022-2023 edition of my Firearms Law Deskbook is now available from Thomson Reuters.  This 2 volume work is written for attorneys and is updated annually.  It includes detailed information on firearm laws, regulations, judicial decisions, and unpublished ATF documents.  Very helpful for both prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys. 

Read more on my website:
stephenhalbrook.com/books/firearms-law-deskbook/

Purchase the Fireams Law Deskbook directly from Thomson Reuters website at: https://store.legal.thomsonreuters.com/law-products/Treatises/Firearms-Law-Deskbook-2022-2023-ed/p/106848272
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#firearmslawdeskbook #stephenhalbrook #firearmslaw #guncontrol #guncontrollaws #firearmsattorney #attorney #attorneys #lawyers #thomsonreuters  #attorneyhelp #guncases #firearmcases #righttobeararms #rtkba #2a #2ndamendment #gunlaws #2ahistory #federalguncontrol #stateguncontrol #defenseattorney #prosecutingattorney #atf #batf #2acases #guncontrolact #nationalfirearmsact #assaultweapons  #machineguns

The 2022-2023 edition of my Firearms Law Deskbook is now available from Thomson Reuters.  This 2 volume work is written for attorneys and is updated annually.  It includes detailed information on firearm laws, regulations, judicial decisions, and unpublished ATF documents.  Very helpful for both prosecutors and criminal defense attorneys. 

Read more on my website:
stephenhalbrook.com/books/firearms-law-deskbook/

Purchase the Fireams Law Deskbook directly from Thomson Reuters website at: https://store.legal.thomsonreuters.com/law-products/Treatises/Firearms-Law-Deskbook-2022-2023-ed/p/106848272
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#firearmslawdeskbook #stephenhalbrook #firearmslaw #guncontrol #guncontrollaws #firearmsattorney #attorney #attorneys #lawyers #thomsonreuters  #attorneyhelp #guncases #firearmcases #righttobeararms #rtkba #2a #2ndamendment #gunlaws #2ahistory #federalguncontrol #stateguncontrol #defenseattorney #prosecutingattorney #atf #batf #2acases #guncontrolact #nationalfirearmsact #assaultweapons #machineguns
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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