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

Upcoming CLE Seminars

License to Carry Outside the Home,” in The Law of Guns 2020, offered by Pennsylvania Bar Institute | Monday, October 26, 2020

20 Cases Every Lawyer and Gun Owner Should Know,” in Firearms Law: What Every Texas Lawyer Needs to Know, offered by Texas Bar CLE | Webcast replay November 5-6, 2020

Congressional Testimony

Scholarly Articles

Op-Eds & Short Articles

“How Does New York City Get Away with This?” America’s 1st Freedom, July 26, 2020.

“Will the Second Amendment Survive Coronavirus?” National Review, Mar. 30, 2020, and Independent Institute, Mar. 31, 2020.

“What Makes a Gun a Gun?” America’s 1st Freedom, Mar. 23, 2020.

“We Must Remember Our History of Freedom,” America’s 1st Freedom, Mar. 8, 2020.

“Second Amendment Sanctuaries Started in 1774,” American Thinker, Dec. 22, 2019.

“Recalling the Tragic History of Gun Control,” The American Spectator, Sept. 4, 2019.

“Gun Control: The Kristallnacht Version Of ‘Common-Sense Safety,” Investor’s Business Daily, Nov. 15, 2018.

Some of the world’s most powerful banks push policies circumventing Constitution and federal laws, Los Angles Times, Sept. 13, 2018.

The Second Amendment had nothing to do with slavery, Fox News, June 22, 2018.

Time for a History Lesson About Gun Control, TownHall, June 22, 2018.

View More Op-Eds and Short Articles >>

TV Appearances

Radio Interviews

Instagram Updates

"Last night the Gestapo started to arrest Jews in "Last night the Gestapo started to arrest Jews in Berlin and in other German cities.  Most of those arrested were respected Jewish personalities.  At a reception for the press, the Reich Minister for Propaganda [Goebbels] denied that there had been any arrests; when asked again later, however, [his office] said the arrests had been made in connection with Himmler's decree prohibiting Jews from owning arms.  The explanation given was that the Jews had retained weapons even though the Chief of the German police in his latest decree had threatened to punish them with protective detention of 20 years." Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Nov. 13, 1938, 2.  Quoted in Gun Control in the Third Reich, p. 171.

Nazi Propaganda minister, Paul Joseph Goebbels, was born this day in 1897. 

Photo: Goebbels and Hitler, 1938.
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#reichminister #josephgoebbels #goebbels #1938 #1897 #onthisday #onthisdate #nazipropaganda #goebbelsdiaries #nazigermany #reichstaghistory #jewsww2 #jewsworldwar2 #guncontrol #disarm #naziguncontrol #wwIIhistory #ww2history #guncontrolinthethirdreich #NeueZürcherZeitung #gestapo #reichskristallnach #kristallnach #nightofthebrokenglass #himmler #HeinrichHimmler #pauljosephgoebbels #armedjews #pogrom #jewishpogrom

"Last night the Gestapo started to arrest Jews in Berlin and in other German cities.  Most of those arrested were respected Jewish personalities.  At a reception for the press, the Reich Minister for Propaganda [Goebbels] denied that there had been any arrests; when asked again later, however, [his office] said the arrests had been made in connection with Himmler's decree prohibiting Jews from owning arms.  The explanation given was that the Jews had retained weapons even though the Chief of the German police in his latest decree had threatened to punish them with protective detention of 20 years." Neue Zürcher Zeitung, Nov. 13, 1938, 2.  Quoted in Gun Control in the Third Reich, p. 171.

Nazi Propaganda minister, Paul Joseph Goebbels, was born this day in 1897. 

Photo: Goebbels and Hitler, 1938.
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#reichminister #josephgoebbels #goebbels #1938 #1897 #onthisday #onthisdate #nazipropaganda #goebbelsdiaries #nazigermany #reichstaghistory #jewsww2 #jewsworldwar2 #guncontrol #disarm #naziguncontrol #wwIIhistory #ww2history #guncontrolinthethirdreich #NeueZürcherZeitung #gestapo #reichskristallnach #kristallnach #nightofthebrokenglass #himmler #HeinrichHimmler #pauljosephgoebbels #armedjews #pogrom #jewishpogrom
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"The key fallacy of so called gun control laws is "The key fallacy of so called gun control laws is that such laws do not in fact control guns. They simply disarm law abiding citizens, while people bent on violence find firearms readily available." - Thomas Sowell 

Quote is from Sowell's article "The Great Gun Control Fallacy," www.theguardian.com, Dec. 18, 2012.
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#thomassowell #sowell #thomassowellquotes #americaneconomist #economist #socialtheorist 
#2a #2ndamendment #2amendmentrights #2amendmentsupporter #2amendmentmatters #2ndamendmentrights #2ndamendmentright #2ndamendmentsupporter #freedom #righttokeepandbeararms #rtkba #rtba #gunrightsmatter #selfdefense #selfprotection #gunlaws #defendyourself #disarmed #guncontrollaws #firearmsviolence #protectyourself #guncontrollies #rightofthepeople

"The key fallacy of so called gun control laws is that such laws do not in fact control guns. They simply disarm law abiding citizens, while people bent on violence find firearms readily available." - Thomas Sowell 

Quote is from Sowell's article "The Great Gun Control Fallacy," www.theguardian.com, Dec. 18, 2012.
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#thomassowell #sowell #thomassowellquotes #americaneconomist #economist #socialtheorist 
#2a #2ndamendment #2amendmentrights #2amendmentsupporter #2amendmentmatters #2ndamendmentrights #2ndamendmentright #2ndamendmentsupporter #freedom #righttokeepandbeararms #rtkba #rtba #gunrightsmatter #selfdefense #selfprotection #gunlaws #defendyourself #disarmed #guncontrollaws #firearmsviolence #protectyourself #guncontrollies #rightofthepeople
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The first of the Federalist Papers, an essay by The first of  the Federalist Papers, an essay by "Publius" (Alexander Hamilton), was published on this day in 1787. These Papers were a series of 85 essays which explained and justified the proposed U.S. Constitution.  They were authored by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay. The authors "contended that an armed populace and state resistance, not paper guarantees, would prevent federal usurpation based on military force.  But they seriously underestimated the groundswell of public support for a bill of rights, including guarantees such as arms bearing and free speech that would help protect other rights."  From The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, p. 183.
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#thefederalist #thefederalistpapers #federalistpapers #publius #alexanderhamilton #jamesmadison #johnjay #foundingfathers #thefounderssecondamendment #constitution #usconstitution #ushistory #foundingfathersofamerica #2ahistory #constitutionalrights #federalistpaper1  #patriot #foundingfather #liberty #1787 #2a #2ndamendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #onthisday #onthedate #armedpopulace #stateresistance

The first of the Federalist Papers, an essay by "Publius" (Alexander Hamilton), was published on this day in 1787. These Papers were a series of 85 essays which explained and justified the proposed U.S. Constitution.  They were authored by James Madison, Alexander Hamilton, and John Jay. The authors "contended that an armed populace and state resistance, not paper guarantees, would prevent federal usurpation based on military force.  But they seriously underestimated the groundswell of public support for a bill of rights, including guarantees such as arms bearing and free speech that would help protect other rights."  From The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, p. 183.
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#thefederalist #thefederalistpapers #federalistpapers #publius #alexanderhamilton #jamesmadison #johnjay #foundingfathers #thefounderssecondamendment #constitution #usconstitution #ushistory #foundingfathersofamerica #2ahistory #constitutionalrights #federalistpaper1  #patriot #foundingfather #liberty #1787 #2a #2ndamendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #onthisday #onthedate #armedpopulace #stateresistance
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Members of Congress and the media who support gun Members of Congress and the media who support gun control love to throw out the shootout at the OK Corral as a way to invoke the images of wild cowboys recklessly engaged in a massive gun fight.  Back in 2013, Senator Chuck Schumer ominously warned that a proposed concealed carry reciprocity amendment could "change Times Square into the OK Corral."  But what is the truth?  The infamous gun fight at the OK Corral occurred on this date in 1881 in the silver mining community of Tombstone, Arizona.  There were about 30 shots fired during the shootout which lasted only 30 seconds.  A total of 2 men were wounded, 1 grazed by a bullet, and 3 were dead at the end.  The irony is that the Earps were enforcing a local ban on carrying firearms, and these were the only gun-related homicides that year.  Hardly the image that the gun control groups are portraying.
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#okcorral #okcorralaz #tombstoneaz #tombstoneazhistory #shootoutokcorral #cowboys #cowboygunfight #cowboyshootout #wyattearp #earpbrothers #docholliday #famousfueds #clantons #mclaurys #Schofield #chuckschumer #wildwest #wildwestguns #revolver #revolvers #concealedcarry #concealedcarryreciprocity #guncontrol #rtkba #righttobeararms #historybuff #historygeek #ushistory #onthisday #onthisdate

Members of Congress and the media who support gun control love to throw out the shootout at the OK Corral as a way to invoke the images of wild cowboys recklessly engaged in a massive gun fight.  Back in 2013, Senator Chuck Schumer ominously warned that a proposed concealed carry reciprocity amendment could "change Times Square into the OK Corral."  But what is the truth?  The infamous gun fight at the OK Corral occurred on this date in 1881 in the silver mining community of Tombstone, Arizona.  There were about 30 shots fired during the shootout which lasted only 30 seconds.  A total of 2 men were wounded, 1 grazed by a bullet, and 3 were dead at the end.  The irony is that the Earps were enforcing a local ban on carrying firearms, and these were the only gun-related homicides that year.  Hardly the image that the gun control groups are portraying.
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#okcorral #okcorralaz #tombstoneaz #tombstoneazhistory #shootoutokcorral #cowboys #cowboygunfight #cowboyshootout #wyattearp #earpbrothers #docholliday #famousfueds #clantons #mclaurys #Schofield #chuckschumer #wildwest #wildwestguns #revolver #revolvers #concealedcarry #concealedcarryreciprocity #guncontrol #rtkba #righttobeararms #historybuff #historygeek #ushistory #onthisday #onthisdate
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"Thompsons by the Dozen" is a fantastic collection "Thompsons by the Dozen" is a fantastic collection of 12 Thompson submachine guns housed in the NRA National Firearms Museum. Trench warfare of WWI inspired John T. Thompson to develop a "one-man, hand-held machine gun".  The Auto-Ordnance Corporation began producing "Tommy Guns" in 1921.  They became popular with gangsters during Prohibition and with Allied troops during WWII.  The U.S. Post Office and police officers bought these submachine guns.  They were even used in the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War.  Thompson encouraged the general public to buy the gun for home defense and - amazing by today's standards - it was available at hardware stores and by mail order.
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#tommygun #tommyguns #thompsongun #submachinegun #johnthompson #johntthompson #thompson #thompsonsubmachinegun #trenchsweeper #chicagotypewriter #trenchbroom #fullauto #autoordnance #automag #machinegun #machineguns #militiaryweapons #americaninventors #historicalguns #weaponsofwar #automaticweapon #NRAmuseum #NRAmuseums #firearmsphotography #americangangsters #WWIIguns #irishcivilwar #irishwarofindependence #homedefense #prohibitionera

"Thompsons by the Dozen" is a fantastic collection of 12 Thompson submachine guns housed in the NRA National Firearms Museum. Trench warfare of WWI inspired John T. Thompson to develop a "one-man, hand-held machine gun".  The Auto-Ordnance Corporation began producing "Tommy Guns" in 1921.  They became popular with gangsters during Prohibition and with Allied troops during WWII.  The U.S. Post Office and police officers bought these submachine guns.  They were even used in the Irish War of Independence and the Irish Civil War.  Thompson encouraged the general public to buy the gun for home defense and - amazing by today's standards - it was available at hardware stores and by mail order.
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#tommygun #tommyguns #thompsongun #submachinegun #johnthompson #johntthompson #thompson #thompsonsubmachinegun #trenchsweeper #chicagotypewriter #trenchbroom #fullauto #autoordnance #automag #machinegun #machineguns #militiaryweapons #americaninventors #historicalguns #weaponsofwar #automaticweapon #NRAmuseum #NRAmuseums #firearmsphotography #americangangsters #WWIIguns #irishcivilwar #irishwarofindependence #homedefense #prohibitionera
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"Indeed the views of rulers seldom correspond or "Indeed the views of rulers seldom correspond or coincide with the views of the ruled.  The ruled therefore cannot be too much guarded in parting with their sacred birthrights and privileges, however plausible the occasion, which, when once gone, cannot be easily regained.” - Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, Jan. 29, 1788.  From Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution, John P. Kaminski et al. eds. (Madison, Wisc.: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2019), vol. 33, 837.

Photo: peut-être un résistant ou un sympathisant - Abba Kovner and the Jewish Avengers Memories of a Jewish 'Avenger' Vilna, Poland. Jewish partisans, the day Vilna was liberated www.makorrishon.co.il Zum Kampf auf Leben und Tod. Das Buch vom Widerstand der Juden 1933-1945.
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#governmentpower #governmentalpower #constitution #liberty #freedom #oppression #republics #governmentrepression #governmentoppression #questionauthority #philadelphiannewspaper #philadelphianewspaper #philadelphiaindependentgazetteer #ratificationoftheconstitution #historyoftheratificationoftheconstitution #patriots #freedomfighter #fightforliberty #americanhistory #donttreadonme #rulersandtheruled #therulers #theruled #sacredrights #naturalrights #humanrights #birthrights #privileges #defendyourrights #keepyourrights

"Indeed the views of rulers seldom correspond or coincide with the views of the ruled.  The ruled therefore cannot be too much guarded in parting with their sacred birthrights and privileges, however plausible the occasion, which, when once gone, cannot be easily regained.” - Philadelphia Independent Gazetteer, Jan. 29, 1788.  From Documentary History of the Ratification of the Constitution, John P. Kaminski et al. eds. (Madison, Wisc.: Wisconsin Historical Society Press, 2019), vol. 33, 837.

Photo: peut-être un résistant ou un sympathisant - Abba Kovner and the Jewish Avengers Memories of a Jewish 'Avenger' Vilna, Poland. Jewish partisans, the day Vilna was liberated www.makorrishon.co.il Zum Kampf auf Leben und Tod. Das Buch vom Widerstand der Juden 1933-1945.
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#governmentpower #governmentalpower #constitution #liberty #freedom #oppression #republics #governmentrepression #governmentoppression #questionauthority #philadelphiannewspaper #philadelphianewspaper #philadelphiaindependentgazetteer #ratificationoftheconstitution #historyoftheratificationoftheconstitution #patriots #freedomfighter #fightforliberty #americanhistory #donttreadonme #rulersandtheruled #therulers #theruled #sacredrights #naturalrights #humanrights #birthrights #privileges #defendyourrights #keepyourrights
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"What distinguishes the military tradition of Swit "What distinguishes the military tradition of Switzerland, is, above all, the persistence with which its essential principles maintained themselves in the course of its history. . . . In effect, the necessity 'to be ready' at any instant required a mobilization and a quick concentration at the threatened points.  Each citizen had his equipment, his arms, in his residence." - General Henri Guisan.  From Target Switzerland: Swiss Armed Neutrality in World War II, p. 60.  

General Guisan was born on this day in 1874 and became one of Switzerland's greatest heros.

#generalguisan #henriguisan #swisshistory #onthisday #onthisdate #armedswiss #swissresistance #swissheroes #nazigermany #resistance #naziinvasion #WWIIhistory #Switzerlandhistory #swissarmywwii #armedneutrality #swissarmedneutrality #switzerland #helvetia #schweiz #guisan #wwii #ww2history #targetswitzerland #neversurrender #swissmilitary #swissmilitarytradition #stayarmed #gunsandammo #beready #mobilization

"What distinguishes the military tradition of Switzerland, is, above all, the persistence with which its essential principles maintained themselves in the course of its history. . . . In effect, the necessity 'to be ready' at any instant required a mobilization and a quick concentration at the threatened points.  Each citizen had his equipment, his arms, in his residence." - General Henri Guisan.  From Target Switzerland: Swiss Armed Neutrality in World War II, p. 60.  

General Guisan was born on this day in 1874 and became one of Switzerland's greatest heros.

#generalguisan #henriguisan #swisshistory #onthisday #onthisdate #armedswiss #swissresistance #swissheroes #nazigermany #resistance #naziinvasion #WWIIhistory #Switzerlandhistory #swissarmywwii #armedneutrality #swissarmedneutrality #switzerland #helvetia #schweiz #guisan #wwii #ww2history #targetswitzerland #neversurrender #swissmilitary #swissmilitarytradition #stayarmed #gunsandammo #beready #mobilization
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During the American Revolution: "Women and childre During the American Revolution: "Women and children assisted the militiamen in preparing for conflict.  On the eve of the clash, Militia Colonel James Barrett's 15-year-old granddaughter Meliscent taught the other young women of the town how to assemble cartridges. On an earlier occasion, when a British officer asked her how the colonists could resist without being able to make cartridges, she responded 'that they would use powder horns and bullets--just as they shot bear.' "  From The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, p. 76.

Photo: Meliscent Barrett medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution commemorative series: "The Great Women of the American Revolution."
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#americanpatriots #thefounderssecondamendment #revolutionarywar #americanrevolution #militiamen #americanfreedom #muskets #cartridges #leadbullets #makingbullets #liberty #ushistory #colonialhistory #colonialmilitia #keepandbeararms #militia #revolutionaryhistory #femalemilitia #americanrebellion #thebritisharecoming #strongwomen #womenandguns #womenshooting #fightforliberty #moldingbullets #childrenmoldingbullets #2ahistory #powderhorns #bullets #daughtersoftheamericanrevolution

During the American Revolution: "Women and children assisted the militiamen in preparing for conflict.  On the eve of the clash, Militia Colonel James Barrett's 15-year-old granddaughter Meliscent taught the other young women of the town how to assemble cartridges. On an earlier occasion, when a British officer asked her how the colonists could resist without being able to make cartridges, she responded 'that they would use powder horns and bullets--just as they shot bear.' "  From The Founders' Second Amendment: Origins of the Right to Bear Arms, p. 76.

Photo: Meliscent Barrett medal from the Daughters of the American Revolution commemorative series: "The Great Women of the American Revolution."
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#americanpatriots #thefounderssecondamendment #revolutionarywar #americanrevolution #militiamen #americanfreedom #muskets #cartridges #leadbullets #makingbullets #liberty #ushistory #colonialhistory #colonialmilitia #keepandbeararms #militia #revolutionaryhistory #femalemilitia #americanrebellion #thebritisharecoming #strongwomen #womenandguns #womenshooting #fightforliberty #moldingbullets #childrenmoldingbullets #2ahistory #powderhorns #bullets #daughtersoftheamericanrevolution
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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