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

“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

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

"California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and N "California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey along with New York are may-issue states. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, the constitutionality of regulations in these states is likely to face renewed legal challenges. 

"Stephen Halbrook — a firearms law litigator and author who specializes in constitutional cases — told The Hill that the Supreme Court decision is likely to force them to strike down their existing laws.

“ 'None of these states will have to amend their laws. All they have to do is consider whatever they have equivalent to the New York law to be invalid, and they might as well just cross it out,' he said."  

. . .

"Halbrook also said language in the decision stating that 'everybody gets an equal chance to get a license' is significant. 

"While the Supreme Court’s ruling is final, Halbrook said that states are likely to put in place other restrictions, such as 'sensitive places' exceptions that govern where people holding concealed carry permits can have weapons. 

"Looking to the future, however, Halbrook said that the decision will be significant in that lower courts will likely look at two factors above all when examining firearms cases: the text of the Second Amendment and the historical understanding of what its authors meant when it was created." 

Above excerpts are from Sarakshi Rai's June 23 article "What the Supreme Court Decision on Concealed Carry Means for Laws Across the Country," in The Hill.  

Full article at: 

https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/3535026-what-the-supreme-court-decision-on-gun-rights-means-for-laws-across-the-country/
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#nysrpavbruen #naaga #therighttobeararms #rtkba #rtba #righttobeararms #righttokeepandbeararms #2ndamendment #righttocarry #concealedcarry #2ahistory #2a #secondamendment #constitutionalright #therightofthepeople #shallnotbeinfringed #carryagun #2acase #nysrpa #nysrpavcorlett #firearmslaws #2ndamendmentrights #2arightsforall #14amendment #14thamendment #firearmslicense #sensitiveplaces #firearmscases #concealedcarrypermits #stephenhalbrook

"California, Hawaii, Maryland, Massachusetts and New Jersey along with New York are may-issue states. In the wake of the Supreme Court decision, the constitutionality of regulations in these states is likely to face renewed legal challenges. 

"Stephen Halbrook — a firearms law litigator and author who specializes in constitutional cases — told The Hill that the Supreme Court decision is likely to force them to strike down their existing laws.

“ 'None of these states will have to amend their laws. All they have to do is consider whatever they have equivalent to the New York law to be invalid, and they might as well just cross it out,' he said."  

. . .

"Halbrook also said language in the decision stating that 'everybody gets an equal chance to get a license' is significant. 

"While the Supreme Court’s ruling is final, Halbrook said that states are likely to put in place other restrictions, such as 'sensitive places' exceptions that govern where people holding concealed carry permits can have weapons. 

"Looking to the future, however, Halbrook said that the decision will be significant in that lower courts will likely look at two factors above all when examining firearms cases: the text of the Second Amendment and the historical understanding of what its authors meant when it was created." 

Above excerpts are from Sarakshi Rai's June 23 article "What the Supreme Court Decision on Concealed Carry Means for Laws Across the Country," in The Hill.  

Full article at: 

https://thehill.com/regulation/court-battles/3535026-what-the-supreme-court-decision-on-gun-rights-means-for-laws-across-the-country/
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#nysrpavbruen #naaga #therighttobeararms #rtkba #rtba #righttobeararms #righttokeepandbeararms #2ndamendment #righttocarry #concealedcarry #2ahistory #2a #secondamendment #constitutionalright #therightofthepeople #shallnotbeinfringed #carryagun #2acase #nysrpa #nysrpavcorlett #firearmslaws #2ndamendmentrights #2arightsforall #14amendment #14thamendment #firearmslicense #sensitiveplaces #firearmscases #concealedcarrypermits #stephenhalbrook
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In ruling New York’s proper-cause requirement v In ruling New York’s proper-cause requirement violative of the right of law-abiding citizens at large to bear arms, the Supreme Court provides the method on whether various gun laws do or do not violate the Second Amendment.  That method is text and history, particularly the original understanding.  No more “means-ends” scrutiny in which courts balance away the right.

The decision doesn’t require New York or the other six states with “may-issue” licensing schemes to rewrite their laws – they need only to consider their “special need” requirements to be crossed out and to issue carry licenses to citizens with clean records as they otherwise would.  The sky will not fall as they conform to the Second Amendment as 44 other states have done.
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#nysrpavbruen #naaga #therighttobeararms #rtkba #rtba #righttobeararms #righttokeepandbeararms #2ndamendment #righttocarry #righttocarryarms #concealedcarry #scotus #2ahistory #2a #ushistory #secondamendment #constitutionalright #therightofthepeople #shallnotbeinfringed #carryagun #2acase #nysrpa #nysrpavcorlett #firearmslaws #2ndamendmentrights #2arightsforall #14amendment #14thamendment #DCvHeller #McdonaldvChicago

In ruling New York’s proper-cause requirement violative of the right of law-abiding citizens at large to bear arms, the Supreme Court provides the method on whether various gun laws do or do not violate the Second Amendment.  That method is text and history, particularly the original understanding.  No more “means-ends” scrutiny in which courts balance away the right.

The decision doesn’t require New York or the other six states with “may-issue” licensing schemes to rewrite their laws – they need only to consider their “special need” requirements to be crossed out and to issue carry licenses to citizens with clean records as they otherwise would.  The sky will not fall as they conform to the Second Amendment as 44 other states have done.
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#nysrpavbruen #naaga #therighttobeararms #rtkba #rtba #righttobeararms #righttokeepandbeararms #2ndamendment #righttocarry #righttocarryarms #concealedcarry #scotus #2ahistory #2a #ushistory #secondamendment #constitutionalright #therightofthepeople #shallnotbeinfringed #carryagun #2acase #nysrpa #nysrpavcorlett #firearmslaws #2ndamendmentrights #2arightsforall #14amendment #14thamendment #DCvHeller #McdonaldvChicago
...

Here's what now seems like an amazing historical Here's what now seems like an amazing historical fact: California once had a correct interpretation of the 2nd Amendment:  "In 1870, California repealed its ban on carrying concealed weapons that it had passed only seven years earlier.  Repeal had been advocated by the Daily Alta California, a leading San Francisco newspaper, on the basis of the Second Amendment, explaining: 'As the sovereignty resides in the people in America, they are to be permitted to keep firearms and other weapons and to carry them at their pleasure.'  The restriction 'disarms the orderly citizen and places no obstruction in the way of the robber.' "

From:  "The Carrying of Concealed Weapons," Daily Alta California, March 13, 1869, 2.  Quoted in Halbrook, The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, pgs. 241-242 (hardback edition).
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 #gunowner #gunrights #rtkba #individualrights #keepandbeararms #firearms #rtba #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #righttobeararms #therightofthepeople #rightofthepeople #2a #2ndamendment #2ahistory #selfdefense #individualliberty #gunrights #constitutionalrights #shallnotbeinfringed #2asupporter #gunrightsmatter #armedcitizen #1870 #concealedcarrylaw #concealedcarryban #concealedweapons #DailyAltaCalifornia #carryagun #orderlycitizen #carryconcealed

Here's what now seems like an amazing historical fact: California once had a correct interpretation of the 2nd Amendment:  "In 1870, California repealed its ban on carrying concealed weapons that it had passed only seven years earlier.  Repeal had been advocated by the Daily Alta California, a leading San Francisco newspaper, on the basis of the Second Amendment, explaining: 'As the sovereignty resides in the people in America, they are to be permitted to keep firearms and other weapons and to carry them at their pleasure.'  The restriction 'disarms the orderly citizen and places no obstruction in the way of the robber.' "

From:  "The Carrying of Concealed Weapons," Daily Alta California, March 13, 1869, 2.  Quoted in Halbrook, The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, pgs. 241-242 (hardback edition).
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 #gunowner #gunrights #rtkba #individualrights #keepandbeararms #firearms #rtba #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #righttobeararms #therightofthepeople #rightofthepeople #2a #2ndamendment #2ahistory #selfdefense #individualliberty #gunrights #constitutionalrights #shallnotbeinfringed #2asupporter #gunrightsmatter #armedcitizen #1870 #concealedcarrylaw #concealedcarryban #concealedweapons #DailyAltaCalifornia #carryagun #orderlycitizen #carryconcealed
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Would all the current screaming for more firearms Would all the current screaming for more firearms restrictions at gun stores and shows impact criminals?  Nope.  "Fewer than 1 in 50 (less than 2%) of all prisoners had obtained a firearm from a retail source and possessed, carried or used it during the offense for which they were imprisoned."  Of these criminals, 43% bought their guns from illegal sources and over half simply stole their firearms.  What does this mean?  Criminals don't care about the laws they break to get guns they want.

Source: 2016 survey of prison inmates conducted by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.  Read the entire report at: https://www.nssf.org/articles/inmate-survey-criminals-break-the-law-to-obtain-guns/
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#prisonsurvey #inmatessurvey #bureauofjusticestatistics #breakinthelaw #breakingthelaw #lawbreakers #gunstores #gunshoes #firearmsrestrictions #guncontrol #illegalgun #illegalguns #illegalfirearm #illegalfirearms #firearmstheft #guntheft #firearmsandcrimes #gunrestrictions #criminalsdontfollowgunlaws #criminalsdontfollowthelaw #guncontroldoesntwork #gunban #gunbans #wakeupamerica #firearmretailer #firearmpossession #gunpossession #gunshowloophole #assaultweaponban

Would all the current screaming for more firearms restrictions at gun stores and shows impact criminals?  Nope.  "Fewer than 1 in 50 (less than 2%) of all prisoners had obtained a firearm from a retail source and possessed, carried or used it during the offense for which they were imprisoned."  Of these criminals, 43% bought their guns from illegal sources and over half simply stole their firearms.  What does this mean?  Criminals don't care about the laws they break to get guns they want.

Source: 2016 survey of prison inmates conducted by the U.S. Dept. of Justice, Office of Justice Programs, Bureau of Justice Statistics.  Read the entire report at: https://www.nssf.org/articles/inmate-survey-criminals-break-the-law-to-obtain-guns/
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#prisonsurvey #inmatessurvey #bureauofjusticestatistics #breakinthelaw #breakingthelaw #lawbreakers #gunstores #gunshoes #firearmsrestrictions #guncontrol #illegalgun #illegalguns #illegalfirearm #illegalfirearms #firearmstheft #guntheft #firearmsandcrimes #gunrestrictions #criminalsdontfollowgunlaws #criminalsdontfollowthelaw #guncontroldoesntwork #gunban #gunbans #wakeupamerica #firearmretailer #firearmpossession #gunpossession #gunshowloophole #assaultweaponban
...

"Gun Control in the Third Reich, Stephen Halbrook "Gun Control in the Third Reich, Stephen Halbrook's extensively documented account of gun control under Nazi Germany, shows how gun control was used to keep guns out of the 'wrong' hands, mainly Jews.  Much of the discussion these days regarding registration focuses on the claimed ability to trace crime guns.  There might be no evidence of registration's success in doing that, but Halbrook slams home the success that registration had in tracing the guns of law-abiding politically undesirable citizens, so-called 'enemies of the people.'  Americans even in modern cities such as New York can see how discretionary licensing on who can own guns keeps blacks from owning guns, but Germany paints a picture of how discretion was used to disarm Jews and others considered undesirable. Among the many chilling discussions is how German Jews were systematically disarmed just weeks before the Night of the Broken Glass (Reichskristallnacht).  Ultimately, however, just as Americans have recently learned about their IRS tax records, Halbrook shows that no one can really guarantee promises that information on gun registration will never be abused."  -- John R. Lott, Jr., author, More Guns, Less Crime; Crime Prevention Research Center

This book is available as the following translations:

Hitler e o Desarmamento, Como o nazismo desarmou os Judeus e os “Inimigos do Reich”. São Paulo, Brasil: Vide Editorial, 2017.    

Fatales Erbe – Hitlers Waffengesetze: Die legale Entwaffnung von Juden und “Staatsfeinden” im “Dritten Reich”. Berlin: Berlin Story Verlag, 2016. 

Bas Les Armes! Le Désarmement Des Juifs et Des “Ennemis Intérieurs du Iiie Reich”. Genève: Éditions Slatkine, 2016.
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@JohnRLottJr #JohnLott #JohnRLott #CrimePreventionResearchCenter #nygunlaws #moregunslesscrime #enemiesofthepeople #disarmpeople #blackgunsmatter #nightofthebrokenglass #Reichskristallnacht #nazihistory #wwiihistory #guncontrol #disarm #gunregistration #weaponsban #guncontrolinthethirdreich #disarmsociety #disarmedpopulace #naziguncontrol #learnfromthepast #gunconfiscation #nazigermanhistory #governmentalpower #HitlereoDesarmamento #BasLesArmes #disarmamento #desarmamento #FatalesErbe

"Gun Control in the Third Reich, Stephen Halbrook's extensively documented account of gun control under Nazi Germany, shows how gun control was used to keep guns out of the 'wrong' hands, mainly Jews.  Much of the discussion these days regarding registration focuses on the claimed ability to trace crime guns.  There might be no evidence of registration's success in doing that, but Halbrook slams home the success that registration had in tracing the guns of law-abiding politically undesirable citizens, so-called 'enemies of the people.'  Americans even in modern cities such as New York can see how discretionary licensing on who can own guns keeps blacks from owning guns, but Germany paints a picture of how discretion was used to disarm Jews and others considered undesirable. Among the many chilling discussions is how German Jews were systematically disarmed just weeks before the Night of the Broken Glass (Reichskristallnacht).  Ultimately, however, just as Americans have recently learned about their IRS tax records, Halbrook shows that no one can really guarantee promises that information on gun registration will never be abused."  -- John R. Lott, Jr., author, More Guns, Less Crime; Crime Prevention Research Center

This book is available as the following translations:

Hitler e o Desarmamento, Como o nazismo desarmou os Judeus e os “Inimigos do Reich”. São Paulo, Brasil: Vide Editorial, 2017.    

Fatales Erbe – Hitlers Waffengesetze: Die legale Entwaffnung von Juden und “Staatsfeinden” im “Dritten Reich”. Berlin: Berlin Story Verlag, 2016. 

Bas Les Armes! Le Désarmement Des Juifs et Des “Ennemis Intérieurs du Iiie Reich”. Genève: Éditions Slatkine, 2016.
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@JohnRLottJr #JohnLott #JohnRLott #CrimePreventionResearchCenter #nygunlaws #moregunslesscrime #enemiesofthepeople #disarmpeople #blackgunsmatter #nightofthebrokenglass #Reichskristallnacht #nazihistory #wwiihistory #guncontrol #disarm #gunregistration #weaponsban #guncontrolinthethirdreich #disarmsociety #disarmedpopulace #naziguncontrol #learnfromthepast #gunconfiscation #nazigermanhistory #governmentalpower #HitlereoDesarmamento #BasLesArmes #disarmamento #desarmamento #FatalesErbe
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"I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and "I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil." -- Benjamin Franklin

From The Real Benjamin Franklin (ed. 1982).

Painting: "Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky" by Benjamin West (1816)
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#benjaminfranklin #benfranklin #foundingfathers #benjaminfranklinquotes #benfranklinquotes #therealbenjaminfranklin #mortalenemy #arbitrarygovernment #unlimitedpower #rightofthepeople #liberty #liberties #governmentencroachment #invaluableprivileges #makesmybloodboil #defendyourrights #contitutionalrights #billofrights #freedom #americanpatriot #americanrights #preserveliberty #benjaminwest #livefreeordie

"I am a mortal enemy to arbitrary government and unlimited power. I am naturally very jealous for the rights and liberties of my country, and the least encroachment of those invaluable privileges is apt to make my blood boil." -- Benjamin Franklin

From The Real Benjamin Franklin (ed. 1982).

Painting: "Benjamin Franklin Drawing Electricity from the Sky" by Benjamin West (1816)
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#benjaminfranklin #benfranklin #foundingfathers #benjaminfranklinquotes #benfranklinquotes #therealbenjaminfranklin #mortalenemy #arbitrarygovernment #unlimitedpower #rightofthepeople #liberty #liberties #governmentencroachment #invaluableprivileges #makesmybloodboil #defendyourrights #contitutionalrights #billofrights #freedom #americanpatriot #americanrights #preserveliberty #benjaminwest #livefreeordie
...

Earlier this month, I was interviewed by Newsmax a Earlier this month, I was interviewed by Newsmax about Biden's laundry list of proposed gun bans.  Nothing that he proposed would have done anything to stop a tragedy like the latest school shooting. 

Watch my full interview (6:41 min.) on my YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLCQHS8Xp_s  .  The title is "Stephen Halbrook - Newsmax Interview - Biden's Proposed Gun Bans (June 3, 2022)." 
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#assaultweapon #assaultweapons #assaultrifle #assaultrifles #scaryblackguns #highcapacitymagazines #2a #2ndmendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #gunrestrictions #gunowners #gunowner #firearms #firearmslaws #constitutionalright #whatisanassaultweapon #propagandaterm #gunpropaganda  #sportingrifle #rtba #righttokeepandbeararms #shallnotbeinfringed #newsmax #stephenhalbrook #redflaglaws #semiautomaticrifles #lawabidingcitizens #9mmhandgun #gunbans

Earlier this month, I was interviewed by Newsmax about Biden's laundry list of proposed gun bans.  Nothing that he proposed would have done anything to stop a tragedy like the latest school shooting. 

Watch my full interview (6:41 min.) on my YouTube channel here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=eLCQHS8Xp_s  .  The title is "Stephen Halbrook - Newsmax Interview - Biden's Proposed Gun Bans (June 3, 2022)." 
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#assaultweapon #assaultweapons #assaultrifle #assaultrifles #scaryblackguns #highcapacitymagazines #2a #2ndmendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #gunrestrictions #gunowners #gunowner #firearms #firearmslaws #constitutionalright #whatisanassaultweapon #propagandaterm #gunpropaganda  #sportingrifle #rtba #righttokeepandbeararms #shallnotbeinfringed #newsmax #stephenhalbrook #redflaglaws #semiautomaticrifles #lawabidingcitizens #9mmhandgun #gunbans
...

Since "assault weapon" has come to be a propaganda Since "assault weapon" has come to be a propaganda term with no fixed meaning, it can mean anything you want it to mean.  In fact, one legislature's "assault weapon" warranting a prohibition and felony penalties is another legislature's sporting rifle not subject to special restrictions.  Not surprisingly, we are faced with the conundrum that jurisdiction A defines the term as having feature XYZ, jurisdiction B defines it as not having feature XYZ, and jurisdiction C is silent on that feature.  Will the true "assault weapon" please stand up?

Image quote from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass.  The U.S. Supreme Court used this quote in TVA v. Hill, 437 U.S. 153, 173 n.18 (1978).
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#assaultweapon #assaultweapons #assaultrifle #assaultrifles #scaryblackguns #2ndamendmentsupporter #2a #2ndmendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #gunrestrictions #gunowners #gunowner #firearms #firearmslaws #constitutionalright #whatisanassaultweapon #propagandaterm #gunpropaganda #humptydumpty #throughthelookingglass #sportingrifle #rtba #righttokeepandbeararms #shallnotbeinfringed

Since "assault weapon" has come to be a propaganda term with no fixed meaning, it can mean anything you want it to mean.  In fact, one legislature's "assault weapon" warranting a prohibition and felony penalties is another legislature's sporting rifle not subject to special restrictions.  Not surprisingly, we are faced with the conundrum that jurisdiction A defines the term as having feature XYZ, jurisdiction B defines it as not having feature XYZ, and jurisdiction C is silent on that feature.  Will the true "assault weapon" please stand up?

Image quote from Lewis Carroll's Through the Looking Glass.  The U.S. Supreme Court used this quote in TVA v. Hill, 437 U.S. 153, 173 n.18 (1978).
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#assaultweapon #assaultweapons #assaultrifle #assaultrifles #scaryblackguns #2ndamendmentsupporter #2a #2ndmendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #gunrestrictions #gunowners #gunowner #firearms #firearmslaws #constitutionalright #whatisanassaultweapon #propagandaterm #gunpropaganda #humptydumpty #throughthelookingglass #sportingrifle #rtba #righttokeepandbeararms #shallnotbeinfringed
...

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