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

Congressional Testimony

Scholarly Articles

Op-Eds & Short Articles

“Does the Bill of Rights Protect You Outside Your Home?,” Washington Times, May 24, 2021.

“The Long March to Restore the Second Amendment in New York,” America’s 1st Freedom, Jan. 26, 2021.

“The Truth about NICS,” America’s 1st Freedom, Nov. 25, 2020.

“Ballot Initiatives: The Good, the Bad, and the Ugly,” America’s 1st Freedom, August 31, 2020.

“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.

View More Op-Eds and Short Articles >>

TV Appearances

Radio Interviews

Instagram Updates

"This right 'to keep and bear arms,' implies the r "This right 'to keep and bear arms,' implies the right to use them--as much as a provision securing to the people the right to buy and keep food, would imply their right also to eat it.  But this implied right to use arms, is only a right to use them in a manner consistent with natural rights--as, for example, in defence of life, liberty, chastity, & c."  -- Lysander Spooner, American abolitionist and political philosopher.  Quoted in That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right, p. 102.
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#lysanderspooner #abolitionist #politicalphilosopher #individualanarchist #legaltheorist #theunconstitutionalityofslavery #naturalrights #thateverymanbearmed #selfdefense #rtba #rtkba #rkba #righttobeararms #beararms #2ahistory #armedcitizen #firearmslawhistory #humanright #defendyourself #selfdefensequotes #lifeandliberty #lifelibertychastity #defendliberty #defendlife #righttobuyandkeepfood #righttoarms #2ndamendment #2amendment #rightofthepeople #righttoeat

"This right 'to keep and bear arms,' implies the right to use them--as much as a provision securing to the people the right to buy and keep food, would imply their right also to eat it.  But this implied right to use arms, is only a right to use them in a manner consistent with natural rights--as, for example, in defence of life, liberty, chastity, & c."  -- Lysander Spooner, American abolitionist and political philosopher.  Quoted in That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right, p. 102.
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#lysanderspooner #abolitionist #politicalphilosopher #individualanarchist #legaltheorist #theunconstitutionalityofslavery #naturalrights #thateverymanbearmed #selfdefense #rtba #rtkba #rkba #righttobeararms #beararms #2ahistory #armedcitizen #firearmslawhistory #humanright #defendyourself #selfdefensequotes #lifeandliberty #lifelibertychastity #defendliberty #defendlife #righttobuyandkeepfood #righttoarms #2ndamendment #2amendment #rightofthepeople #righttoeat
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The brutal Battle of Stalingrad, fought between th The brutal Battle of Stalingrad, fought between the Soviet Union and the German Army, lasted from August 1942 through February 1943.  Close to two million people were killed or injured in the fighting but this decisive battle ultimately resulted in favor of the Allied forces.  The Soviet Military Commander, Semyon Timoshenko, is portrayed in this remarkable political print as a victorious skeleton on horseback crushing the bones of dead Nazi soldiers.  

This poster, known as "Corrido de Stalingrado," was designed by Leopoldo Méndez, a famous Mexican printmaker, and published in 1942.  Méndez supported left-wing ideologies, using his art to do so.  Note the banner the horseman is carrying - it has the Mexican Communist Party insignia.
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#LeopoldoMéndez #LeopoldoMendez #TallerdeGráfica #CorridodeStalingrado #MexicanCommunistParty #fascist #calaveras #mexicanartist #mexicanprintmaker #1942 #battleofstalingrad #battleofstalingrad1942 #stalingrad #wwiipropaganda #mexicanpropaganda #SemyonTimoshenko #sovietunionwwii #alliedforces #nazihistory #thirdreich #thirdreichhistory #WWIIhistory #nazigermany #ww2history #ww2 #wwii #Wehrmacht #stalin #warpropaganda #axisvsallied

The brutal Battle of Stalingrad, fought between the Soviet Union and the German Army, lasted from August 1942 through February 1943.  Close to two million people were killed or injured in the fighting but this decisive battle ultimately resulted in favor of the Allied forces.  The Soviet Military Commander, Semyon Timoshenko, is portrayed in this remarkable political print as a victorious skeleton on horseback crushing the bones of dead Nazi soldiers.  

This poster, known as "Corrido de Stalingrado," was designed by Leopoldo Méndez, a famous Mexican printmaker, and published in 1942.  Méndez supported left-wing ideologies, using his art to do so.  Note the banner the horseman is carrying - it has the Mexican Communist Party insignia.
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#LeopoldoMéndez #LeopoldoMendez #TallerdeGráfica #CorridodeStalingrado #MexicanCommunistParty #fascist #calaveras #mexicanartist #mexicanprintmaker #1942 #battleofstalingrad #battleofstalingrad1942 #stalingrad #wwiipropaganda #mexicanpropaganda #SemyonTimoshenko #sovietunionwwii #alliedforces #nazihistory #thirdreich #thirdreichhistory #WWIIhistory #nazigermany #ww2history #ww2 #wwii #Wehrmacht #stalin #warpropaganda #axisvsallied
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"The Yeomanry of America have, besides infinite ad "The Yeomanry of America have, besides infinite advantages, over the peasantry of other countries, they are accustomed from their infancy to fire arms; they are expert in the use of them: -- Whereas the lower and middle people of England are, by the tyranny of certain laws, almost as ignorant in the use of a musket, as they are in the ancient Catapulta."  -- Charles Lee, from his influential pamphlet "Strictures on a Pamphlet, Entitled a 'Friendly Address to All Reasonable Americans, on the Subject of our Political Confusions" (1774)

Quoted in The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, pgs. 156-57.
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#charleslee #1774 #stricturesonapamphlet #yeomanryofamerica #americanhistory #ushistory #freedom #armedpopulace #disarmedpopulace #2ahistory #rtkba #rtba  #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #righttobeararms #armed #tyranny #armedpopulace #rightofthepeople #armedpeople #keepandbeararms #2a #2ndamendment #righttokeepandbeararms #gunrightsmatter #selfdefense #musket #catapulta #gunskills #learntoshoot

"The Yeomanry of America have, besides infinite advantages, over the peasantry of other countries, they are accustomed from their infancy to fire arms; they are expert in the use of them: -- Whereas the lower and middle people of England are, by the tyranny of certain laws, almost as ignorant in the use of a musket, as they are in the ancient Catapulta."  -- Charles Lee, from his influential pamphlet "Strictures on a Pamphlet, Entitled a 'Friendly Address to All Reasonable Americans, on the Subject of our Political Confusions" (1774)

Quoted in The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?, pgs. 156-57.
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#charleslee #1774 #stricturesonapamphlet #yeomanryofamerica #americanhistory #ushistory #freedom #armedpopulace #disarmedpopulace #2ahistory #rtkba #rtba  #therighttobeararms #therighttobeararmshalbrook #righttobeararms #armed #tyranny #armedpopulace #rightofthepeople #armedpeople #keepandbeararms #2a #2ndamendment #righttokeepandbeararms #gunrightsmatter #selfdefense #musket #catapulta #gunskills #learntoshoot
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Today marks the 77th anniversary of the most famou Today marks the 77th anniversary of the most famous assassination attempt against Hitler.  On July 20, 1944, German army officer Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg attempted to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb at his East Prussia headquarters.  However, during the meeting, someone moved the briefcase and when the bomb blew up, a table leg deflected much of the force.  Hitler survived the attack and those involved, included von Stauffenberg, were quickly executed.  Von Stauffenberg and the men were initially viewed by Germans as traitors, but today they are remembered with honor. 

Photo taken when I visited the German Resistance Memorial Center in Berlin.  The large picture I am standing by shows Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (left) and Albrecht Ritter Merz von Quirnheim.
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#stauffenberg 
#GrafvonStauffenber #ClausSchenkGrafvonStauffenberg #1944 #onthisday #onthisdate #nazigermany #historybuff #historygeek #europeanhistory #wwIIhistory #ww2history #secrethitler #wwiihistory #ww2 #wwii #thirdreich #fuhrer #Führer #resistance #hitlerattentat #assassinationhitler #naziregime #germanresistance #wwiiheroes #briefcasebomb #GermanResistanceMemorialCenter #bendlerblock #berlinhistory

Today marks the 77th anniversary of the most famous assassination attempt against Hitler.  On July 20, 1944, German army officer Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg attempted to kill Hitler with a briefcase bomb at his East Prussia headquarters.  However, during the meeting, someone moved the briefcase and when the bomb blew up, a table leg deflected much of the force.  Hitler survived the attack and those involved, included von Stauffenberg, were quickly executed.  Von Stauffenberg and the men were initially viewed by Germans as traitors, but today they are remembered with honor. 

Photo taken when I visited the German Resistance Memorial Center in Berlin.  The large picture I am standing by shows Claus Schenk Graf von Stauffenberg (left) and Albrecht Ritter Merz von Quirnheim.
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#stauffenberg 
#GrafvonStauffenber #ClausSchenkGrafvonStauffenberg #1944 #onthisday #onthisdate #nazigermany #historybuff #historygeek #europeanhistory #wwIIhistory #ww2history #secrethitler #wwiihistory #ww2 #wwii #thirdreich #fuhrer #Führer #resistance #hitlerattentat #assassinationhitler #naziregime #germanresistance #wwiiheroes #briefcasebomb #GermanResistanceMemorialCenter #bendlerblock #berlinhistory
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Ernest Hemingway was an American writer and spor Ernest Hemingway was an American writer and sportsman, who was able to shoot a pistol by the time he was 4.  Hemingway was very close with his younger sister Madelaine “Sunny” Hemingway Miller, who later typed portions of his famous novel, "A Farewell to Arms."  While on an African safari in the mid-1930s, Hemingway wrote to Sunny, “I move around a lot and do plenty shooting and fishing but I make my living out of that and if don’t move about have nothing to write about.”  Sunny knew how to handle a gun herself, as seen in this photo.

Photo: Sunny "aiming her shotgun in the yard at the Hemingway Family’s historic summer home 'Windemere' on Walloon Lake in Northern Michigan - where she lived in her later years."
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#madelaineHemingway #sunnyhemingway #ernesthemingway #ernesthemingwaysafari #ernesthemingwayquotes #hemingway #hunter #hunting #famoushunters #huntinginafrica #sportsman #shotgun #outdoorlife #huntingandfishing #Novelist #Classics #Outdoorsman #Angler #Writer #HemingwayOnHunting #hemingwayletters #afarewelltoarms #pistol #americanwriter #americansportsman #shootingandfishing #shooting #fishing #windemere #walloonlake

Ernest Hemingway was an American writer and sportsman, who was able to shoot a pistol by the time he was 4.  Hemingway was very close with his younger sister Madelaine “Sunny” Hemingway Miller, who later typed portions of his famous novel, "A Farewell to Arms."  While on an African safari in the mid-1930s, Hemingway wrote to Sunny, “I move around a lot and do plenty shooting and fishing but I make my living out of that and if don’t move about have nothing to write about.”  Sunny knew how to handle a gun herself, as seen in this photo.

Photo: Sunny "aiming her shotgun in the yard at the Hemingway Family’s historic summer home 'Windemere' on Walloon Lake in Northern Michigan - where she lived in her later years."
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#madelaineHemingway #sunnyhemingway #ernesthemingway #ernesthemingwaysafari #ernesthemingwayquotes #hemingway #hunter #hunting #famoushunters #huntinginafrica #sportsman #shotgun #outdoorlife #huntingandfishing #Novelist #Classics #Outdoorsman #Angler #Writer #HemingwayOnHunting #hemingwayletters #afarewelltoarms #pistol #americanwriter #americansportsman #shootingandfishing #shooting #fishing #windemere #walloonlake
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"New York’s prohibition on carrying a handgun,  "New York’s prohibition on carrying a handgun, and its refusal to make carry licenses available to all law-abiding citizens, violates the right of the people to bear arms protected by the Second Amendment."  "New York’s discretionary licensing scheme is within a similar legacy as the Black Codes and Jim Crow regimes that prohibited the carrying of firearms by African Americans without a license subject to the discretion of the licensing authority. The difference is that, instead of  discriminating only against black people, it deprives the people at large of the right to bear arms and bestows the privilege on a tiny subset of 'the people.' "

The above is excerpted from the amicus curiae brief that I filed last week in support of the petitioners, on behalf of the National African American Gun Asso., Inc., for the current U.S. Supreme Court case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Asso. v. Bruen.  

You can read the brief on my website at:  https://stephenhalbrook.com/NYSRPA
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#nysrpavbruen #naaga #therighttobeararms #rtkba #rtba #righttobeararms #righttokeepandbeararms #2ndamendment #righttocarry #righttocarryarms #concealedcarry #guncontrol #scotus #2ahistory #2a #ushistory #secondamendment #constitutionalright #therightofthepeople #shallnotbeinfringed #carryagun #2acase #nysrpa #nysrpavcorlett #firearmslaws #2ndamendmentrights #2arightsforall #blackgunsmatter #blackcodes #jimcrow

"New York’s prohibition on carrying a handgun, and its refusal to make carry licenses available to all law-abiding citizens, violates the right of the people to bear arms protected by the Second Amendment."  "New York’s discretionary licensing scheme is within a similar legacy as the Black Codes and Jim Crow regimes that prohibited the carrying of firearms by African Americans without a license subject to the discretion of the licensing authority. The difference is that, instead of  discriminating only against black people, it deprives the people at large of the right to bear arms and bestows the privilege on a tiny subset of 'the people.' "

The above is excerpted from the amicus curiae brief that I filed last week in support of the petitioners, on behalf of the National African American Gun Asso., Inc., for the current U.S. Supreme Court case, New York State Rifle & Pistol Asso. v. Bruen.  

You can read the brief on my website at:  https://stephenhalbrook.com/NYSRPA
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#nysrpavbruen #naaga #therighttobeararms #rtkba #rtba #righttobeararms #righttokeepandbeararms #2ndamendment #righttocarry #righttocarryarms #concealedcarry #guncontrol #scotus #2ahistory #2a #ushistory #secondamendment #constitutionalright #therightofthepeople #shallnotbeinfringed #carryagun #2acase #nysrpa #nysrpavcorlett #firearmslaws #2ndamendmentrights #2arightsforall #blackgunsmatter #blackcodes #jimcrow
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When the Nazis seized power, they "were well serve When the Nazis seized power, they "were well served by the 1928 and 1931 firearms laws.  Most obvious were the laws requiring firearm owners to be licensed or registered with the police and empowering the authorities to decree the confiscation of arms.  Civilian possession of pistols became increasingly suspect, and the Nazi regime decided to decrease the supply by banning imports."

In a letter to Hermann Göring, Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick explained the issue and wrote: "It is clear that for reasons of public security we cannot tolerate the unrestrained import of such huge amounts of weapons.  Even though the acquisition of firearms in Germany is permitted only if the strict requirements of the Firearms Law are met . . . ."

 From Gun Control in the Third Reich, p. 82.

Photo caption: "Seizure of power NSDAP - appointment of Hitler as chancellor of the Reich: to the left Wilhelm Frick (interior minister) t.right: Hermann Goering (minister without defined resort) - 30.01."
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#nazihistory #thirdreich #thirdreichhistory #WWIIhistory #nazigermany #Göring #reichsjägermeister #hermanngoring #hermangoering #nazichief #ww2history #guncontrolinthethirdreich #gunregistration #firearmregistration #gunconfiscation #firearmslicense #gunowner #gunowners #politicalenemies #wilhelmfrick #nazilaws #germanylaws #nazihistory #thirdreich #thirdreichhistory #learnfromhistory #germancitizen #armsconfiscation #firearmslaw #pistolimportation

When the Nazis seized power, they "were well served by the 1928 and 1931 firearms laws.  Most obvious were the laws requiring firearm owners to be licensed or registered with the police and empowering the authorities to decree the confiscation of arms.  Civilian possession of pistols became increasingly suspect, and the Nazi regime decided to decrease the supply by banning imports."

In a letter to Hermann Göring, Interior Minister Wilhelm Frick explained the issue and wrote: "It is clear that for reasons of public security we cannot tolerate the unrestrained import of such huge amounts of weapons.  Even though the acquisition of firearms in Germany is permitted only if the strict requirements of the Firearms Law are met . . . ."

 From Gun Control in the Third Reich, p. 82.

Photo caption: "Seizure of power NSDAP - appointment of Hitler as chancellor of the Reich: to the left Wilhelm Frick (interior minister) t.right: Hermann Goering (minister without defined resort) - 30.01."
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#nazihistory #thirdreich #thirdreichhistory #WWIIhistory #nazigermany #Göring #reichsjägermeister #hermanngoring #hermangoering #nazichief #ww2history #guncontrolinthethirdreich #gunregistration #firearmregistration #gunconfiscation #firearmslicense #gunowner #gunowners #politicalenemies #wilhelmfrick #nazilaws #germanylaws #nazihistory #thirdreich #thirdreichhistory #learnfromhistory #germancitizen #armsconfiscation #firearmslaw #pistolimportation
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Just what is wrong with the 9th Circuit's recent o Just what is wrong with the 9th Circuit's recent opinion in Young v. Hawaii? Plenty!  "Young paints a faux histoire of the right to bear arms.  It relies on medieval decrees that would have been anathema to the Founders, deletes key passage from historical sources, leaps over crucial stages of American history such as the coming of the Revolution and of Reconstruction, and otherwise distorts the past to demonstrate that the right to bear arms is actually beyond the historical scope of the right to bear arms."

Excerpt is taken from the Abstract of my new paper, “Faux Histoire of the Right to Bear Arms: Young v. Hawaii (9th Cir. 2021).”  To read the complete Abstract and/or paper, go to:  

 https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3885910

Young v. Hawaii, 992 F.3d 765 (9th Cir. 2021)
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#youngvhawaii #youngvshawaii #stephenhalbrook #stephenphalbrook #ssrn #righttocarry #2ndamendmentcases #2acases #constitutionalcarry #2a #2ndmendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #gunrestrictions #gunowners #gunowner #firearms #firearmslaws #constitutionalright #2arights #2ndamendmentrights #gunrightscase #concealedweapon #concealedcarry #selfdefense #hawaiigunrights #opencarry #rtba #disarm

Just what is wrong with the 9th Circuit's recent opinion in Young v. Hawaii? Plenty!  "Young paints a faux histoire of the right to bear arms.  It relies on medieval decrees that would have been anathema to the Founders, deletes key passage from historical sources, leaps over crucial stages of American history such as the coming of the Revolution and of Reconstruction, and otherwise distorts the past to demonstrate that the right to bear arms is actually beyond the historical scope of the right to bear arms."

Excerpt is taken from the Abstract of my new paper, “Faux Histoire of the Right to Bear Arms: Young v. Hawaii (9th Cir. 2021).”  To read the complete Abstract and/or paper, go to:  

 https://papers.ssrn.com/sol3/papers.cfm?abstract_id=3885910

Young v. Hawaii, 992 F.3d 765 (9th Cir. 2021)
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#youngvhawaii #youngvshawaii #stephenhalbrook #stephenphalbrook #ssrn #righttocarry #2ndamendmentcases #2acases #constitutionalcarry #2a #2ndmendment #rtkba #righttobeararms #gunrestrictions #gunowners #gunowner #firearms #firearmslaws #constitutionalright #2arights #2ndamendmentrights #gunrightscase #concealedweapon #concealedcarry #selfdefense #hawaiigunrights #opencarry #rtba #disarm
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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