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Research Areas

Criminal Justice & U.S. Const. amends. 4-10

Digital Economy


Health, Education & Welfare



Media and 1st Amendment


Right to Arms: Policy issues

Right to Arms: Law, history, politics

Right to Arms: International

Terrorism (& Fahrenheit 9/11)



Newspaper & magazines articles: 2007 to present; 2001-2006; 1986-2000.

Books, law review articles, other scholarly publications.

Blogging 2014-present. Archive.

Video archive

Audio archive

Briefs and legal citations

SSRN author page. Google Scholar. DU Law faculty page.

Social media

Kopel blogging for the Washington Post's "Volokh Conspiracy"

Kopel on Twitter.

Dave Kopel Channel on Youtube.

Click the icon Kopel RSS feed to get RSS/XML updates of this website, and of Dave's blog posts.

Kopel's Law & Liberty News. Twice-daily web newspaper collecting articles from Kopel and those whom he follows on Twitter.


Author page on Amazon.

New book by Kopel coming Dec. 31, 2015: The Morality of Self-Defense and Military Action: The Judeo-Christian Tradition (Praeger Books, ABC/CLIO).

Rules for State Legislators: Jerry Kopel's Guide (2015). With Jerry Kopel.

The Truth about Gun Control (Encounter Books, 2013). Who is sovereign in the United States? Is it the people themselves, or is it an elite determined to rule citizens who are seen as incapable of making choices about their own lives? This is the central question in the American gun-control debate. Animated video featuring a section of the book. 4 minutes.

A Conspiracy Against Obamacare: The Volokh Conspiracy and the Affordable Care Act (Palgrave MacMillan). The legal scholars who fought and defeated the unconstitutional power grab.

Firearms Law & the Second Amendment; Regulation, Rights, and Policy (Aspen Publishers 2012). The first law school textbook on the Second Amendment. Buy from Amazon. Publisher webpage for book. Authors' website for book; includes Table of Contents, and Preface.

Supplement online chapters, free to the public: Chapter 12 – Social Science. Chapter 13 – International Law. Chapter 14 – Comparative Law. 2015 supplement now available.

Podcasts on the book:

  • Chapter 7. A New and Dangerous Century.
  • Chapter 6. Reconstruction and the late 19th Century.
  • Chapter 5. The Early Republic, and the Antebellum Era.
  • Chapter 4. The new Constitution and the Second Amendment.
  • Chapter 3. The Colonies and the Revolution.
  • Chapter 2. Antecedents of the Second Amendment: From Confucius to the British Whigs.
  • Chapter 1. An introduction to firearms laws and firearms function. 

More books by Kopel.

World Languages

French flagFrançais.

Italian flagItaliano.


Polski /Polish.


Český /Czech

Magyar /Hungarian.


Deutsch /German.

Nederlands /Dutch.

Svenska /Swedish.

Dansk /Danish.

繁體中文 /Chinese.

日本語 Full-text Japanese version of this entire website.

Jerry Kopel

JerryKopel.com. My father's essays on Colorado and national politics, based on his 22 years of service as a Colorado State Representative.

About Kopel, and contact info

Colorado Inside Out. Oct. 23, 2015. Full episode. New flight from Denver to Munich. Hillary Clinton testilies on Benghazi. Colorado Health Co-op succumbs to Obamacare economics. Proposal to allow grocery stores to sell beer and wine. Panhandling laws. Postgame: Upcoming Republican Pres. debate in Boulder.

"Guns, Law and Society: Understanding the Arguments" hosted by The Dart Center.

Short articles

The Second Amendment versus anti-Catholicism. Washington Post. Nov. 20, 2015. James Madison expressly rejected anti-Catholic gun control laws; yet modern anti-gun advocates claim that these bigoted laws laws should be imposed on everyone.

Handgun bans for persons under 21: A hidden problem in Everytown’s ‘universal background checks’. Washington Post. Nov. 5, 2015.

Sharing firearms for informal target shooting: Another legitimate activity outlawed by Everytown’s ‘universal background checks’. Washington Post. Nov. 4, 2015.

Safe storage of firearms: The harms from Bloomberg’s strange background check system. Washington Post. Nov. 3, 2015.

How Everytown’s background check law impedes firearms safety training and self-defense. Washington Post. Nov. 2, 2015.

English legal history and the right to carry arms. Washington Post. Oct. 31, 2015. English law in the 17th and 18th centuries allowed the peaceable carry of arms, and forbade carry in a deliberately terrifying manner.

Armed and Educated. Allowing professors to carry licensed arms will enhance campus safety. Chronicle of Higher Education. Oct. 30, 2015.

The 2nd Circuit’s second-class Second Amendment intermediate scrutiny. Washington Post. Oct. 23, 2015.

2nd Circuit upholds N.Y. and Conn. arms bans; contradicts Heller and McDonald. Washington Post. Oct. 23, 2015.

United Nations: Trouble in Paradise. Report on the 2015 meeting for implementation of the Arms Trade Treaty. America's 1st Freedom. Nov. 2015.

Alan Steinweis's bad history. NY Times op-ed denigrating Jewish resistance to the Nazis flubs history. Washington Post. Oct. 16, 2015.

Firearms Law textbook: 2015 supplement now available. Washington Post. Oct. 14, 2015.

Unarmed Jews defeat mass murder: Revolts at the extermination camps. Washington Post. Oct. 12, 2015.

The Warsaw ghetto uprising: Armed Jews vs. Nazis. Washington Post. Oct. 10, 2015.

Amicus brief on history of right to carry, in Wrenn v. DC. In D.C. Circuit case, legal historians' amicus brief explains that peaceable arms carrying was legal and common in Early America and in the 19th century. Washington Post. Oct. 9, 2015.

D.C. gun registration law ruled partly unconstitutional. Federal appeals court declares that much of D.C.'s gun registration law violates the Second Amendment. Washington Post. Sept. 18, 2015.

In the Media

Eugene Volokh. Home possession of switchblade knives protected by the Second Amendment. Washington Post. Nov. 24, 2015.

Activists taking aim at Colorado's campus-carry law. Austin American-Statesman (blog). Nov. 23, 2015.

Chuck and Amy Schumer wrong in #AimingForChange "crusade on guns." Hot Air. Oct. 26, 2015.

Dennis Praeger. They Really Hate Ben Carson. The Left's campaign to destroy another high-profile black Republican is in full swing. Frontpagemag.com. Oct. 16, 2015.

David French. The Great Gun Debate: Even Brutal, Totalitarian Regimes Have Trouble Defeating Well-Armed Insurgencies. National Review Online. Oct. 12, 2015.

David Harsanyi. No, Ben Carson’s Holocaust Comments Aren't Anti-Semitic. The founding of modern Israel suggested the same thing. The Federalist. Oct. 12, 2015.

Gun control will create vulnerable UCF campus. Central Florida Future. Oct. 9, 2015.

The truth about mental illness in America. Communities Digital News. Oct. 6, 2015.

Obama: More gun laws means fewer gun deaths. Politifact. Oct. 6, 2015.

Hillary Clinton’s Gun-Control Plan Is a Missed Opportunity. National Review Online. Oct. 5, 2015.

Libertarians, Latino activists, sheriffs union members unite: Elect Denver Sheriff. Colorado Independent. Sept 30, 2015.

Colorado’s strict 2013 gun laws back in federal court. Guns.com. Sept. 29, 2015.

Television, Radio, Podcasts  

Colorado Inside Out. Oct. 23, 2015. Full episode. New flight from Denver to Munich. Hillary Clinton testilies on Benghazi. Colorado Health Co-op succumbs to Obamacare economics. Proposal to allow grocery stores to sell beer and wine. Panhandling laws. Postgame: Upcoming Republican Pres. debate in Boulder.

Colorado Inside Out. Oct. 16, 2015. Full episode. Denver City Council says Columbus Day is "Indigenous People's Day." New Sheriff in Denver. CNN Dem debate. School board elections. Postgame: Tax refund vote.

Colorado Inside Out. Oct. 9, 2015. Full episode. U.S. House Speaker chaos. Denver plan for $130 million in corporate welfare for Stock Show. Hickenlooper's poor plan on global warming. Terrance Roberts not guilty. Post-game: Jeffco School Board's Ken Witt uses political stunt to rebut phony claim that he violated Open Meetings Act.

Colorado Inside Out. Oct. 2, 2015. Full episode. Frontier Airlines prospering. Silly Newsweek cover story attempts to explain Colorado poitics. Hickenlooper & Lamm acknowledge Hillary's credibility gap. Brauchler not running for Senate. Post-game: Boulder rescinds harmful bike lane changes.

"Heller 2" at the DC Circuit Court. Cato Institute podcast. Sept. 23, 2015.

American Constitution Society. June 12, 2015. Panel on Skewed Justice: How Money in Judicial Elections is Undermining our Criminal Justice System.

Guns, Law and Society: Understanding the Arguments. Dart Center. Arizona State University. May 29, 2015.

Latest Monographs & Journal articles

The First Century of Right to Arms Litigation. 14 Georgetown Journal of Law & Public Policy (forthcoming 2016).

Background Checks for Firearms Sales and Loans: Law, History, and Policy. 53 Harvard Journal on Legislation (forthcoming 2015).

Book review of "This Nonviolent Stuff'll Get You Killed: How Guns Made the Civil Rights Movement Possible." 35 Cato Journal 443 (2015).

Lyman Trumbull: Author of the Thirteenth Amendment, Author of the Civil Rights Act, and the First Second Amendment Lawyer. 47 Loyola University Chicago Law Journal, issue 4 (forthcoming 2016).

Reforming Mental Health Law to Protect Public Safety and Help the Severely Mentally Ill. 59 Howard Law Journal (2015, forthcoming). With Clayton Cramer.

The History of Firearms Magazines and of Magazine Prohibition. 88 Albany Law Review 849 (2015).

The Posse Comitatus and the Office of Sheriff: Armed Citizens Summoned to the Aid of Law Enforcement. 104 Journal of Criminal Law and Criminology 671 (2015).

The First Amendment Guide to the Second Amendment. 81 Tennessee Law Review 419 (2014).

Does the Second Amendment Protect Firearms Commerce? 127 Harvard Law Review 230 (2014).

From Razing a Village to Razing the Constitution: The Branch Davidian Stand-Off Twenty Years Later. 36 Reason Papers 72 (2014). With Paul Blackman.

In Congress and Legislatures

Colorado House of Representatives. State Affairs Committee. Feb. 2, 2015. Testimony in favor of: Civil immunity for businesses that allow licensed carry; Repeal of Colorado magazine ban; Repeal of prohibition on firearm loans that are not routed through FFLs; Enactment of “shall certify” for acquisition of NFA arms. Kopel testifies as the last witness on each bill. MP4.

In the Courts

Wrenn v. District of Columbia (D.C. Circuit). Amicus brief of legal historians explains that peaceable carrying of arms was lawful in the American colonies, in the Early Republic, and in the vast majority of the United States through 1900.

Sheriffs' reply brief in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. May 29, 2015. Governor Hickenlooper's arguments in favor of the magazine ban demonstrate its unconstitutionality.

Peruta v. San Diego. April 30, 2015. En banc rehearing before the 9th Circuit. Amicus brief for the International Law Enforcement Educators & Trainers Association. Explains the empirical evidence showing that licensed handgun carry strengthens public safety.

Sheriffs brief in the 10th Circuit Court of Appeals. Jan. 16, 2015. The website for the Colorado Sheriffs' federal civil rights lawsuit against the 2013 Bloomberg anti-gun bills is here.

Independence Institute, Cato Institute, Reason Foundation amicus brief in support of the SCt cert petition in Kerr v. Hickenlooper. Primary and Cato Authors: Ilya Shapiro, Julio Colomba, David B. Kopel, Manuel S. Klausner. Nov. 20, 2014.

Joel Esquenzi and Carlos Rodriguez v. United States of America. Washington Legal Foundation and the Independence Institute amicus brief in support of petitioners. United States Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit. Sept. 11, 2014.

Taxpayers for Public Education v. Douglas County School District (2014). Independence Institute amicus brief to the Colorado Supreme Court in the Douglas County school vouchers case in support of the respondents.

Constitutional law professors in Jerusalem passport case, Zivotofsky v. Kerry, Supreme Court amicus brief in support of petitioner.

The documents in Cooke et al. v. Hickenlooper are available here. Fifty-five Sheriffs, the Colorado Farm Bureau, disabled citizens, hunting guides, Women for Concealed Carry, and other plaintiffs have filed suit against the Colorado bills that ban magazines, and that outlaw some temporary transfers of firearms.

Amicus briefs in Shew v. Malloy (2d Cir. 2014) and Fyock v. Sunnyvale (9th Cir. 2014). The history of magazines of greater than 10 rounds, and of magazine prohibition, in the United States.

National Labor Relations Board v. Noel Canning (2014). Amicus brief of the Independence Institute. Original meaning of the Recess Appointments Clause. Professor Natelson's research presented in this brief was cited several times in the four-Justice concurring opinion written by Justice Scalia. 


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