Banned! How and Why Certain Firearms are Outlaws
It's not just Jesse James who is an outlaw. Firearms go into that category, too, and 2013 will go down in firearms history as the year that more firearms were banned in various states than ever before. How and why did federal and state legislatures and executives start banning certain firearms and is the practice constitutional? Our topic is particularly timely as we consider how the courts may ultimately interpret not only these new statutes, but also the new-fangled "similar to" and "copycat" catch-all phrases in those same statutes.
Attorney and Policy Analyst
Two Fundamental Mistakes in Current Firearms Law and Policy
Policy---Both D.C. v. Heller and McDonald v. Chicago were driven by complaints by black Plaintiffs that municipal gun bans deprived them of a fundamental right to self-defense. Some critics find this odd. I will discuss how the stance of black plaintiffs in these cases is entirely consistent with the black community's longstanding embrace of armed self-defense. My presentation will draw from my forthcoming book, NEGROES AND THE GUN: THE BLACK TRADITION OF ARMS (Prometheus January 2014).
Law --I will discuss the core analytical mistake that lower courts have made in applying Heller and McDonald - i.e. the failure to distinguish between technology prohibition cases and regulatory burden cases. This has lead to the erroneous application of levels of scrutiny analysis (some form of which is essential to deciding burden cases) to litigation over technology prohibitions that should be decided by the straight forward "common use" test set out in Heller.
PROFESSOR NICHOLAS JOHNSON
Professor of Law, Fordham Law School