Research

  • The first generation of Second Amendment scholarship focused on a single question: Does the Second Amendment protect an individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, or a collective right connected to the maintenance of a well-regulated militia? Now, after the Supreme Court resolved that question in District of Columbia v. Heller, we are in the midst of a second generation of scholarship. This article describes the arc of Second Amendment jurisprudence and research, and introduces a new round of articles about this important constitutional provision.

    May 18, 2017
  • Public perceptions often motivate policymakers. But what is the role of perceptions in defending regulations challenged as violating constitutional rights? First and Second Amendment doctrine provide a nuanced answer to that question, sometimes categorically rejecting and other times permitting shaping perceptions as a valid reason to regulate. This article explores evolving doctrine and explains why shaping some perceptions – like the perception of safety – may have a more legitimate role justifying firearm regulations than speech regulations.

    May 18, 2017
  • Culminating from a Brennan Center symposium on "The Second Generation of Second Amendment Law and Policy" in April, 2016, leading second amendment scholars and experts seek to answer some of the most pressing and relevant questions about gun policy.

    May 18, 2017
  • This volume is a sample of the Brennan Center’s work on all fronts in the fight for democracy and justice in 2016 and early 2017. Material is drawn from Brennan Center reports, policy proposals, and issue briefs, in addition to public remarks, legal briefs, congressional testimony, and op-ed pieces delivered at Brennan Center events or written by Brennan Center staff.

    March 23, 2017
  • The idea that citizens have an unfettered constitutional right to carry weapons in public originates in the antebellum South, and its culture of violence and honor.

    September 30, 2015

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