Heller After Ten Years

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Ten years after the Supreme Court’s landmark but controversial decision in District of Columbia v. Heller, the nature and scope of the Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms still is uncertain when it comes to a multitude of gun laws.  With few exceptions, lower courts have treated Heller not as precedent to be followed, but a decision to be distinguished, narrowed, or avoided before approving almost any legislative restriction on the right to arms.

Campbell Law Review is excited to host “Heller After Ten Years” February 1–2, 2018 at the Campbell University School of Law.  The symposium will examine a wide range of issues facing the lower courts since Heller, including: 1) the proper analytical framework for deciding Second Amendment cases, 2) whether lower courts have given proper deference to Heller’s recognition of the individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, 3) the extent to which the Second Amendment protects certain persons, such as felons and the formerly mentally ill seeking restoration of their right to arms, and 4) how Heller applies to restrictions on public carry and bans on “assault weapons.”

 

Symposium Panels

Thursday Evening (Feb 1)

Heller: Past, Present, and Future

A discussion of the Supreme Court’s 2008 decision in District of Columbia v. Heller recognizing the individual right to keep and bear arms, whether that decision has been properly applied in the lower courts, and what the Supreme Court will do with this constitutional right in the future.

Joseph Blocher: Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law (Moderator)
Alan Gura: Partner, Gura & Possessky, PLLC (Panelist)
Dennis Henigan: Former Vice President, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (Panelist)
Glenn Reynolds: Professor of Law, University of Tennessee College of Law (Panelist)

Friday (Feb 2)

Heller in the Lower Courts

A discussion of how federal circuit courts have applied Heller, with a focus on lower court views of Heller’s holding and scope, the extent to which Heller provides a general framework for constitutional analysis in Second Amendment cases, what guidance Heller provides for resolving cases involving the right to arms in public places, the development of analytical frameworks beyond Heller, and whether lower courts have given proper deference to Heller in their Second Amendment decisions.

Sarah Ludington: Associate Dean, Campbell Law School (Moderator)
Brannon Denning: Associate Dean and Professor of Law, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University (Panelist)
Dennis Henigan: Former Vice President, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (Panelist)
David Kopel: Research Director, Independence Institute; Associate Policy Analyst, Cato Institute; Adjunct Professor of Law, Denver University, Sturm College of Law (Panelist)
Hannah Shearer: Staff Attorney and Second Amendment Litigation Director, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (Panelist)

 

Heller and Protected Places

A discussion of how the Second Amendment, as interpreted by Heller, protects certain persons, including felons and formerly mentally ill persons seeking restoration of their right to arms and persons subjected to searches under the Fourth Amendment.  Special attention will be given to felon dispossession cases such as Binderup v. Attorney General (Third Circuit) and Hamilton v. Pallozzi (Fourth Circuit), to the Sixth Circuit’s decision in Tyler v. Hillsdale County Sheriff’s Department on the restoration of firearm rights to the formerly mentally ill, and to the Fourth Circuit’s en banc decision in United States v. Robinson that held that even lawfully-armed persons are per se “dangerous” and can be subjected to a Terry frisk.

[TBA]: (Moderator)
Alan Gura: Partner, Gura & Possessky, PLLC (Panelist)
Mark Frassetto: Senior Counsel, Everytown for Gun Safety (Panelist)
Hannah Shearer: Staff Attorney and Second Amendment Litigation Director, Giffords Law Center to Prevent Gun Violence (Panelist)

 

Justice Scalia’s Use of History in Heller

A discussion of Justice Scalia’s use of history in the Heller decision as a basis for recognizing the individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense.

Paul Fineklman: Professor of Law, Albany Law School (Panelist)
Joyce Malcolm: Professor of Law, George Mason University School of Law (Panelist)

 

Heller and Public Carry Restriction

A discussion of how lower courts have applied Heller to various restrictions on the carrying of firearms in public places, with special attention given to the District of Columbia Circuit’s decision in Wrenn v. District of Columbia, the Ninth Circuit’s en banc decision in Peruta v. County of San Diego, and the Fourth Circuit’s decision in Wollard v. Gallagher.

Brannon Denning: Associate Dean and Professor of Law, Cumberland School of Law, Samford University (Moderator)
Joseph Blocher: Professor of Law, Duke University School of Law (Panelist)
Jonathan Lowy: Vice President, Litigation, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (Panelist)
George Mocsary: Assistant Professor of Law, Southern Illinois University School of Law (Panelist)
Glenn Reynolds: Professor of Law, University of Tennessee College of Law (Panelist)

 

Heller and “Assault Weapons”

A discussion of how Heller has been applied to “assault weapon” bans, with special attention given to the Fourth Circuit’s en banc decision in Kolbe v. Hogan, which held that the popular AR-15 rifle and other “assault weapons” are not protected arms under the Second Amendment.

Greg Wallace: Professor of Law, Campbell Law School (Moderator)
David Kopel: Research Director, Independence Institute; Associate Policy Analyst, Cato Institute; Adjunct Professor of Law, Denver University, Sturm College of Law (Panelist)
Jonathan Lowy: Vice President, Litigation, Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence (Panelist)
Allen Rostron: Associate Professor of Law, University of Missouri-Kansas City School of Law (Panelist)