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 the proper analytical framework for deciding Second Amendment cases, whether lower courts have given proper deference to Heller’s recognition of the individual right to keep and bear arms for self-defense, 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 how Heller applies to restrictions on public carry and bans on “assault weapons.”

1 February 2018

Heller: Past, Present, and Future

A wide-ranging 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 applied properly in the lower courts, and what the Supreme Court is likely to do with the constitutional right to arms in the future.

Moderator: Joseph Blotcher
Panelists: Alan Gura, Dennis Henigan, Glen Reynolds

2 February 2018

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.

Moderator: Sarah Ludington
Panelists: Brannon Denning, Dennis Henigan, David Kopel, Hannah Shearer

Heller and Protected Persons

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.

Moderator: Honorable Richard Dietz
Panelists: Alan Gura, Mark Frassetto, Hannah Shearer

Lunch Panel: 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.

Panelists: Paul Finkelman, Joyce Malcolm

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.

Moderator: Brannon Denning
Panelists: Joseph Blocher, Jonathan Lowy, George Mocsary, Glenn Reynolds

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.

Moderator: E. Gregory Wallace
Panelists: David Kopel, Jonathan Lowy, Allen Rostron