History of gun rights and regulations

The briefing will take place on Friday, March 8 at 11:00 a.m. in the Rayburn Office Building, Room 2045, in Washington DC.

History stands at the heart of the debate about the right to bear arms. So how have Americans used the regulatory powers of government to reduce gun violence in the past? This briefing will review the many ways local, state, and federal authorities have managed the use of guns through our history. Perhaps the past can offer us a way to break out of our present impasse.

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Meet the Presenters

Saul Cornell is Paul and Diane Guenther Chair in American History at Fordham University. Professor Cornell is a leading authority on early American constitutional history and has written extensively on the Second Amendment and the history of gun regulation. His articles have appeared in: The Journal of American History, The William and Mary Quarterly, The Yale Law Journal, and The Yale Journal of Law and the Humanities. He authored the chapter on the “Right to Bear Arms” in the Oxford Handbook of the U.S. Constitution and contributed to the Cambridge History of Law in America.

Darrell A. H. Miller writes and teaches in the areas of civil rights, constitutional law, civil procedure, state and local government law, and legal history. His scholarship has been published in leading law reviews such as the Yale Law Journal and the University of Chicago Law Review and has been cited by the Supreme Court of the United States, the United States Courts of Appeals, the United States District Courts, and in congressional testimony and legal briefs. With Joseph Blocher, he is the author of The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation, and the Future of Heller (Cambridge University Press, 2018). 

Meet the Moderator

Karin Wulf is Professor of History and Director of the Omohundro Institute at William & Mary. She has co-edited Milcah Martha Moore’s Book: A Commonplace Book from Revolutionary America (1997) and The Diary of Hannah Callender, 1758-1788 (2010). Her book, Not All Wives: Women of Colonial Philadelphia was published by Cornell University Press in 2000, and issued in paper by the University of Pennsylvania Press in 2005.