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Second Amendment Legal Changes After Heller: Past, Present, and Possible Future

(300 reviews)

Produced on November 22, 2019

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Course Information

Time 92 minutes
Difficulty Intermediate

Course Description

Join Professor David Kopel as he discusses second amendment legal changes after District of Columbia v. Heller, with a look at the Amendment’s past, present, and possible future from the perspective of a gun rights proponent. Mr. Kopel is an adjunct scholar at the Cato Institute, is a member of the National Rifle Association, and in 2008, appeared before the United States Supreme Court as part of the team presenting the defense's oral argument in District of Columbia v. Heller. Mr. Kopel will explore in detail the aftermath of the Supreme Court’s Heller and McDonald v. City of Chicago decisions. The program will also explore enforcement of the Second Amendment in the lower courts. Finally, Mr. Kopel will explore future second amendment cases likely to become before the Supreme Court, and will analyze in detail the current case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. New York City.

Learning Objectives:

  1. Review the effects of the Supreme Court’s Heller and McDonald decisions
  2. Explore the trends of some lower courts in enforcing the Second Amendment
  3. Look ahead to future Supreme Court action, including the current case New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. New York City

Credit Information

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David B. Kopel is the Research Director of the Independence Institute in Denver; an Adjunct Scholar with the Cato Institute, in Washington; and Adjunct Professor of Constitutional Law at the University of Denver, Sturm College of Law. He is also Vice-Chair of the Colorado State Advisory Committee to the United States Commission on Civil Rights.

Kopel writes for the “Volokh Conspiracy” legal weblog currently hosted by Reason magazine, and for The Epoch Times, a New York newspaper. He is the author of 17 books, and over 100 scholarly articles, on topics such as antitrust, constitutional law, counter-terrorism, environmental law, intellectual history, and police practices. His most recent books are the second edition of Firearms Law and the Second Amendment  (the first law school textbook on the subject), andThe Morality of Self-Defense and Military Action: The Judeo-Christian Tradition.

Kopel was a member of the Supreme Court oral argument team in District of Columbia v. Heller. His Heller and McDonald amicus briefs for a coalition of law enforcement organizations were cited by Justices Alito, Breyer, and Stevens. His research has been cited in dozens of state appellate court and U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals opinions, including then-Judge Kavanaugh’s dissent in Heller II. The Seventh Circuit lauded his scholarship as showing the proper model of the “originalist interpretive method as applied to the Second Amendment.”

Websites: davekopel.org, davekopel.tw (Chinese). Twitter: @davekopel


Thomas S.

Very timely information

Joe H.

An excellent presentation on an extremely important topic by an attorney whose knowledge on the topic is unsurpassed.

David R.

Fantastic course, top-notch lecturer.

Sarah W.

A very thorough look into 2nd Amendment caselaw!

Jeremy S.

Hands down best course on Lawline.

Geoffrey K.

I thought Prof. Kopel's presentation was particularly outstanding, and I learned a great deal from the program and the written materials he provided.

Zachary H.


Dennis S.

Very effective lecturer who made some difficult constitutional concepts very understandable.

Daniel G.

An excellent overview of this rapidly evolving area of constitutional law. Highly recommended.

Russell B.

Very Informative and expertly presented.

Timothy B.

Great overview of second amendment issues in the last few decades. Well worth my time.

Clarence S.

Excellent presentation of complex area of Const Law.

John K.

Very well done and helpful materials.

Deborah P.

Very interesting and informative.

Linda K.


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