Supreme Court Gun Cases

by Dave Kopel, Stephen P. Halbrook, Alan Korwin

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Attorney David B. Kopel

Dave Kopel is Research Director of the Independence Institute, a civil liberties think tank in Golden, Colo., and an Associate Policy Analyst with the Cato Institute, in Washington, D.C. He has served as an Assistant Attorney General for Colorado, enforcing hazardous waste and Superfund law. In 1985 he graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School, where he served on the law review. In 1982 he graduated from Brown University, with Highest Honors for his history thesis on Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr. In 1998-99 he was an adjunct professor of law at New York University.

Kopel is a regular panelist on the PBS public affairs show “Colorado Inside-Out” in Denver, a columnist for the Rocky Mountain News, and a Contributing Editor for National Review Online and Liberty. He has testified many times before Congress and state legislatures on topics including gun control, free speech, and criminal justice. His website is

Kopel’s books related to firearms law and policy include, Gun Control and Gun Rights (with Andrew McClurg and Brannon Denning), which is the first law school and university textbook on the subject; No More Wacos: What’s Wrong with Federal Law Enforcement, and How to Fix It (with Paul Blackman), which won the Thomas S. Szasz Award for Outstanding Contributions to the Cause of Civil Liberties; Guns: Who Should Have Them?; Gun Control in Great Britain: Saving Lives or Constricting Liberty?; and The Samurai, the Mountie, and the Cowboy: Should America Adopt the Gun Controls of Other Democracies?, which was named Book of the Year by the International Criminology Division of the American Society of Criminology. He was a member of the Editorial Board for Guns in American Society: An Encyclopedia of History, Politics, Culture, and the Law.

He has authored dozens of articles in scholarly journals, including the University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Brown Journal of World Affairs, Connecticut Law Review, Maryland Law Review, Journal of the Medical Association of Georgia, Quarterly Journal of Ideology, Michigan Law Review, BYU Law Review, Tennessee Law Review, Temple Law Review, Journal of Contemporary Law, Asia-Pacific Law Review, St. Louis University Public Law Review, William and Mary Bill of Rights Journal, Political Communication, Arizona Law Review, Criminal Justice Policy Review, and the American Journal of Criminal Law. Kopel is Editor-in-Chief of the Journal on Firearms & Public Policy.

Attorney Stephen P. Halbrook, Ph.D.

Stephen P. Halbrook is an attorney in private practice with offices in Fairfax, Virginia. He has successfully argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court: Castillo v. United States, 530 U.S. 120 (2000), which upheld the right to jury trial concerning firearms types in the Branch Davidian prosecution; Printz v. United States, 521 U.S. 98 (1997), which struck down federal mandates to the states under the Brady law; and United States v. Thompson/Center Arms Co., 504 U.S. 505 (1992), which applied the rule of lenity to firearms definitions.

His books include, That Every Man Be Armed: The Evolution of a Constitutional Right; Freedmen, the Fourteenth Amendment, and the Right to Bear Arms; Firearms Law Deskbook; A Right to Bear Arms; and Target Switzerland: Swiss Armed Neutrality in World War II, which has also been published in German, French, and Italian editions.

Halbrook holds a Ph.D. in Philosophy from Florida State University and a J.D. from Georgetown University Law Center. His litigation practice includes representation of the National Rifle Association and other nonprofit organizations, and his pro bono amicus curiae clients include the National Association of Criminal Defense Lawyers and the Cato Institute. He is a Fellow with the Independent Institute. To learn more about Mr. Halbrook, visit

Alan Korwin

Alan Korwin, author of three books and co-author of seven others, is a full-time freelance writer, consultant and businessman with a twenty-five-year track record. He is a founder and two-term past president of the Arizona Book Publishing Association, which has presented him with its Visionary Leadership award, named in his honor, the Korwin Award. He has received national awards for his publicity work as a member of the Society for Technical Communication, and is a past board member of the Arizona chapter of the Society of Professional Journalists.

Working with American Express, Mr. Korwin wrote the executive-level strategic plan that defined its worldwide telecommunications strategy for the 1990s; he wrote the business plan that raised $5 million in venture capital and launched SkyMall; he did the publicity for Pulitzer Prize cartoonist Steve Benson’s fourth book; and he had a hand in developing ASPED, Arizona’s economic strategic plan. Korwin’s writing appears often in a wide spectrum of local and national publications.

Korwin turned his first book, The Arizona Gun Owner’s Guide, into a self-published best-seller, now in its 20th edition. With his wife Cheryl he operates Bloomfield Press, which has grown into the largest producer and distributor of gun-law books in the country. It is built around six books he has completed on the subject including the unabridged guide Gun Laws of America, an expanding line of related items, and countless radio and TV appearances. Supreme Court Gun Cases is his 10th book.

Alan Korwin is originally from New York City, where his clients included IBM, AT&T, NYNEX and others, many with real names. He is a pretty good guitarist and singer, with a penchant for parody (his last band was The Cartridge Family). In 1986, finally married, he moved to the Valley of the Sun. It was a joyful and successful move.


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