Firearms Law

and the Second Amendment:

Regulation, Rights,

and Policy

 First Edition

Aspen Publishers, published March 8, 2012.

The first law school textbook on the Second Amendment.

Aspen Publishers web page for the book. Professors can order free review copies there.

Buy it from in hardcover or Kindle format.  Discounted price!

Firearms Law and the Second Amendment

Preview the book

Summary Table of Contents

Full Table of Contents


2015 Supplement

The 2015 Supplement has arrived!  It is available on Aspen's Professor Materials page and is free to the book's users.

2015 Supplement Cover

Online Chapters

The online chapters have arrived!  Available individually and in one combined file are the Table of Contents, and Chapters 12 through 15!

Table of Contents and Front Matter

Chapter 12 – Social Science

Chapter 13 – International Law

Chapter 14 – Comparative Law

Chapter 15 – In-Depth Explanation of Firearms and Ammunition


Combined Online Chapters (Table of Contents, Front Matter, and Chapters 12-15)


About the Authors

Nicholas J. Johnson

David B. Kopel

George A. Mocsary

Michael P. O'Shea



Federalist Society Faculty Division podcast. Authors Johnson and O'Shea discussed the book with UCLA's Adam Winkler. 34 minutes.

Chapter Podcasts

In this series, co-author David Kopel discusses the first seven chapters with Justin Longo of The questions are from the perspective of a intelligent lay person who is interested in firearms law and policy. The textbook itself tends to be neutral on most controversial questions; that is, the readings speak for themselves, while the printed Questions that follow the reading attempt to engage the reader with important issues, rather than directing the reader to a "correct" answer. In the podcast series, we go further, and Kopel provides some answers from his own perspective. Each of these should be considered one, rather than the only, way to interpret the materials.

Chapter 1.  A Brief Introduction to Firearms and their Regulation. MP3.

Chapter 2. Antecedents of the Second Amendment: From Confucius to the British Whigs. MP3.

Chapter 3. The Colonies and the Revolution. MP3.

Chapter 4. The new Constitution and the Second Amendment. MP3.

Chapter 5. The Early Republic, and the Antebellum Era. MP3.

Chapter 6. Reconstruction and the late 19th Century. MP3.

Chapter 7. A New and Dangerous Century. MP3.

Student Research Tools

Videos of news reports of defensive gun uses (referenced at the end of Chapter 12.C.2.).

Teacher's Manual

Available from the Professor Materials page for the textbook, on the Aspen website. Available as a free .pdf download for professors who are registered in the Aspen system. 334 pages.

Teacher's Manual Cover