2014 SUpra

The Slow Evolution of Second Amendment Law

Abstract:

In The Second Amendment Goes to College, I argued that “gun-free zones” on public college and university campuses are constitutionally permissible under strict scrutiny because the policy is narrowly tailored to achieve the compelling interests of academic freedom and public safety.  More specifically, I argued that the academic freedom doctrine, which is enshrined in the First Amendment, necessarily restricts state legislatures from interfering with the policy choices made by public colleges and universities.  When analogizing gun-free zones to time, manner, and place restrictions often imposed on the right to free speech in public places, I concluded that a college’s interest in maintaining the free exchange of ideas and the collective security of its campus by prohibiting guns outweighs any individual right of self-defense on its premises.  Rather than reexamining these conclusions, this update will focus on the changes in Second Amendment law that has occurred over the past two years.

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