July 25, 2014

Second Amendment Symposium: Its Past, Present and Future

Adam Winkler, Rep. Mike Thompson, Robert Raben, Second Amendment Symposium








Paul Guequierre


Washington, D.C. – The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy will convene on July 31,  “The Second Amendment’s Past, Present & Future” at the National Press Club.

This year marks the 75th anniversary of United States v. Miller, a 1939 case in which the Supreme Court unanimously held that Congress could prohibit the possession of weapons that were not related to the “preservation or efficiency of a well-regulated Militia.” For decades, this was the only consideration the Court gave the Second Amendment, and arguably, it was generally understood that the Amendment's scope was limited to the use of firearms in connection with military activities. This changed in 2008 in District of Columbia v. Heller, and subsequently in 2010 in McDonald v. Chicago, when the Court declared that the Second Amendment provided an “individual right to possess a firearm.” The Court explained that they were not overturning Miller; that Miller only limited the type of weapon to which the individual right applies.

The symposium’s morning panel will consider if the Supreme Court got it right in Heller and McDonald.  Following this discussion of how the Second Amendment should be interpreted, the symposium’s afternoon session will consider the legal and policy questions that now surround the Second Amendment post-Heller and McDonald and what this means for gun safety and violence prevention.

Robert Raben, co-founder and president of the Raben Group and former Assistant Attorney General for Legislative Affairs, will provide opening remarks and introduce U.S. Rep. Mike Thompson. The two panels will feature some of the nation’s leading constitutional scholars and activists, including Adam Winkler, professor of law at UCLA; Michael Waldman, president of the Brennan Center for Justice at NYU; Megan Lewis, deputy executive director of Mayors Against Illegal Guns & Everytown for Gun Safety; and Allison Brown, special advisor to Open Society Foundations.

WHAT: ACS Symposium: The Second Amendment’s Past, Present & Future

WHEN: Thursday, July 31, at 10 – 2:00 P.M. EST

WHERE: National Press Club, 529 14th Street NW, 13th Floor, Washington, DC

RSVP: The event is free to the media, please RSVP to press@acslaw.org.

The American Constitution Society for Law and Policy (ACS), founded in 2001 and one of the nation's leading progressive legal organizations, is a rapidly growing network of lawyers, law students, scholars, judges, policymakers and other concerned individuals dedicated to making the law a force to improve lives of all people. For more information about the organization or to locate one of the more than 200 lawyer and law student chapters in 48 states, please visit www.acslaw.org.