Student Article Topics on the Right to Keep and Bear Arms in Self-Defense:

If you're interested in writing about the subject — or if you want to suggest topics to incoming staffers on your law journal --check out my Implementing the Right To Keep and Bear Arms for Self-Defense: An Analytical Framework and a Research Agenda. True to its title, it lays out a way of thinking about such questions, and then identifies some particular questions that need to be answered. There should be plenty of opportunities here for student articles on those questions, whether those articles agree with my broad framework or disagree with it. Some examples, though there are many more in the article (conveniently :

  1. Is it constitutional to restrict gun possession, or handgun possession, or handgun carrying by 18-to-20-year-olds?

  2. Is it constitutional to ban gun possession in public housing? (There are a few other articles on this, but only a few, and I think there's room for deeper analyses of the subject.)

  3. What are the constitutional constraints on waiting periods for buying guns, or license fees required for such purchases? (Again some articles have touched on this, but there should be a good deal of room for further discussion.)

  4. What are the constitutional boundaries on restrictions on gun possession by people who are under indictment but haven't been convicted of any crimes?

And there are many more; check them out, if you're looking for good topics in the area — or if you have already found a good topic, and are looking for arguments you can use or counterarguments you can respond to.

Note also that these topics are important even if the Second Amendment isn't incorporated against the states, since they also arise under the at least 40 state constitutions that recognize an individual right to keep and bear arms. So you needn't put off your article until after the Court decides whether to incorporate the right to bear arms.

By the way, some people worry that if they write about a topic that has been publicly highlighted this way, they'll be preempted by others' articles that are triggered by the same public highlighting. I wouldn't worry about this too much: That's always a risk as to any topic (including old favorites such as articles dealing with an area of the law right after a prominent Supreme Court decision), but there usually end up being only a few articles written on each such topic — and those that are written often take different approaches, and come to different results. That's especially true when an article such as the one I point to identifies many different questions; chances are that there won't be many people writing about each one.

So I hope you find these helpful, whether as authors, or as law review editors (or even law professors) recommending topics to authors.