Independent Institute Files Amicus Curiae Brief in Second Amendment US Supreme Court Case: News Releases: The Independent Institute

The Power of Independent Thinking


Stay Connected
Get the latest updates straight to your inbox.

News Release
July 23, 2021

Independent Institute Files Amicus Curiae Brief in Second Amendment US Supreme Court Case

Oakland, CA—The Independent Institute has filed an amicus curiae brief in support of the petitioners in a case before the US Supreme Court which could expand the right to carry a firearm outside one’s home. The petitioners argue that restrictions on an individual’s right to carry are contrary to the explicit text and original meaning of the Second Amendment.

In its brief to the Supreme Court, Independent Institute also argues that gun-free zones must be narrowly confined, stating “the Second Amendment does not leave room for the Government to eviscerate this right through the unbridled declaration of public gun-free zones.”

In April, the Supreme Court announced it would hear New York State Rifle & Pistol Association v. Bruen during its next term, which begins in October. The case could lead to expanding concealed-carry licenses in the few states that rarely grant that right to citizens.

“The state of New York currently does not allow ordinary people to bear arms. You have to be a celebrity, a billionaire, or be in some other ‘elite’ classification in order to get a permit to carry a handgun. I believe there is a majority on the Supreme Court who are sympathetic to the Second Amendment, as they should be, it's part of the Bill of Rights,” said Dr. Stephen P. Halbrook, Independent Institute Senior Fellow and Second Amendment historian and legal scholar.

Halbrook has successfully argued three cases before the U.S. Supreme Court and has written several books on the origins of the Second Amendment, including his timely and most recent The Right to Bear Arms: A Constitutional Right of the People or a Privilege of the Ruling Class?

His book The Founders’ Second Amendment is cited in the majority opinion written by Justice Antonin Scalia in the landmark U.S. Supreme Court case, District of Columbia v. Heller (2008), and in the majority opinion by Justice Samuel Alito in the milestone case of McDonald vs City of Chicago in 2010. In the Heller case, Halbrook also successfully represented a majority of members of Congress with an amici curiae brief against a handgun ban.

Click here to view or download the amicus curiae brief.

To interview Stephen P. Halbrook, contact Robert Ade, [email protected], or (510) 635-3690.


100 Swan Way, Oakland, CA 94621-1428

The Independent Institute is a non-profit research and educational organization that promotes the power of independent thinking to boldly advance peaceful, prosperous, and free societies grounded in a commitment to human worth and dignity. For more information, visit

  • Catalyst
  • Beyond Homeless