The Second Amendment in the Tenth Circuit: Three Decades of (Mostly) Harmless Error

59 Pages Posted: 15 Jan 2009 Last revised: 21 Apr 2009

See all articles by David B. Kopel

David B. Kopel

Independence Institute; Denver University - Sturm College of Law; Cato Institute

Date Written: April 17, 2009


This article provides a detailed analysis of all Second Amendment cases which have been decided by the Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals. The article examines the Circuit's superficial reasoning in its claims that the Second Amendment protects only militiamen, and the Circuit's refusal even to address important sources of authority which took a different view. Most of the Circuit's cases involving the Second Amendment are no longer good law, but in the post-Heller future, the Circuit can get to similiar results in most cases, since the cases involved bans on weapons that are not protected by the Second Amendment (e.g., machine guns) or bans on arms possession by particularly dangerous people (e.g., convicted violent felons). The article will be the lead article in the DU Law Review's annual Tenth Circuit Survey.

Keywords: Tenth Circuit Court of Appeals, District of Columbia v. Heller, Second Amendment, gun control

JEL Classification: K14, K19, K41, K42

Suggested Citation

Kopel, David B. and Kopel, David B., The Second Amendment in the Tenth Circuit: Three Decades of (Mostly) Harmless Error (April 17, 2009). Denver University Law Review, Vol. 86, No. 3, 2009, Available at SSRN:

David B. Kopel (Contact Author)

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