Podcast: The History of Individual Gun Rights With Lawyer Kostas Moros

On this week’s episode, we’re doing something a little bit different.

Instead of interviewing somebody about something they wrote, I’m talking about a piece I wrote with my co-author. Gun-rights lawyer Kostas Moros joins me to talk about our look at what second-generation Americans thought of the Second Amendment.

We set out to answer a pretty simple question: did gun-rights advocates recently invent the idea that the Second Amendment protects an individual right?

The answer is no.

Moros explains how he used digitized 19th-century writings to show Americans have long viewed gun rights as guaranteed to everyone. Writers famous and forgotten held the same view on that point.

That doesn’t mean they agreed on everything, though. Moros outlines how the 19th-century scholars clashed over whether the Second Amendment restrains the states or just the federal government, especially after a seminal post-civil war Supreme Court decision.

He also delves into the divide over whether weapons useful in military combat are protected and how the modern gun-control debate turns that divide on its head. Instead of arguing “weapons of war” are unprotected by the Second Amendment, 19th-century Americans generally agreed those arms were protected while disagreeing over guns they associated with criminal activity.

Moros, who commonly works on cases for the California Rifle and Pistol Association, also gives us an update on two of the group’s most important cases. One against the state’s magazine capacity limit and the other against a city’s “sensitive places” gun ban.

Plus, Contributing Writer Jake Fogleman explains Mexico’s new suit against American gun dealers.

You can listen to the show on your favorite podcasting app or by clicking here. Video of the show is also available on our Youtube channel. The show goes public every Monday. Reload Members get exclusive access a day before.

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Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019


Created by potrace 1.16, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2019

Comments From Reload Members

3 Responses

  1. I understand the ‘Bruen’ historical analogs are from the 1791 era. And that 1868 era historical analogs can only be used to uphold and affirm the 1791 2nd Amendment reasoning (my understanding, trying to comprehend what Mark Smith [4 Boxes Diner] is conveying to my layman’s perspective)
    So, are there arguments in the 1868 era upholding that permits and registries are or could plainly be considered unconstitutional, because state gov’ts of The Secessionists treated blacks as “unequal before the law”, discriminating against them by not including certain persons, with immutable characteristics, in those registries and permitting systems?

    1. I’m trying to find an angle within the ‘what is objective vs. subjective’ criteria that infringing states like NY are using, to delay or deny citizens their public carry right. Immutable characteristics of a person are objective, but The Secessionist states showed that they cannot be trusted with that kind of judgement of those objective criteria.
      It’s a reaching to solidify against using things like “social media posts for three years”. Those words are objective with definitions, through to most probable reasonings about the person making them. But a State agent reviewing that social media has instead been given too much leeway to judge and determine the most probable behaviors, as shown by historical analogs of those abuses from the pre-1868 era.
      Anyway, thinking out loud here. Thank you The Reload for interviewing Kostas Moros, and thank you for all your analyses.

      1. I’m not aware of any early 19th Century laws that are similar to the social media disclosure requirement. A lot of these questions depend on how far out you zoom, though. There were laws that tried to prevent people from carrying gun in an offensive way. Most people may not see those as analogues, but states who want to restrict gun carry certainly do. We’ll have to see how the courts come out on that question.

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