Friday, April 20, 2018

Researching Gun Regulation

Today marks 19 years since the shooting spree at Columbine High School in Littleton, Colorado, in which two students killed 13 of their classmates before committing suicide. Since that tragic day, such incidents have become sadly more commonplace, with Education Week creating a statistical tracker to record school shootings in 2018. Already this year, 22 people have lost their lives in school shootings, with the majority of these victims killed during the February 14 massacre at Marjory Stoneman Douglas High School in Parkland, Florida. The Parkland shooting has since galvanized the national debate about gun control reform.

Yesterday, legal research database HeinOnline announced the release of a free new online library on Gun Regulation and Legislation in America, which is now available to the Duke University community. This library compiles federal legislative histories of firearms laws, congressional committee hearings, Congressional Research Service reports, Supreme Court briefs, and related books and scholarly articles.

Duke Law's new Repository of Historical Gun Laws is another valuable resource for researching the history of firearms regulation in America. Created by Duke Law Professors Joseph Blocher and Darrell Miller, the authors of the forthcoming book The Positive Second Amendment: Rights, Regulation, and the Future of Heller, this database includes transcriptions of state and national gun laws from the medieval age to 1776 in England, and from the colonial era to mid-1900s America. A recent Duke Law News story explains the genesis of the project and describes its creation.

The Goodson Law Library and Duke University Libraries collection contains many additional resources on firearms regulation and the Second Amendment. Many titles can be found in the Duke Libraries Catalog; for assistance with finding them or with using online resources, be sure to Ask a Librarian.