We are pleased to announce the launch of our new Working Paper Series. The launch comes in conjunction with the first of several upcoming updates to our website. The Working Papers page can be found under the new Research tab on our home page. Also moved to the Research tab from the home page is the familiar Scholarship page, renamed Center Leadership Research. That page will continue to highlight scholarship by FRC leadership, including new Fellows to be announced in the coming weeks and months. These changes are a step in enhancing our work to provide reliable, original research in the area of firearms.

The Working Paper Series will feature original work by scholars, practitioners, professionals, and students. We especially welcome submissions from students, including papers written for their classes; student submissions should be sent by their professors or accompanied by a professorial endorsement. All disciplines—law or otherwise—are welcome!

In the original spirit of academia, where students can and must come first, we are pleased to announce our first Working Paper entitled Bringing a Knife to a Gun Fight; A Cruel and Unusual Punishment by Helle Marchetta. Helle is a graduating 3L at The University of Akron School of Law. Her abstract reads:

In the United States of America, the federal government and many state governments have statutes that have banned all convicted felons from “ship[ping], transfer[ing], possess[ing], or receiv[ing]” firearms or ammunition. The statute applies equally to felons convicted of low-level, non-violent offenses like forgery or tax fraud as it does to high-level, violent offenses like aggravated murder or rape. Treating every felon the same, without any consideration of their underlying charge, unconstitutionally infringes on their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms without significant justification.

Convicted felons do not lose their First Amendment rights to freedom of speech or freedom of religion, so why do they lose their Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms? They retain their Fourth Amendment right to be secure from warrantless search and seizure in their own homes, so why do they lose their Second Amendment right to self-defense of their home? Felons still retain their Sixth Amendment right to effective assistance of counsel when faced with criminal charges, so why should they lose their Second Amendment rights when convicted of those criminal charges? The blanket ban on all felons possessing and using firearms is a cruel and unusual punishment in violation of the Eighth Amendment.