National Firearms Law Seminar

If you’re an attorney or just interested in firearms laws, then you shouldn’t miss the National Firearms Law Seminar at the NRA annual meeting.

I have to say that this year’s program really stands out for the combination of nationally known speakers, as well as the practical topics covered a bit more in-depth by some of the lawyers working on Second Amendment issues you may not have heard about yet.

For one, the lunch speaker is Glenn Reynolds of Instapundit fame. Having heard him speak before, I can say that he always delivers a really good presentation that informative as well as entertaining. The program notes that his lunch speech will look at “the transformation of the Second Amendment from an ’embarrassing’ outlier to the Bill of Rights, to a provision that, like other parts of the Bill of Rights, protects identifiable individual rights in court.” Massad Ayoob will be giving a presentation on armed self-defense, highlighting mistakes “by the shooter at the scene, and by defense counsel in court.” That should be quite interesting, even for the non-attorney.

In my opinion one of the most interesting topics looks like it could end up being the session on the Brady Campaign’s recent litigation strategy against individual FFLs. The description of this talk by Cord Byrd notes that they have been “utilizing state laws including negligent entrustment, negligence per se and public nuisance to circumvent the protections afforded by the Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act.” Then you have the always wonderful Sarah Gervase who packs so much practical information for attorneys into her topics each year talking about civil rights actions in firearms cases for this year’s Nashville seminar.

Registration is online, and there are discounts for various folks – law students, those who only want to attend the lunch speech by Glenn Reynolds, just a half day, and even for non-attorneys. There’s pretty much no way that you won’t walk out of the sessions learning something new if you choose to attend.

Even as someone who isn’t a practicing attorney and who doesn’t do the legal analysis for the blog, there’s usually something I pick up that gives me so much more context and understanding about the cases we hear about during the next year. More importantly, as I’ve met many people who maybe had a little minor offense, often nothing related to firearms at all, when they were 18 who are still paying a penalty with their firearms rights when they are 68 over the years, I’ve realized how invaluable it is that defense attorneys should know at least something about this area of law and how it impacts their clients.

7 thoughts on “National Firearms Law Seminar”

  1. Great stuff. How much of this is publicized online, to help it find its way into studies and legal briefs?

    1. I have to say I wasn’t particularly aware of the NRA Firearms Law Seminar until they invited me to speak last year. I was honored to do so, but then found they had no plans to record any of the talks–which in my experience, as someone who does a lot of talks, was very unusual. I actually ran out to Walmart and purchased a video camera and tripod just so I could record my own talk last year. Otherwise there would be essentially no record of it at all.

      FYI, Sebastian did a blog post on my talk last year, here:

      –Andrew, @LawSelfDefense

      1. Thank you! That’s a real shame, and I’m tempted to say a pretty blatant waste of an amazing collection of talent.
        Considering how important it is for us to lay down a legal framework for a recognized second amendment, you’d expect the NRA to be doing everything they could to promote it beyond our own circle.

  2. I disagree with recording/streaming it. “You gotta be there” is a major motivation for attending something in person. The live, in-person experience is what allows for the incredible networking. Watching it passively from your screen (or even worse, viewing an out-of-context clip which generates bad publicity) is a far lesser experience.

    Remember the NRA’s CLE is not just about gaining new information. It’s not just any dime a dozen online-CLE. NRA is about the live experience of hearing insights you can’t hear or read anywhere else, from people you would never have a chance to meet except for that day. You just gotta be there.

    1. I’ll have to disagree with your disagreement: I’ve attended OpenWest conferences for several years now, and local Provo Linux User Groups; they try to film most of the talks at these events.

      By going to the conference, I get to meet with people, and I get to see a lot of talks–more so, than if I watch them online (because it’s more difficult to find the time when I don’t take time off to do so). Sometimes, too, a presentation will be made, and I’m unable to attend–the OpenWest conference has about seven tracks, for example, and sometimes interesting talks conflict with each other–so it’s nice to have the option to go back and see what I missed.

      Finally, it is my experience that recording something has no relevance on the attendance of a given presentation. If it’s an interesting enough presentation, people will come to see it!

      So I hope that presentations will be recorded (because I cannot attend this year), and hopefully I’ll find time to go to see them!

  3. I understand the points of Alpheus, but the NRA’s day of sessions is single-track (no sessions conflict with each other).

    Also seems unlikely that a Linux user policy comment would attract press and generate above the fold headlines and controversy. Is Linux stuff that hot? I dunno.

    With so many paid professional hacks devoted to trying to get into rooms where they don’t belong during the NRA conference, allowing people to record remarks by 2A lawyers just creates out of context gossip etc.

    After all, the big political speeches and official NRA speeches will already be recorded and available everywhere for free. Just not the lawyers who are talking about strategies and tactics. The right balance.

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