The Weekly Reload Podcast

The History of Individual Gun Rights With Lawyer Kostas Moros

October 17th, 2022

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.