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Posted: 3/18/2006 9:35:00 PM EDT
I am in my third year of law school right now, and one of my classes requires me to create a 17-20 page annotated bibliography of a selected legal topic of my choosing. I am having trouble generating basic ideas and I was hoping that some of you fine members would be able to help me out by suggesting topics.

I am desperately wanting to do the project on a topic that is interesting to me, hopefully firearms related, but I am having trouble thinking of ideas. If I cannot get a topic that is related to firearms, my second choice would probably be something in the criminal law area. I know that these are two very broad areas and that is part of my problem. I am having difficulty narrowing them down to a topic that I want to do.

Here are some of the paper topics that I have thought about:

A general look at firearms laws across the 50 states, focusing primarily on restrictive states like California, Maryland, and New York, and analyzing court cases and statutes saying why the weapons restrictions in these states does not run afoul of the 2nd Amendment. This examination would be juxtaposed with a look at the statutes of states that have very few restrictions, if any, on the type of firearms that people can own.

An analysis of either the Assault Weapon ban in context of the 2nd Amendment and why the ban was constitutional.

An examination of the Brady bill, the legislative history behind it, and some of the challenges the bill faced in courts.

A look at the attempts by some individuals to bring lawsuits against gun manufacturers under tort law, the courts rulings in those cases, and various state responses to these attempts.

As far as criminal law topics go:

A look at constructive possession laws and cases in Virginia that help to determine whether a convicted felon in Virginia is in possession of a gun when they are found in proximity of one but not necessarily in possession of the gun on their person.

A look at the recent court decision where the manufacturer of a breathalyzer refused to reveal the code to the programming and how this refusal resulted in the case being dismissed. This would primarily focus on the potential of this type of refusal in other states and the ways that the courts would likely rule on the topic when it came before them.

A look at cases establishing that sentence escalators (like "three strike" laws) are constitutional and an examination of state laws incorporating these types of escalators and the rationale behind these types of enhancements (again focusing primarily on Virginia laws).

I have other ideas for criminal topics based upon some of my past experiences but I would much prefer a firearms related topic. I appreciate any input that you may provide.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 6:11:47 AM EDT
btt for the morning crew's input, come on, someone has to have some good ideas that can help out
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 6:35:33 AM EDT
The Lautenburg bill.(not sure of spelling) It says that military members with an abuse record can't have weapons. I'm not sure of the whole context of the bill. But it is strange to me to not let a soldier go to war if he can't have a weapon.

Apparently some military spouse was shot with a service weapon some time. This would be very difficult because you are not supposed to transfer weaons in a personally owned car. Weapons are turned in usually right awat after cleaning.

To me this was some dumd ass feel good legislation that has no effect in it's so called purpose of saving a military spouse. And it renders a soldier usless in a combat situation.

Just a thought. You have a good list to choose from from what I see.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 6:52:49 AM EDT
How about something along the lines of, "Can Foreign Companies Have Ownership in Off-loading Vessels in American Ports"?

Link Posted: 3/19/2006 7:03:32 AM EDT
The latest COP KILLER!

The FN 5.7x28.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 7:14:19 AM EDT
[Last Edit: 3/19/2006 7:24:04 AM EDT by whoanelly]

Originally Posted By civprod:


A general look at firearms laws across the 50 states, focusing primarily on restrictive states like California, Maryland, and New York, and analyzing court cases and statutes saying why the weapons restrictions in these states does not run afoul of the 2nd Amendment. This examination would be juxtaposed with a look at the statutes of states that have very few restrictions, if any, on the type of firearms that people can own.



There have been some very good discussions on this board about the incorporation doctrine and the 14th Amendment; whether it really even matters (the original scope of the Bill of Rights) and if it does, whether selective, full, or no incorporation applies to the original 10 Amendments. You are guaranteed some good research assistance if you can get an incorporation debate going!

I'm currently doing my independent study on the futility of trying terrorists in US criminal courts.
Link Posted: 3/19/2006 7:40:15 AM EDT
+1 to A general look at firearms laws across the 50 states, focusing primarily on restrictive states like California, Maryland, and New York, and analyzing court cases and statutes saying why the weapons restrictions in these states does not run afoul of the 2nd Amendment. This examination would be juxtaposed with a look at the statutes of states that have very few restrictions, if any, on the type of firearms that people can own.

maybe incorporate the crime levels before and after each piece of legislation was introduced... judge the effectiveness of the restrictions...

huge question: is your professor pro-gun?
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