Dave Kopel

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David B. "Dave" Kopel[1] (born January 7, 1970) is an American author, attorney, political science researcher, gun rights advocate, and contributing editor to several publications.

He is currently Research Director of the Independence Institute in Golden, Colorado, Associate Policy Analyst at the Cato Institute, contributor to the National Review magazine and Volokh Conspiracy legal blog. Previously he was Adjunct Professor of Law, New York University, and Former Assistant Attorney General for Colorado.

Kopel earned a B.A. in history with highest honors from Brown University, and won the National Geographic Society Prize for best History thesis with a biography of Arthur M. Schlesinger, Jr.[2] He graduated magna cum laude from the University of Michigan Law School. He was also a contributing editor of the Michigan Law Review.

Politically he is a lifelong registered Democrat but a confessed small government libertarian at heart who voted for Ralph Nader.[3]

In 1996 he and former Illinois senator Paul Simon wrote an article published in the National Law Journal criticizing the practice of mandatory minimum sentence.[4]

Kopel opposes gun control and is a benefactor member of the National Rifle Association. His articles on gun control and gun violence have been cited in the Opposing Viewpoints Series.[5] In 2003, Kopel wrote in National Review "Simply put, if not for gun control, Hitler would not have been able to murder 21 million people.[6]" He recently contributed an article to the 59th Volume of the Syracuse Law Review entitled "The Natural Right of Self-Defense: Heller's Lesson for the World."[7] He is a critic of Michael Moore and provided a list of what he characterized as Moore's "deceits".[8][9] He appeared in FahrenHYPE 9/11, a film that disputes the allegations in Fahrenheit 9/11. Kopel's Independence Institute received 1.42 million dollars of funding for its activities by the National Rifle Association.[10][11]

Kopel is also a life member of the Academy of Criminal Justice Sciences,[12] and, as of 2010, served on the Board of Directors of the Colorado Union of Taxpayers.[13]

Kopel is the lead attorney in a May 2013 Federal civil rights lawsuit against the State of Colorado aimed at blocking several "Democratic gun control measures passed by the state legislature and signed into law by Gov. John Hickenlooper" in March 2013.[14]


  1. Appearances on C-SPAN
  2. The Highbrow in American Politics: Arthur M. Schlesinger Jr. and the Role of the Intellectual in Politics, David B. Kopel, Honors Thesis, May 1982. (available online as a set of PDFs).
  3. Why I’m Voting for Nader Dave Kopel
  4. Restore Flexibility to U.S. Sentences Paul Simon and Dave Kopel
  5. James D Torr, Gun violence : opposing viewpoints Greenhaven Press, 2002 ISBN 0-7377-0712-7
  6. http://www.nationalreview.com/kopel/kopel052203.asp
  7. The Natural Right of Self-Defense: Heller's Lesson for the World, SSRN
  8. Fifty-nine Deceits in Fahrenheit 9/11 Dave Kopel
  9. Bowling Truths Dave Kopel
  10. http://www.progressive.org/news/2014/04/187663/times-has-finally-quietly-outed-nra-funded-%E2%80%9Cindependent%E2%80%9D-scholar
  11. http://www.nytimes.com/roomfordebate/2014/04/17/can-bloomberg-take-on-the-nra/bloombergs-gun-control-that-goes-too-far-for-the-average-citizen
  12. [www.davekopel.org/about.html "About"] Check |url= value (help). Davekopel.org. Retrieved 31 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  13. Hoover, Tim (27 September 2010). "Colorado Union of Taxpayers: We can't count on Republicans". Denver Post. Retrieved 31 May 2016.<templatestyles src="Module:Citation/CS1/styles.css"></templatestyles>
  14. Majority of Colorado sheriffs join lawsuit against gun control laws, KDVR News, May 17, 2013.

External links