Facebook pixel Jacob D. Charles | Pepperdine Caruso School of Law Skip to main content
Pepperdine | Caruso School of Law
A headshot of Jacob Charles in front of a green background.

Jacob D. Charles

Associate Professor of Law
Caruso School of Law


Professor Jake Charles is a constitutional law scholar focusing on the Second Amendment and firearms law. He joined Pepperdine Caruso Law after serving as the inaugural executive director of the Center for Firearms Law at Duke University School of Law, where he remains an affiliated scholar. He previously served as the Chair of the Section on Firearms Law of the American Association of Law Schools. Professor Charles’s primary research interests include the legal regulation of state and private violence, Second Amendment doctrine and theory, and the place of guns in the criminal legal system. He is the co-author of a forthcoming Foundation Press casebook on the Second Amendment and co-editor of a recent Oxford University Press collection of historical essays on gun laws. His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Columbia Law Review, Michigan Law Review, University of Pennsylvania Law Review, Virginia Law Review, and Duke Law Journal, among others. His articles have been cited in numerous court decisions across the country, including in federal court of appeals and state supreme court rulings on novel Second Amendment questions.  

Professor Charles frequently comments on legal issues surrounding firearm law and politics. His writing for popular audiences has appeared in The Washington Post, The Los Angeles Times, Slate, The Hill, Bloomberg Law, and other outlets, and he has been interviewed for news stories in the New York Times, CNN, NPR, Politifact, and others. He has also been invited to speak in numerous public fora about the Second Amendment and the debates over the history, law, and politics of the right to keep and bear arms.

Professor Charles practiced law in the Washington, D.C., office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where his practice focused on defending clients during government and criminal investigations, and in the appellate and products liability practice groups at McGuireWoods LLP in Raleigh, North Carolina. He clerked for Judge Allyson K. Duncan of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth Circuit and Judge Colleen McMahon of the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of New York. 

Professor Charles graduated magna cum laude from Duke Law School. During law school, he served as notes editor for the Duke Law Journal and was elected to the Order of the Coif. He also holds an M.A. in political science with an emphasis in normative political theory and political institutions from Duke University. Prior to law school, Professor Charles earned M.A. degrees in theology and philosophy from Biola University and a bachelor’s degree in criminology, law, and society & psychology and social behavior from the University of California, Irvine. 



  • J.D., Duke University, 2013, magna cum laude
  • M.A., Duke University, 2013
  • M.A., Biola University, 2010
  • M.A., Biola University, 2010
  • B.A., University of California, Irvine, 2007, magna cum laude


Forthcoming Articles

  • Jacob D. Charles, The New Outlawry, 124 COLUMBIA L. REV. (forthcoming 2024) (with Darrell Miller) 
  • Jacob D. Charles, Firearms Carceralism, 108 MINN. L. REV. (forthcoming 2024) 
  • Jacob D. Charles, A Map Is Not The Territory: The Theory and Future of Sensitive Places Doctrine, 98 N.Y.U. L. REV. ONLINE (forthcoming 2023) (with Joseph Blocher & Darrell A. H. Miller) SSRN


  • Jacob D. Charles, The Dead Hand of a Silent Past: Bruen, Gun Rights, and the Shackles of History, 73 DUKE L.J.  67 (2023) SSRN
  • Jacob D. Charles, Time and Tradition in Second Amendment Law, 51 FORDHAM URBAN L.J. 259 (2023) SSRN
  • Jacob D. Charles, Firearms Law and Scholarship Beyond Bullets and Bodies, 19 ANN. REV. OF LAW & SOC. SCI. 165 (2023) (invited) (with Joseph Blocher & Darrell A.H. Miller) 
  • Jacob D. Charles, On Sordid Sources in Second Amendment Litigation, 76 STAN. L. REV. OLINE 30 (2023) SSRN
  • Jacob D. Charles, Violence and Nondelegation, 135 HARV. L. REV. F. 463 (with Darrell A. H. Miller) (2022) SSRN
  • Jacob D. Charles, Securing Gun Rights By Statute: The Right to Keep and Bear Arms Outside the Constitution, 120 MICH. L. REV. 581 (2022) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jacob D. Charles, The Trajectory of Federal Gun Crimes, 170 U. PENN. L. REV. 637 (with Brandon Garrett) (2022) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jacob D. Charles, The Promise (and Peril) of Libertarian Solutions to Gun Violence, 40 CRIM. J. ETHICS 86, reviewing IAN AYRES & FREDRICK E. VARS, WEAPON OF CHOICE: FIGHTING GUNVIOLENCE WHILE RESPECTING GUN RIGHTS (2020) (invited) (2022) 
  • Jacob D. Charles, Second Amendment Animus, 116 NW. U. L. REV. 1 (2021) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jacob D. Charles, Pointing Guns, 99 TEX. L. REV. 1173 (with Joseph Blocher, Samuel Buell, and Darrell A. H. Miller) (2021) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jacob D. Charles, Constructing a Constitutional Right: Borrowing and Second Amendment Design Choices, 99 N.C. L. REV. 333 (2021) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jacob D. Charles, A Double Filter Provision for Expanded Red Flag Laws: A Proposal for Balancing Rightsnand Risks in Preventing Gun Violence, 48 J. L. MED. & ETHICS 126 (with Gabriel Delaney) (invited) (2021) 
  • Jacob D. Charles, Firearms, Extreme Risk, and Legal Design: “Red Flag” Laws and Due Process, 106 VA. L. REV. 1285 (with Joseph Blocher) (2020) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jacob D. Charles, Defeasible Second Amendment Rights: Conceptualizing Gun Laws That Dispossess Prohibited Persons, 83 L. & CONTEMP. PROBS. 53 (2020) SSRN HeinOnline
  • Jacob D. Charles, COVID Lays Bare the Need for Attending to Second Amendment Theory, NW. U. L. REV. OF NOTE (May 28, 2020)
  • Jacob D. Charles, The Geography of a Constitutional Right: Gun Rights Outside the Home, 83 L. & CONTEMP. PROBS. i (with Joseph Blocher & Darrell A.H. Miller) (2020) HeinOnline
  • Jacob D. Charles, The “Charleston Loophole” and the Second Amendment, JURIST ACADEMIC COMMENTARY (Mar. 21, 2019)
  • Jacob D. Charles, The Debt Limit and the Constitution: How the Fourteenth Amendment Forbids Fiscal Obstructionism, 62 DUKE L.J. 1227 (note) (2013) SSRN HeinOnline

Forthcoming Books

  • Jacob D. Charles with Joseph Blocher, Jody Lyneé Madeira, and Darrell A. H. Miller, THE SECOND AMENDMENT: GUN RIGHTS AND REGULATION (Foundation Press, forthcoming) 


  • NEW HISTORIES OF GUN RIGHTS AND REGULATION: ESSAYS ON THE PLACE OF GUNS IN AMERICAN LAW AND SOCIETY (eds. Joseph Blocher, Jacob D. Charles & Darrell A. H. Miller) (Oxford University Press 2023)

Forthcoming Book Chapters

  • Jacob D. Charles with Genesa Cefali, An Overview of Gun Registration Laws in U.S. History, in NEW HISTORIES OF GUN RIGHTS AND REGULATION: ESSAYS ON THE PLACE OF GUNS IN AMERICAN LAW AND SOCIETY (eds. Joseph Blocher, Jacob D. Charles & Darrell A.H. Miller) (Oxford University Press 2023)

Popular Press

  • Jacob Charles, Op-ed, The Founders Didn't Disarm Domestic Abusers: Does That Mean We Can't?, THE HILL, Feb. 15, 2023
  • Jake Charles, The Supreme Court’s Big Second Amendment Decision Is Wreaking Havoc on Gun Safety Laws, SLATE, Oct. 7, 2022
  • Jacob D. Charles, Analysis, Are Gun Laws Constitutional? Courts Must Now Look at History to Decide, WASH. POST, June 30, 2022 
  • Jake Charles with Joseph Blocher, Op-ed, No, Red-Flag Gun Laws Don’t Violate Due Process Rights, WASH. POST, June 8 2022
  • Jacob D. Charles, Analysis, Sandy Hook Gun Settlement Marks a Turning Point, BLOOMBERG LAW, Feb. 28, 2022
  • Jacob D. Charles, Op-ed, Are Gun Rights Safe After S.B. 8?, THE HILL, Dec. 15, 2021 
  • Jake Charles, Op-ed, Newsom’s Riff on the Texas Abortion Law Is Less Radical Than It Sounds, L.A. TIMES, Dec. 13, 2021
  • Jake Charles, Analysis, Supreme Court Justices Sounded Suspicious of New York’s Gun Law. Here’s What Might Come Next., WASH. POST, Nov. 5, 2021


Areas of Expertise

  • Second Amendment
  • Firearms Law
  • Gun Rights, Regulation, and Policy
  • Regulation of State and Private Violence


  • Torts
  • Second Amendment Seminar
  • Ethical Lawyering