A loaded debate.

Position:The Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the 21st Century - Discussion

A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed. (1)


The Albany Law Review hosted its annual fall symposium on October 9, 2014 at Albany Law School. Continuing in our proud tradition of hosting symposia on interesting, timely, and exciting legal topics each year, (2) this symposium brought scholars, activists, and politicians from across the country to Albany to discuss what is without question one of the most deceptively complex and divisively controversial single sentences in American History: the Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.

The symposium was entitled: A Loaded Debate: The Right to Keep and Bear Arms in the 21st Century. It featured two panels: one providing an overview of Second Amendment issues broadly and from various perspectives, and another highlighting Second Amendment issues faced by New York State, focusing specifically on the New York Secure Ammunition and Firearms Enforcement Act of 2013 (the SAFE Act).


We were honored to have the Honorable Richard S. Hartunian moderate the first panel. Mr. Hartunian is the forty-eighth United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York. He earned a B.A. from Georgetown University, cum laude, and a J.D. from Albany Law School. After law school, Mr. Hartunian worked for the law firm of Devine, Piedmont and Rutnik. He then left private practice to serve as an assistant district attorney with the Albany County District Attorney's Office. His work on narcotics and violent crimes cases ultimately led to his designation as a Special United States Attorney. Before long Mr. Hartunian became an Assistant United States Attorney. He was nominated by President Barack Obama to be the United States Attorney for the Northern District of New York in 2009, and was confirmed by the Senate in 2010.

The second panel was moderated by President Penelope "Penny" Andrews. President Andrews was the seventeenth president and dean of Albany Law School. She is the first female president of the school since it opened in 1851. President Andrews was previously an associate dean for academic affairs and professor of law at the City University of New York School of Law (CUNY). She also served as professor of law and director of international studies at Valparaiso Law School. President Andrews has taught at law schools in Germany, Australia, Holland, Scotland, Canada, and South Africa. She earned a B.A. and LL.B from the University of Natal in Durban, South Africa, and an LL.M from Columbia University School of Law.


Dr. Robert Spitzer is the distinguished service professor and chair of the Political Science Department at the State University of New York at Cortland. He is also a visiting professor at Cornell University. He is the author of fourteen...

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