Published on October 25, 2023 by Sofia Paglioni  
Brannon Denning cs081404416

Brannon P.  Denning, Starnes Professor of Law at Samford University’s Cumberland School of Law, released his new book, To Trust the People with Arms: The Supreme Court and the Second Amendment.

Co-authored with Robert J. Cottrol, Harold Paul Green Research Professor of Law and professor of history and sociology at George Washington University, the book was published on Oct. 6 by the University Press of Kansas. It explores the complex legal history of how the right to bear arms was widely accepted during the nation’s founding, was near extinction in the late 20th century, and is now experiencing a rebirth in the Supreme Court in the 21st century.

One review by Adam Winkler, Connell Professor of Law at UCLA, said, “Two of the leading Second Amendment scholars in the nation, Robert Cottrol and Brannon Denning, bring their deep expertise to this rich, detailed history of the right to bear arms.” Paul A. Rahe, author of Republics Ancient and Modern, wrote, “Precise, accurate, comprehensive, dispassionate, and cogently argued—this history of the ongoing dispute concerning the right to bear arms and its proper limits is must-read. If, before ruminating on this account, you think that you know what is right and what is wrong in this debate, the odds are that you are sadly mistaken. Cottrol and Denning have produced an eye-opener written with verve and grace.”

Denning and Cottrol integrate history, politics and law in an interdisciplinary way to illustrate the roles that guns and the right to keep and bear arms have played in American history, culture and law. Learn more about or purchase To Trust the People with Arms: The Supreme Court and the Second Amendment here.


Samford is a leading Christian university offering undergraduate programs grounded in the liberal arts with an array of nationally recognized graduate and professional schools. Founded in 1841, Samford is the 87th-oldest institution of higher learning in the United States. Samford enrolls 5,791 students from 49 states, Puerto Rico and 16 countries in its 10 academic schools: arts, arts and sciences, business, divinity, education, health professions, law, nursing, pharmacy and public health. Samford fields 17 athletic teams that compete in the tradition-rich Southern Conference and ranks 6th nationally for its Graduation Success Rate among all NCAA Division I schools.