Gun Violence Prevention Clinic Student Director Chad Nowlan ’24 Defends Constitutionality of Minnesota Firearms Laws in Oral Argument in Minnesota v. Greenlee

Through a partnership with the Minnesota Attorney General’s Office, the University of Minnesota Law School’s Gun Violence Prevention Clinic intervenes in criminal cases challenging the constitutionality of Minnesota state firearm regulations under the framework laid forth by the Supreme Court in New York State Rifle & Pistol Ass’n v. Bruen. Students in the Gun Violence Prevention Clinic serve as Special Assistant Attorneys General and conduct historical research, draft briefs, and present oral arguments defending Minnesota’s firearms laws against Second Amendment challenges.

In October, Gun Violence Prevention Clinic student director Chad Nowlan ’24 had the opportunity to represent the Attorney General in oral argument in the Second Judicial District case Minnesota v. Greenlee, where he defended the constitutionality of Minnesota’s statute requiring individuals to obtain a permit to carry a firearm in public and requiring firearms to have a serial number. The Court noted the “complexity” of Nowlan’s arguments put forward in his brief and orally in court.

“This is an area of law that is, quite literally, changing by the day,” said Nowlan. “Four different courts around the country have ruled on analogous laws to Minnesota’s serial number statute since I pressed ‘print’ on my materials for the oral argument in Greenlee. Being a part of the fight against gun violence through the Clinic and playing a small role in shaping how courts grapple with the Bruen decision in Minnesota has been a truly transformative experience. I now hope to pursue a career in gun violence prevention litigation, and this is not an area I would have discovered such a passion for if Professor Walsh had not created the Gun Violence Prevention Clinic.”

Megan Walsh
Megan Walsh
Visiting Clinical Professor of Law