Jacob D. Charles
Executive Director, Center for Firearms Law
Lecturing Fellow

Jake Charles is a lecturing fellow and executive director of the Center for Firearms Law. He writes and teaches on the Second Amendment and firearms law. His 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. His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Michigan Law ReviewUniversity of Pennsylvania Law ReviewVirginia Law ReviewNorthwestern University Law ReviewTexas Law Review, and North Carolina Law Review, among others.

Charles is frequently asked to comment on legal issues surrounding firearm law and politics; he has been quoted in news stories on CNN, NPR, Politifact, NewsWeek, Mother Jones, local public radio, 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.

Charles joined the Center for Firearms Law in 2019 after practicing in both the appellate and products liability practice groups at McGuireWoods LLP, where he briefed cases in numerous federal and state appellate courts and argued dispositive motions in federal court. Charles previously 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. Before his clerkships, Charles practiced in the Washington, D.C., office of O’Melveny & Myers LLP, where his practice focused on defending clients during federal criminal investigations. In his pro bono practice, Charles helped brief a criminal appeal that resulted in the client’s conviction being overturned.

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 a M.A. in political science with an emphasis in normative political theory and political institutions from Duke University. Prior to law school, 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.

Jake Charles portrait