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 academic interests include questions about Second Amendment methodology, doctrine, and theory, as well as the place of guns in the criminal legal system. His scholarship has appeared or is forthcoming in the Virginia Law ReviewTexas Law Review, and North Carolina Law Review, among others.

Charles is frequently asked to comment on legal issues surrounding gun laws 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 forums 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 the appellate group at McGuireWoods LLP, where he briefed cases in numerous federal and state appellate courts. He was also a member of the firm’s products liability litigation group. 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 he practiced criminal defense.

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 master’s degree in political science with an emphasis in normative political theory and political philosophy from Duke. Prior to law school, Charles earned master’s degrees in theology and philosophy from Biola University and a bachelor’s degree in criminology and psychology from the University of California, Irvine.

Jake Charles portrait