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 principal academic interests include the theoretical, conceptual, and methodological issues confronting nascent Second Amendment jurisprudence and the immunity and related questions surrounding affirmative litigation against the firearms industry. His most recent scholarship will appear in the spring issue of Law & Contemporary Problems.

Charles is frequently asked to comment on legal issues surrounding gun laws and politics; he has been quoted in news stories on CNN, 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 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 the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Fourth and Ninth Circuits as well as in numerous state intermediate and high 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 represented clients in government and congressional investigations.

Charles graduated magna cum laude from Duke Law School, where he served as notes editor for the Duke Law Journal and was elected to the Order of the Coif. While at Duke, he also earned a master’s degree in political science with an emphasis in normative political theory and political philosophy. 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