In the opening scene of “The Last Duel,” the new film set in 14th-century France, a herald announces the rules for conduct at a tournament to the death. He declares that no members of the public – whatever their social background – are allowed to bring weapons to the event.

This scene might seem far removed from 21st-century America. But medieval weapons laws – including a 1328 English statute prohibiting the public carry of edged weapons without royal permission – are at the center of dueling legal opinions in a case now before the U.S. Supreme Court, New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen.

Read More in The Conversation.

This article was also cited in SCOTUSblog’s The Morning Read for Friday, November 5.


Jennifer Tucker is a historian who studies the interrelations of art and science, photography, and mass visual culture, with a specialization in 19th to mid-20th century British, U.S., and trans-Pacific history. The common threads in her diverse research fields are the dynamics of visual media in modern history, the nature of evidence, public perceptions and practices of history, and the interrelationships of science, technology, and the law.


Leave a Reply

Avatar placeholder

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *