Robert J. Cottrol

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Robert J. Cottrol speaking to law students at the University of Montevideo, 2006.

Robert J. Cottrol (born January 18, 1949) is an American legal scholar and legal historian.


Cottrol holds a chair in the George Washington University (GWU) Law School and is also a professor of history and sociology at GWU.[1][2] He earned his B.A. and Ph.D. from Yale University, and his J.D. from Georgetown Law School.[1] His research concentrates on race relations in U.S. legal history and criminal law contexts.[1] He is the author of five books and dozens of book chapters, law review articles, book reviews, and other published works on slavery, gun control, and others topics.[3] He is also the editor of Gun Control and the Constitution: Sources and Explorations on the Second Amendment.[1]

On gun control[edit]

Cottrol supports the use of background checks on firearms purchases, especially to prevent ownership by convicted felons. However, he argues that law-abiding citizens should have ready access to guns for self-defense. He says that minorities in particular need them to counter the threat of harsh treatment in racist cultures.[1]

Partial bibliography[edit]

  • 1982 The Afro-Yankees: Providence's Black Community in the Antebellum Era
  • 1993 Gun Control and the Constitution: Sources and Explorations on the Second Amendment (editor)
  • 1998 From African to Yankee: Narratives of Slavery and Freedom in Antebellum New England
  • 2003 Brown v. Board of Education: Caste, Culture, and the Constitution (with Raymond T. Diamond and Leland B. Ware)
  • 2013 The Long, Lingering Shadow: Slavery, Race and Law in the American Hemisphere[3]


  1. ^ a b c d e Carter, Gregg Lee (2006). Gun Control in the United States: A Reference Handbook. Santa Barbara, California: ABL-CLIO. ISBN 1851097651.
  2. ^ Rahe, Paul A. (May 13, 2013). "Bob Cottrol's New Book". Silent Cal Productions. Archived from the original on January 14, 2014. Retrieved January 13, 2014.
  3. ^ a b "Cottrol, Robert: Books". George Washington University Law School. Retrieved January 13, 2014.

External links[edit]