Professor Shawn Fields publishes article in Northwestern University Law Review

Photo of Professor Shawn Fields

RALEIGH —  An article written by Campbell Law Professor Shawn Fields is set to be published in Volume 115 of the Northwestern University Law Review in the coming months. The article is entitled, “Second Amendment Sanctuaries.”

According to the abstract, Fields’s article addresses the recent political development in which a number of local governments have declared themselves “Second Amendment Sanctuaries” in opposition to state-wide gun control measures they deem unconstitutional. Fields aims to challenge the narrative that these actions are purely symbolic and “articulates a theory of limited viability for these and other local intrastate resistance movements.”

The article makes the normative case for local autonomy over firearms regulation in “home rule” states and advances a novel “subfederal anticommandeering” principle for sanctuary resistance movements ranging from firearms to immigration. It also posits a role for coordinate branches of state government to interpret federal constitutional provisions when those provisions remain unsettled, as in the case of the Second Amendment. This approach – what Fields calls “first impression departmentalism” – offers a principled pathway for local constitutional officers to help define the contours of Second Amendment doctrine as it relates to assault weapons bans and so-called “red flag” laws.

The abstract and full article can be accessed through the following link: “Second Amendment Sanctuaries.”

Fields writes and teaches in the areas of Immigration Law, Ayslum Law, Criminal Procedure and Criminal Justice. Prior to coming to Campbell, Fields taught Legal Writing & Research at the University of San Diego School of Law, served on the Community Review Board on Police Practices in San Diego, appeared by appointment of the California Supreme Court as a criminal appellate specialist on behalf of indigent defendants, and served as the Country Director for an international refugee rights NGO in Tanzania. His scholarship has appeared in the following publications: Washington Law Review, Wisconsin Law Review, Arizona State Law Journal, Utah Law Review, Tulane Law Review and Cardozo Law Review.


Since its founding in 1976, Campbell Law has developed lawyers who possess moral conviction, social compassion, and professional competence, and who view the law as a calling to serve others. Among its accolades, the school has been recognized by the American Bar Association (ABA) as having the nation’s top Professionalism Program and by the American Academy of Trial Lawyers for having the nation’s best Trial Advocacy Program. Campbell Law boasts more than 4,200 alumni, who make their home in nearly all 50 states and beyond. In 2019, Campbell Law celebrated 40 years of graduating legal leaders and 10 years of being located in a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of North Carolina’s Capital City.