Brennan Gardner Rivas holds a PhD in History from Texas Christian University. She specializes in nineteenth-century American history and her current book project explores the regulation of firearms and weapons in Texas, arguing that gun control has deep roots in the United States and the American southwest. Brennan has extensive experience with legal and legislative research, including historic criminal records. She lives in Fort Worth, Texas.




  • “A Case for More Case Studies,” Originalism, the Supreme Court, Gun Laws, and History, Late-Breaking Roundtable, American Historical Association Annual Meeting, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, Jan 2023.
  • “Military Disarmament Orders and the Role of Reconstruction Historiography after Bruen,” Current Perspectives on the History of Guns and Society Symposium, Center for the Study of Guns and Society, Wesleyan University, Middletown, Connecticut, Oct 2022.
  • “Reassessing Assumptions about Historical Arkansas and Tennessee Handgun Regulations,” Race and Guns Roundtable, Duke University Center for Firearms Law, Durham, North Carolina, Nov 2021.
  • “Enforcement of Public Carry Restrictions: Texas as a Case Study,” The Second Amendment at the Supreme Court: 700 Years of History and the Modern Effects of Guns in Public, UC Davis Law School, Davis, California, Oct 2021.
  • The Deadly Weapon Laws of Texas,” Preserving Our Past: Community History Workshop, Center for Texas Studies at TCU, Fort Worth, Texas, Nov 2020.
  • “Unlawful Carrying: Enforcing the Pistol Law in Texas, 1870-1920,” Texas State Historical Association Annual Meeting, Corpus Christi, Texas, Feb 2019.
  • “Regulating Deadly Weapons in Nineteenth-Century Texas,” Invited Lecturer, Los Bexareños Hispanic Genealogical and Historical Conference, San Antonio, Texas, Sept 2018.
  •  “Impregnable Citadels of Capital: American Monopolies in the British Radical Press,” Southern Conference on British Studies Annual Meeting, St. Pete Beach, Florida, Nov 2016.
  • “Dating Violence in Texas: Why the State Family Code Obstructs Accurate Reporting about Sexual Assault,” TCU Women & Gender Studies Research Symposium, Fort Worth, Texas, 2015.


Interested in the history of gun control in Texas? Consider visiting my online collection of primary sources, Texas Gun Laws, which includes the exhibit “Crafting a Public Carry Law.”