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


  • Ph.D., History, Texas Christian University, 2019
    • “The Deadly Weapon Laws of Texas: Regulating Guns, Knives, and Knuckles in the Lone Star State, 1836-1930”
  • M.A., History, Texas Christian University, 2013
    • “Texas Antitrust Law: Formulation and Enforcement, 1889-1903”
  • B.A. w/Honors, Oklahoma State University, 2010


  • “An Unequal Right to Bear Arms: State Weapons Laws and White Supremacy in Texas, 1836-1900,” Southwestern Historical Quarterly 121 (Jan 2018): 284-303.
  • The Origin of Public Carry Laws in Texas,” Texas Gun Sense Blog (Feb 2021).
  • When Texas Was the National Leader in Gun Control: How the Land of Gunslinger Mythology Regulated Weapons to Reduce Violence,” Washington Post: Made by History Blog (Sept 2019).
  • Contributor, Wanted in America: Posters Collected by the Fort Worth Police Department, 1898-1903. Fort Worth: TCU Press, 2019.
  • Review of David R. Berman, George Hunt: Arizona’s Crusading Seven-Term Governor, in Southwestern Historical Quarterly 114, no. 3 (January 2016): 327-329.


  • The Deadly Weapon Laws of Texas,” Preserving Our Past: Community History Workshop, Center for Texas Studies at TCU, November 2020.
  • “Unlawful Carrying: Enforcing the Pistol Law in Texas, 1870-1920,” Texas State Historical Association Annual Meeting, Corpus Christi, Texas, February 2019.
  • “Regulating Deadly Weapons in Nineteenth-Century Texas,” Invited Lecturer, Los Bexareños Hispanic Genealogical and Historical Conference, San Antonio, Texas, September 2018.
  •  “Impregnable Citadels of Capital: American Monopolies in the British Radical Press,” Southern Conference on British Studies Annual Meeting, St. Pete Beach, Florida, November 2016.
  • “Dating Violence in Texas: Why the State Family Code Obstructs Accurate Reporting about Sexual Assault,” TCU Women & Gender Studies Research Symposium, 2015.