Who We Are

Who We Are & Why We're Different


Our passions are supporting your Second Amendment rights and providing you with useful and reliable educational materials on firearms-related legal issues.  We are recognized nationally for our legal expertise and stay current with respect to firearms-related legal developments of importance to you.  We pride ourselves on providing Second Amendment insights and expert analysis of firearms-related law and regulations that you won’t get elsewhere.


Just as accuracy with your firearms is vital to your safety and survival, accuracy in your understanding of the law is vital to your personal freedom in these legally-perilous times.  You can be confident in the accuracy and reliability of the legal information disseminated by NFLI.  The views expressed by NFLI and the information we provide in our course materials and online blog have been checked, re-checked, and checked again to make sure that we get it right, first time, every time.


We would rather be right than be first.  We don’t rush to speak or publish on everything out there just to be part of the noise you hear every time a firearms-related legal issue presents itself in the 24-hour news cycle.  NFLI is more interested in providing you with carefully-considered and thoroughly-researched legal analysis and courses than in competing for attention in the blogosphere.

Our Mission

The National Firearms Law Institute was formed by the law firm of Stephen L. Sulzer PLLC as an adjunct to the firm’s growing firearms law practice. Stephen L. Sulzer, the firm’s principal member, devotes a substantial part of his law practice to firearms-related matters, and has developed and teaches a law of self-defense course that has become the gold standard in Virginia for those who carry concealed or rely on firearms for home security and self-defense.

Mr. Sulzer is in the process of adapting his law of self-defense course to cover the law of self-defense across much of the mid-atlantic and southeast. The course will eventually cover all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia law of self-defense course, which was first introduced in March 2019, will be re-introduced online as a pre-recorded, self-paced course in the third quarter of 2020. Mr. Sulzer has also developed a new course on the gun control legislation passed by the Commonwealth of Virginia in the first half of 2020, featuring a detailed explanation of Virginia’s red flag law, including its perniciously unconstitutional emergency gun seizure order procedure, along with discussion of 13 other new gun control statutes. This course also addresses the General Assembly’s failed effort to pass an unconstitutional, so-called “assault firearms” ban, which is likely to be taken up again in August 2020 or January 2021.

There have also been developments in insurance coverage and related tools/products needed to cover the staggering legal expenses which typically accompany involvement in a self-defense incident or a red flag law proceeding. While these subjects are included in Mr. Sulzer’s law of self-defense course, he has also prepared a short course that focuses specifically on insurance coverage and other tools/products that are being developed to provide the financial resources needed by responsible firearms owners.

The Institute will support Mr. Sulzer’s efforts to expand his course offerings and will provide the infrastructure and platform required to present his courses online to the firearms community nationwide. In an exciting new development, NFLI will now present Mr. Sulzer’s courses as live webinars, and in a pre-recorded, self-paced format. This will enable you to learn online at your convenience and at your own speed. The Institute will be rolling out the new pre-recorded, self-paced versions of Mr. Sulzer’s courses before the end of summer 2020.

The Institute will also provide a forum for discussion of important developments in: (i) the law of self-defense; (ii) Second Amendment jurisprudence; (iii) federal and state firearms-related legislation and regulation; and (iv) the evolution of self-defense insurance, prepaid legal services organizations, and legal services cooperatives. The Institute will facilitate robust and open debate about the law as it relates to firearms, by enabling attorneys, scholars, government officials, firearms and shooting enthusiasts, law enforcement officers, firearms industry representatives, and firearms-related associations to share their views on significant current events of interest. It will also provide a resource from which newcomers to the world of firearms can obtain information about the lawful use of firearms for self-defense.

Meet Your Instructor


Mr. Sulzer has been practicing law in Washington, D.C., for more than 39 years, and has been a partner at some of the city’s most prominent national law firms, including Steptoe & Johnson and, most recently, California-based Manatt, Phelps & Phillips. In fall 2013, Mr. Sulzer broke away from Big Law to found his own law firm, and after much planning and preparation, expanded his practice to encompass firearms-related matters. He is particularly focused on criminal and civil defense work for clients who have had to use firearms in self-defense. He has also expanded into matters involving federal and state firearms regulation, as well as Second Amendment-based litigation. Mr. Sulzer has an AV Preeminent Peer and Judicial Rating from Martindale Hubbell, the highest rating given by Martindale-Hubbell for legal skills and professional ethics. Mr. Sulzer is pleased to have been selected as a referral attorney for both the United States Concealed Carry Association and the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network.

Mr. Sulzer has developed a two-part training course entitled “The Legal Use of Firearms for Self-Defense in Virginia – When the Defensive Use of Firearms Is Permissible and How to Win the Legal Battle That Will Follow.” For the past five years, Mr. Sulzer has taught the course regularly in northern Virginia at the Nation’s Gun Show in Chantilly and Fredericksburg (through Historic Arms Corp.’s Firearms Training Store), at Silver Eagle Group in Ashburn; at Fairfax Rod & Gun Club in Manassas; and at The Gun Dude in Falls Church. The course has received enthusiastic reviews from the northern Virginia shooting community and has become the gold standard for those who carry concealed or rely on firearms for home security and self-defense.

Mr. Sulzer is now offering the course live online through the National Firearms Law Institute.  He is also developing an online version of the course covering the law of self-defense in several mid-atlantic and southeastern states and will ultimately cover the law in all 50 states and the District of Columbia.

Mr. Sulzer has also expanded NFLI’s course offerings with a new course on Virginia’s 2020 gun control legislation and a short course on insurance coverage and other programs available to protect your finances if you are involved in a self-defense incident.

Mr. Sulzer has been active in the shooting sports dating back to the mid-1990s, when he began shooting service rifles in competition against the Marine Corps Rifle Teams and the Army Marksmanship Unit. He began his competitive shooting career with the M1A and transitioned to the AR-15 in 2000. He competed in three position “across the course” iron sight matches at distances of 200, 300, and 600 yards, and has also competed at 1,000 yards. When Mr. Sulzer retired from competition in 2005, he was shooting Master level scores. He still shoots handguns (particularly M-1911s) avidly, has held a Virginia Concealed Carry Permit since the late 1990s, and is an NRA-certified pistol instructor.