Who We Are

Who We Are & Why We're Different

KNOWLEDGEABLE

Our passions are providing you with useful and empowering educational materials on firearms law -- particularly the law of self-defense -- and supporting your Second Amendment rights.  Recognized nationally for our legal expertise, we stay current on 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.

ACCURATE

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 provided 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.

STEADFAST

We would rather be right than be first.  We don’t rush our content just to be part of the noise when a firearms-related legal issue arises in the news.  Our commitment is to present carefully-considered and thoroughly-researched legal analysis and courses that will benefit you.

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 practice to firearms-related matters, including cases involving the defensive use of firearms and Second Amendment challenges to gun control legislation.

Mr. Sulzer 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 personal protection. He is in the process of adapting his law of self-defense course to explain the law in several mid-Atlantic and southeastern states. The course will eventually cover all 50 states and the District of Columbia. The District of Columbia course, which was first introduced in March 2019, has been re-introduced online in a convenient self-paced format.

Mr. Sulzer has also developed a course on the gun control legislation passed by the Commonwealth of Virginia in the first half of 2020. It features 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. The 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 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 is now presenting Mr. Sulzer’s courses as live webinars and in a pre-recorded, self-paced format. The pre-recorded, self-paced format enables you to learn online at your convenience and at your own speed.

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

STEPHEN L. SULZER

Mr. Sulzer has been practicing law in Washington, D.C., for 40 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, including Second Amendment challenges to unconstitutional gun laws.

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.

He is pleased to have been selected as a referral attorney for both the United States Concealed Carry Association (USCCA) and the Armed Citizens Legal Defense Network.  He has also been named to the USCCA's Critical Response Legal Team.

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 online through the National Firearms Law Institute (NFLI) in both a live webinar format and a self-paced, pre-recorded format. Mr. Sulzer recently introduced a District of Columbia version of the course through NFLI, which is making it available online in its convenient, self-paced format. He is preparing an online version of the course covering the law of self-defense in several mid-Atlantic and southeastern states, with roll-outs planned in 2021 and beyond.

Mr. Sulzer has also expanded NFLI’s offerings with a 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 or a red flag proceeding.

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 mid 1990s, and is an NRA-certified pistol instructor.