Published: Sat, April 07, 2018

Federal judge upholds MA ban on assault weapons

Federal judge upholds MA ban on assault weapons

Relying on certain stated or implied limitations on the weapons to which the Second Amendment applied in Justice Antonin Scalia's opinion in D.C. v. Heller (2008), U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young this week granted summary judgment to MA in a lawsuit challenging a 1998 state law that emulated the federal government's 1994 ban on certain weapons it characterized as "assault weapons".

Upholding Massachusetts' 20-year ban on assault weapons, a federal judge found Thursday that such firearms fall outside the scope of protection by the Second Amendment. Other states are equally free to leave unregulated and available to their law-abiding citizens. "These policy matters are simply not of constitutional moment". "Americans are not afraid of bumptious, raucous, and robust debate aboute these matters. We call it democracy". "Families across the country should take heart in this victory", Healey said in a statement.

In his ruling, Young said Healey acted within her authority to "exercise her discretion" in banning the weapons.

The decision came amid renewed attention to gun violence and firearms ownership after a gunman killed 17 students and staff at a Florida high school in February, prompting a surge of gun control activism by teenage students.

In addition to the Parkland shooting, the ordinance noted other recent mass shootings with fatalities in the double digits: the Sutherland Springs, Texas, church shooting that killed 26 people, the Las Vegas music festival shooting that killed 58 people and the Pulse nightclub shooting in Orlando that killed 49 people.

The Gun Owners' Action League of MA blasted the federal ruling as a "dangerous precedent". It bans the selling of specific and name brand firearms and explicitly bans duplicates or copies of the weapons.


"We moved swiftly to challenge this gun ban because it flies in the face of state law", said Alan Gottlieb, executive vice president of the Second Amendment Foundation.

Healey announced the ban two years ago without prior notice to MA gun dealers, saying she would apply her interpretation of current law.

In a press release from Deerfield's management office, Rosenthal is quoted as saying: "We hope that our local decision helps spur state and national leaders to take steps to make our communities safer". "What if the next attorney general isn't a friend on one of your issues?" They also claimed that the ban exerts on Second Amendment rights.

But Brown conceded if Boulder's ban is allowed under the home rule provision, more gun friendly towns could potentially start to loosen firearms restrictions in their city.

The ban goes into effect June 13, and any resident who does not comply with the ban by turning in their assault weapon will receive a $1,000 fine per day, per offense.

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