In the latest of a series of similar gun rulings, the Massachusetts Appeals Court today rejected a Brockton man's argument that the Second Amendment lets him walk around with a gun without having to bother with the niceties of first applying for a license to carry.
Both the appeals court and the Supreme Judicial Court have repeatedly held over the past couple of years that our state's gun-permitting laws are constitutional and that only somebody who has applied for a firearms license can make a Second Amendment claim.
In order to challenge the Massachusetts licensure statute as an invalid or unreasonable regulation, a defendant must earn standing by application for, and denial of, licensure. That requirement also would govern the FID card offense. The defendant does not claim that he applied for either.
In today's case, state troopers and a Brockton officer patrolling a dangerous part of Brockton stopped a man who appeared to be drunk in public and carrying an open 40-oz. bottle of beer. A trooper found the gun during a pat frisk, which he did only after asking the man if he had anything on him that might hurt the trooper. The court said the man's condition made a pat frisk legal.