Once again, court rules that if you don't have a gun permit, you can be arrested for illegal gun possessionBy adamg - 2/15/13 - 11:51 am
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.
The Supreme Judicial Court ruled today Massachusetts residents do not have a Constitutional right to keep loaded handguns in unlocked bedside drawers.
The ruling by the state's highest court upholds a state law that requires gun owners to either store guns in locked containers or equip them with locking mechanisms when they're not under their "immediate control."
The ruling comes in the case of John McGowan, a Springfield resident who got into an argument with his roommate over a $10 loan in 2008. She grabbed his loaded gun out of his bedside drawer, went outside and threw it into some bushes. When he went out to retrieve the weapon, she locked him out and he called police, who, among other things, filed charges against him for not properly storing his weapon.
McGowan sued to get his gun back, arguing the law violates his Second Amendment rights and recent Supreme Court decisions that let somebody possess a gun for self protection.
In the Jamaica Plain Gazette, Liam Madden explains.
Is it more important to fill the air waves with filler about Gifford's trip to Rome or to ask how and why a man suffering from mental illness could get a gun and kill five people, including a judge? The journalists are a bunch of wimps and their editors' collective decision to not repeat the statements of gun control groups cast doubts on the editors objectivity and ability to see beyond the babble.
In a victory for police, district attorneys and other gun-control advocates, the Supreme Judicial Court ruled today a state requirement to secure stored guns does not violate the Second Amendment - because an individual's right to bear arms only applies to federal jurisdictions, not the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.
The ruling comes in the case of a Billerica man whose son had ready access to his hunting rifle - which police discovered when they went to investigate why the kid was firing a BB gun at a neighbor's house. Richard Runyan was charged with failing to keep the rifle stored safely as required by state law. A lower-court judge dismissed the charge under a 2007 Supreme Court decision that invalidated Washington, DC's gun-control law.
But the SJC today ordered the charge reinstated:
Based on current Federal law ... we cannot say that the Second Amendment applies to the States, either through the Fourteenth Amendment's guarantee of substantive due process or otherwise.
Just to be on the safe side, however, the court also said Massachusetts law differs fundamentally from the DC law because it only applies to guns not in the owner's immediate possession - such as guns stored under a bed where a kid could get them - while the DC law required people to lock their guns even while carrying them. The Supreme Court decision formally recognized the right of an individual to carry a gun.