A now former radiologist who currently lists a Brookline address last week sued the state in federal court seeking a ruling that the Second Amendment gives him the absolute right to own guns and that Massachusetts can just stuff its gun-registration laws.
It's Kang Lu's latest volley in a long pro se battle against police departments, states, Canada and boards of registration in medicine to pack pistols without government oversight.
To date, Lu, 46, who also often carries a knife strapped to his hip, has consistently lost both his legal fights and his right to practice medicine: The Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine revoked his medical license in 2020 and a series of other states, including California and New Jersey - and even gun-loving Idaho and Montana - followed suit over the next couple of years (complete list here).
At issue for the medical registration boards is not just his convictions for violating gun laws both in Massachusetts and at the Canadian border, but for what they say is consistently lying about them, by continually checking "No" on the lines on registration forms that ask if he has ever been arrested for or convicted of any crimes.
The record demonstrates that the Respondent had a pattern of being armed when interacting with law enforcement, admitted intention to continue to possess and carry guns despite lacking a license to carry a firearm in Massachusetts, and provided false answers regarding criminal charges against him in his 2017 and 2019 license renewal applications.
In so doing, the Respondent was convicted of a crime, fraudulently renewed his certificate of registration, violated laws and regulations of the Commonwealth, and engaged in conduct that undermines the integrity of the medical profession.
In his latest suit, filed in US District Court in Boston against the Executive Office of Public Safety and Attorney General Andrea Campbell, Lu asserts that state gun-control laws are meant only to regulate people who have to carry weapons for their jobs, that no state law can trump the Second Amendment and so he asks a judge to order the state to leave him alone, so he doesn't have to risk arrest the next time he steps outside with a gun.
Lu further explained his philosophy in a 2020 lawsuit against then Attorney General Maura Healey, also filed in Boston federal court - which he filed after police in Westfield confiscated his unlicensed gun, the one he claims some trespassers on his land complained about as he and his son were target shooting one day:
When there is clearly no such thing as a license for religion, a license for freedom of speech, a license for the press, or a license to peaceably assemble, or a license for any other constitutionally secured right, it becomes impermissible and even absurd for the defendant or her agents to presume that I should be required to have a license to bear Arms. Indeed, the preferred and primary presumption of innocents is that there is no such thing as a license to bear Arms, and people cannot be compelled to contract with the state for an entitlement in order to exercise a right already secured by the Constitution.
However, he voluntarily withdrew that suit, so a judge did not get a chance to rule on it. Both state and federal courts, however, have ruled that the Supreme Court ruling overturning Washington, DC's gun-control law does not outlaw Massachusetts gun regulations, and that even a more recent Supreme Court ruling lets the state continue to regulate guns.
Lu filed his latest federal suit after a judge in Suffolk Superior Court rejected his similar complaint earlier this year.
On Oct. 13, 2018, Lu tried driving into Quebec from Vermont. He told a Canadian border guard - sitting in a booth with a sign facing drivers that they have to declare weapons - that he had no weapons in his car. The guard sent him for "secondary" questioning, not because of that answer but because he was allegedly vague about his reasons for visiting Canada. According to the Massachusetts Board of Registration in Medicine's initial revocation decision:
During the secondary inspection, two [border] officers asked Dr. Lu to step out of the vehicle and saw he had a six-inch knife at his belt. Dr. Lu informed them he had one handgun between the front two seats of his vehicle. It was loaded. The officers found two additional handguns and three ammunition storage magazines in a suitcase under the carpet of the trunk of his vehicle.
He was arrested and remained locked up until Nov. 2, when he pleaded guilty to trying to bring "three restricted firearms, namely three handguns and three prohibited devices that are ammunition storage magazines" into Canada, which has no equivalent of the Second Amendment. He was sentenced to one additional day in jail.
At the hearing, Dr. Lu and his attorney stated that absolute discharge of the charges was necessary because Dr. Lu has to declare if "he had pleaded guilty for a criminal offence when he renews his physician license."
But Cour du Québec Judge Érick Vanchestein rejected that request, concluding:
In the present matter, if the accused had not been stopped at the Border, he would have driven to Montreal, in a car with three loaded handguns.
In Canada, the possession and the use of firearms has, for a long time, been severely regulated by law.
The law provides that citizens should be able to circulate on the streets while being assured that people and vehicles are free of all weapons.
In fact, gun control is so integrated into the Canadian psychic that it is unthinkable for the majority of citizens to even possess weapons, except for recreational activities or security for authorized persons.
If citizens were to find out that it is easy to cross the Border with weapons and to circulate freely in the city with loaded guns, they would certainly ask serious questions about the effectiveness of the judicial system.
Considering this perspective, the seriousness of the infraction and the need for general deterrence, the Court is convinced that the confidence of the public in the justice system will be affected if the accused is granted a discharge. For these reasons, the Accused's offence doesn't meet the criteria of the public interest.
Vanchestein's ruling also contains statements from the border guard who interviewed him twice, the first time at the border, that:
He has his own theory about firearms and does not see the weapons seized as some. In his own conception, these are not firearms.
Also, he did not think he was "importing" the guns and ammo into Canada, since he intended to return to the US with them.
The very next month, Lu submitted his application for renewal of his Massachusetts medical license. He answered "No" to all the questions about criminal cases or convictions and "did not disclose the Oct. 13, 2018 arrest or his November 2, 2018 guilty plea," the board wrote in a preliminary decision about rescinding his license.
Because of those omissions, the board approved his renewal for 2019.
On Jan. 27, 2019, Lu was stopped by a police officer in Auburn - which supplied the photo in this article - for a motor-vehicle infraction, in a car with Florida plates. Lu was traveling with a woman who, after some questioning, an Auburn sergeant ordered out of the car and placed her under arrest as a suspected prostitute. The sergeant then ordered Lu out of the car. According to the board:
Sergeant Lamoreaux observed a 6-inch sheath and knife on Dr. Lu's hip. Dr. Lu was also carrying a Glock handgun in his waistband and a handgun magazine in his left pant pocket. The handgun was loaded with a magazine of fifteen 9mm bullets. Dr. Lu was placed under arrest.
The next day, he was arraigned in Worcester District Court on charges that included possession of a large capacity firearm, illegal possession of a firearm, illegal possession of ammunition and sexual conduct for a fee. One day after that, the board, alerted about the arrest, assigned an investigator to look into his case. On Jan. 31, a judge ordered him held without bail as a potential flight risk and danger to society, because he was "evasive about residence and ties to multiple addresses including FL & NH" and had "a pattern of being armed when interacting with law enforcement including guns & knives."
On Feb. 11, a Worcester Superior Court judge agreed to release him on $5,000 bail, on conditions that included giving up any weapons.
In addition to the gun arrests, the board also cited a 2015 arrest in Palmer, in which Lu allegedly failed to signal a left turn, then was arrested when he argued with the officer about whether he had to produce his license and registration in part because he was "traveling" rather than driving. Lu sued in federal court but lost, with a judge magistrate concluding that the Supreme Court has held for more than 100 years that people can be required to have driver's licenses and that the "traveling" right Lu cited was from a Supreme Court case involving welfare benefits, not regulation of motor vehicles.
The registration board said Lu failed to indicate the Palmer arrest on any of his license-renewal applications.
Lu's latest complaint (453k PDF)
Ruling rejecting similar arguments in Suffolk Superior Court (93k PDF).
2020 revocation (131k PDF).
2020 revocation background information (617k PDF).
2020 lawsuit (more details on his thoughts on gun ownership) (1.6M PDF).
2015 driving lawsuit (2.1M PDF).
2015 driving decision (108k PDF).