Quantcast
Connect with us

US judge upholds Massachusetts assault weapons ban

Published

on

A federal judge on Friday upheld a Massachusetts law banning assault weapons including the AR-15, saying the U.S. Constitution’s Second Amendment guarantee of Americans’ right to bear firearms does not cover them.

U.S. District Judge William Young in Boston ruled that assault weapons and large-capacity magazines covered by the 1998 law fall outside the scope of the Second Amendment’s personal right to bear arms.

ADVERTISEMENT

He also rejected a challenge to an enforcement notice Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey issued in 2016 clarifying what under the law is a “copy” of an assault weapon. Healey announced that notice after a gunman killed 49 people at the Pulse nightclub in Orlando, Florida.

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

 In a 47-page ruling, Young cited former U.S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia, a conservative who died in 2016, as having observed that weapons that are most useful in military service may be banned. Young said the AR-15 semi-automatic rifle was such a weapon.
He acknowledged arguments by plaintiffs including the Gun Owners’ Action League who noted the AR-15’s popularity in arguing the law must be unconstitutional because it would ban a class of firearms Americans had overwhelming chosen for legal purposes.

“Yet the AR-15’s present-day popularity is not constitutionally material,” Young wrote. “This is because the words of our Constitution are not mutable. They mean the same today as they did 227 years ago when the Second Amendment was adopted.”

Healey, a Democrat, in a statement welcomed the decision.

ADVERTISEMENT

“Strong gun laws save lives, and we will not be intimidated by the gun lobby in our efforts to end the sale of assault weapons and protect our communities and schools,” she said.

A lawyer for the plaintiffs did not respond to a request for comment.

 They had filed their lawsuit in 2017 and based part of their case on a U.S. Supreme Court ruling Scalia authored in 2008 that held for the first time that individual Americans have a right to own guns.
The justices have avoided taking up another major gun case in the years since and in November refused to hear a similar case challenging Maryland’s 2013 state ban on assault weapons.

ADVERTISEMENT

Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by James Dalgleish


Report typos and corrections to: [email protected].
READ COMMENTS - JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Continue Reading

Facebook

Dem lawmaker rips apart top GOP anti-impeachment talking point: ‘Attempted extortion’ is still a crime

Published

on

Rep. Joaquin Castro (D-TX) on Wednesday tore apart one of the major arguments made by House Republicans during public impeachment hearings.

Throughout the hearing, Republicans argued that there was no scandal in the president's behavior regarding military aid to Ukraine because the aid eventually got delivered.

Castro, during his questioning of impeachment witnesses Bill Taylor and George Kent, expertly pulled this talking point apart by showing that President Donald Trump's efforts to extort Ukraine only failed because he got caught.

Castro began by asking the witnesses why Ukraine didn't actually go through with plans to investigate Burisma, the former employer of Hunter Biden, even though the country had been poised to do so.

Continue Reading

Breaking Banner

Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe succinctly debunks Jim Jordan’s defense of Trump

Published

on

Constitutional law expert Laurence Tribe debunked the key defense of President Donald Trump that was offered by Rep. Jim Jordan (R-OH) during the first televised hearing in the impeachment inquiry.

Jordan did not address the fact President Donald Trump solicited foreign election interference in violation of federal law, but attempted to debunk the additional charge that there was extortion/bribery.

The Ohio Republican argued that there could not have been a quid pro quo because the aid was eventually released.

But Tribe, who has taught at Harvard Law for half a century and argued three dozen cases before the United States Supreme Court, fact-checked the congressman who never passed the bar exam.

Continue Reading
 

Facebook

Here are 5 wild moments from the House’s first public impeachment hearing

Published

on

The impeachment inquiry against President Donald Trump entered a new phase on Wednesday morning, when the first public testimony was presented. The two witnesses presented were Ambassador William B. Taylor (who had been in charge of Ukraine-related matters under the Trump Administration) and U.S. State Department diplomat George P. Kent (deputy assistant secretary for European and Eurasian affairs). And while House Republicans aggressively defended Trump during Taylor and Kent’s testimony, House Intelligence Committee Chairman Adam Schiff (D-CA) and other Democrats used Taylor and Kent’s testimony to show why Trump deserves impeachment.

Continue Reading
 
 
Help Raw Story Uncover Injustice. Join Raw Story Investigates for $1 and go ad-free.
close-image