Massachusetts effectively blocks anyone convicted of a non-violent misdemeanor involving a firearm from purchasing handguns. A recent First District Court of Appeals ruling upheld the prohibition in Morin v. Lyver. Today the supreme court vacated the ruling and remanded the case back to the district court and told them to try again, using the Bruen standard.
The First District Court of Appeals tried to weasel their way around the Bruen decision by using intermediate scrutiny when the precedent in Bruen clearly ended that practice. The First District’s ruling applied “logic” stating that while a person convicted of a gun-related misdemeanor can’t purchase a handgun, they can possess one if it’s left to them in a will. Therefore, as the court seemed to think, Massachusetts’ law wasn’t a ban on handgun ownership.
The Supreme Court granted cert in the case, vacated the First District ruling, and returned it for reconsideration.
From the Epoch Times:
The Supreme Court reversed a federal appeals court decision on Oct. 3 that upheld one of Massachusetts’ tough gun laws, months after the high court expanded Second Amendment rights.
The Massachusetts law in question, the constitutionality of which is now in doubt, imposed a lifetime ban on purchasing handguns—but not possessing them—on anyone convicted of a non-violent misdemeanor that involved the possession or use of guns.
The high court remanded the case, Morin v. Lyver (court file 21-1160), to the U.S Court of Appeals for the 1st Circuit “for further consideration in light of” the Supreme Court’s landmark June 23 decision in New York State Rifle and Pistol Association v. Bruen.
Massachusetts was previously added to Morin v. Lyver as an intervenor to defend the constitutionality of the state law.
The order was unsigned and no justices indicated they were dissenting from it. The justices did not explain why they granted the order.
Today’s decision should send a loud and clear message to any liberal-leaning federal district courts that think they can ignore the Bruen precedent with a wink and a nod, as they did with Heller. It should also send a clear message to state or local legislative bodies, letting them know this kind of thing would survive in a post-Bruen world.
Epoch continues . . .
Massachusetts requires individuals to obtain licenses in order to possess or purchase handguns, and it disqualifies people with certain criminal convictions from obtaining licenses.
State law also provides that an individual convicted of a non-violent misdemeanor that concerned the possession or use of a gun can obtain a license that allows him to possess a handgun at home, but only after five years have passed.
The same person can never obtain authorization to purchase a handgun— meaning that the only way he can obtain one is if someone leaves it to him at death, according to court documents.
This decision is a real defeat for Massachusetts’ radically anti-gun Attorney General Maura Healey. Her office declined to comment on the decision.