Maura Healey
Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey (AP Photo/Steven Senne)
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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.

Uh huh.

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.

 

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68 COMMENTS

  1. So what if they are legitimately gifted a gun by a friend or family member? I have done that for a son and daughter.

  2. Bruen. Anybody that has served their time should have full rights restored. They should not be on the streets if they cannot be trusted with a gun. Especially not a misdemeanor. A lifetime ban for a misdemeanor? Absurd.

    • I think the bigger news was that the SCotUS could have GVR’ed the bump-stock case, but chose not to do so.

      Oh, well. I guess hoping ‘Bruen’ could negate the 1934 NFA was too much to hope for.

      *Sobbing*… 🙁

      • As you yourself pointed out. Did the cases they get pass muster or were they poorly executed? I don’t think we’ve heard from LKB yet.

        What I ultimately hope to get from Bruen and Heller is constitutional carry nationwide.

        Machines guns are cool and we will get them. It just may take a while longer.

        • I totally agree. National carry first. That is actually far more important than machine gun ownership. It’s also more important than short-barreled rifles or suppressors. I think we will eventually get the rest. But it will take time. And how long has it been since President Reagan put Antonin Scalia on the court?

          That was really the beginning of us starting to get our rights back. So it takes a very long time to get your rights back. After you lose them in the first place.
          Which is why everyone should be fighting to keep their rights and never lose them.

        • Yep gun control wasn’t built in a day, it’s going to take a while to rip it all down. Sooner is better, but we will get there over time.

        • Yup, that’s the best kept secret. If they can’t make time served convicts permanently prohibited if they are free and currently law abiding…

          Then they CAN’T use target focused gun control laws to ever effectively disarm the populate under illegal color of law under 18-241-242!

          Which is obviously what they are trying to do with all these bullshit bypasses of Rights Deprivation prohibitions in Marxist Totalitarian hot spots Like Massatooshits.

          Vote ’em all out in 36 days, block all further gun control. PROHIBIT ALL FURTHER FIAT MANDATES BY THE AFT, repeal the NFA, the ’68 GCA,et al, make all States and County Sheriffs Constitutional 2nd/A status and that kick in their commie balls should do the trick shot once and for all.

    • Some additional details left out of the article (BTW, it’s the First *Circuit*, not the “First District”):

      Morin used to have a Mass. carry permit. In 2004, he was visiting his daughter in DC, and while visiting the American Museum of Natural History, he saw a “no guns” sign and asked the guard where he could check his piece. Bad move. This was in pre-Heller DC, so he was immediately arrested for illegally carrying a gun. Plead out to a misdemeanor (60 day suspended sentence plus community service and probation).

      When his permit came up for renewal in 2008, he answered “no” to the question of whether he had been convicted of any gun related charges for which a term of imprisonment could be imposed. The authorities ran a background check, discovered the DC conviction, and denied the renewal.

      In 2015, he applied for a carry permit, and was turned down due to his DC conviction.

      In 2018, he applied for a FID card and a permit to purchase a firearm. Authorities issued the FID but turned down his application for a permit to purchase a firearm, again based on the >10 year old DC conviction.

      We’ll see, but this is hardly a clean or easy case on remand (which was entirely correct, as the First Circuit was clearly applying the wrong standard).

      • Would a better test case to see how far we could push the limits of ‘Bruen’ be along the same lines as a non-violent felony conviction?

        • Again, while the vacate and remand of the First Circuit’s decision was expected, I don’t have a lot of hope on this angle of 2A rights.

          The better test cases were the ones that were up in the Oct. 2020 term (nonviolent felonies, certain misdemeanors). Folajtar (old conviction for tax evasion) was a damn near perfect test case that I’d hoped SCOTUS would at least hold pending Bruen. No such luck; the denied cert right before granting cert in Bruen.

          My fear is that Roberts and either Kavanaugh or Gorsuch are squishy when it comes to convicted persons. (Thomas, Alito, and Barrett are probably solid here.) Even under the Bruen test, there is plenty of historical evidence denying violent felons the right to have arms. The key will be how that line gets drawn so as not to give anti-gunners a loophole such that they can deprive people of their 2A rights under pretextual “criminal” violations; e.g., “you criticized the local school board, ergo you’ve committed a hate crime, ergo no guns for you.”

    • jwm,

      A lifetime ban for a misdemeanor? Absurd.

      Not if you are a Progressive and that arrangement enables you to suppress you political enemies!

      • For *years* I have stated that if we win big on the 2A, the Leftist Scum ™ would respond by making as many crimes as possible to have penalties of making the convicted a legally-prohibited person.

        Get into a screaming match at work? Someone who can’t control their temper should be a legally-prohibited person.

        Speeding ticket? Someone who can’t drive carefully shouldn’t be allowed to possess a gun.

        Etc, etc…

    • You do realize there is also a federal lifetime ban for misdemeanor crimes of “domestic violence” — which includes if the neighbors call the cops because you and your wife/girlfriend/ex are yelling at each other too loudly.

      • Yep, expect them to exploit that.

        This is literally going to be a war to force them to respect our right to keep and bear arms… 🙁

    • You don’t think it’s cool and hip to have an openly lesbian Governor? It’s going to be a long four years around here.

        • Woody. The left is comfortable with denying or restricting rights. Their actions made the abortion ruling possible. Is it a stretch to use their demands for permits and restrictions on human and civil rights to put up more hurdles?

          Permits to vote? Banning same sex couples? The left opened this can of worms in their desire to restrict our rights.

  3. This is exactly why I cheered when Trump appointed all his justices. The legislature is prevented from running wild, like in New York, the executive has his hands tied, and the lower courts will be brought into line. And, if the current regime in Washington actually seriously tries to pack the court, I hope a helluva lot of them meet with untimely accidents.

    Shall not infringe. It’s as simple as that.

    Now, how do we convince the Supreme Court to line up dozens of similar cases? They need to knock these laws down wholesale, not retail.

    • And, let us pray that the Biden administration gets no opportunity to appoint another justice. Those untimely accidents happen to good guys about as often as they happen to bad guys.

      • “And, let us pray that the Biden administration gets no opportunity to appoint another justice.”

        They might get one of their older ones to retire before that door closes if they lose control of the Senate in 5 weeks.

        If we regain control, we can block seating one of their choices for the next 2 years…

        • Missouri_Mule,

          I have no idea of Geoff is visiting in Missouri. I am 95% confident that Geoff lives in Florida.

        • No way. Jackson just got there. Sotomajor has some health issues, but her ego is so huge that I suspect she will likely only leave the court feet first. Kagan is still reasonably young and is by far the smartest of the three (replacing her with another Biden affirmative action hire would mean that the left wing of the court would consist of three intellectual lightweights), so absent her having some health issues that haven’t been publicized I doubt she’s going anywhere.

    • “This is exactly why I cheered when Trump appointed all his justices“

      Trumps majority Supreme Court upholds Trump’s bump stock ban:

      “The Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS) declined Monday to overturn the bump stock ban that took effect in March 2019.

      Firearms instructor W. Clark Aposhian filed the suit against the ban, questioning the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives’s (ATF) ability and authority to classify a bump stock as a machine gun.“

      https://www.breitbart.com/politics/2022/10/03/scotus-declines-overturn-atf-bump-stock-ban/

      • @Miner49er

        Because SCOTUS denied cert in that bump stock case does not mean they will deny cert on all bump stock cases.

        SCOTUS is looking for a case that can make a huge difference for the 2A, like Bruen and even this case in the article, to remove deliberate restrictive blocks on the exercise of the 2A that seek to penalize or restrict or relegate a right to privilege controlled by government whim, and for no good reason at all. Bump stocks just aren’t it right now as they are more ‘niche accessory like’ not necessary or fundamental to the right of firearms ownership and possession and the 2A exercise. Maybe later though.

        So its really not a big deal point you are making, in fact is more of a stupid thing to even try to relate it to this case.

        • @Miner49er

          Also denying cert is not ‘upholding’ holding anything.

          Can’t you at least try to be honest?

      • Denial of cert is not upholding, but thanks for showing everyone you are still a dishonest dirt bag.

    • If they would actually address the root problem and rule that all gun control laws are null and void due to the Second Amendment, it would save millions in legal fees and restore the rights that our Founding Fathers gave us.

      • That’s the greatest part of the Big Scam… for THEM. They pass laws that they know are in violation of constitutional rights, then make us file suit against them. The HUGE outlay of cash required to do so is a feature of, not a bug,
        since the costs to defend the litigation is paid for by John Q.Taxpayer … not like it’s even a concern.

  4. “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. ”

    And, the message is, “Try again, this time with feeling”.

    • The two step tango of “well, it isn’t a TOTAL ban” just went up in smoke. gotta love it, as this is exactly what these anti-gun circuits have been doing for the last decade with Heller.

      • And GVR’ing is a no muss, no fuss easy out for the high Court.

        I hope we see a lot more of that as time goes on, until the lower courts realize what ‘Bruen’ really means…

    • Not only did they ignore Bruen, they tried to weasel around it. Quite prescient of them in 2021 before the Bruen decision ever came out.

      • “Not only did they ignore Bruen, they tried to weasel around it.”

        Expect Mass. to follow Californication: send back to trial judge, and slow walk the appeals; buying time. All the while, the “ban” remains in effect.

        AIUI, the SC can remand, or immediately overturn. GVR keeps the issue in play.

        (LBK, did I get that right?)

        • I think the tenor of this post is misplaced.

          The First Circuit’s decision in Morin predated the Bruen decision by several months, so it’s not like the First Circuit was thumbing their nose at it.

          I expected that Morin would have been vacated and remanded along with the other 2A cases that were pending. That they didn’t do so immediately says that someone (Barrett?) wanted to take another look at it and maybe take it up directly this term. Didn’t happen.

          Morin has been sent back to the First Circuit, which will likely remand to the district court. It’ll be years before this one is ripe again, and as noted in my comments above I’m not especially sanguine about its chances, even under Bruen.

  5. Massachusetts will simply turn all their gun misdemeanors into felonies and say, “Problem solved!” That’s what New Jersey already does. New Jersey treats every minor technical infraction of the states complex gun laws as a felony, thus revoking gun rights for life.
    Actions that aren’t even a misdemeanor in other states, such as owning an air gun (BB gun or pellet gun) without a firearms permit, or owning an air gun with a built-in “silencer” — are felonies in New Jersey! Why the F are air guns with suppressors illegal at all in NJ? Nobody knows. Probably the same reason it’s a felony to have a slingshot in New Jersey, or to have an antique flintlock without a gun permit.

    • The wonder is that all the blue states haven’t elevated minor infractions to felony level. And not just incidents related to firearms. Essentially, there should be no misdemeanors atall, atall.

    • “Massachusetts will simply turn all their gun misdemeanors into felonies and say, “Problem solved!” That’s what New Jersey already does.”

      This is the beauty of the high Court using the GVR. The Court doesn’t need to grant cert. and hear every 2A case to move us forward.

      We just need to keep the federal lawsuit pipeline full of quality challenges, and a GVR can do the work for us…

  6. @Chris T in KY
    “I totally agree. National carry first. ”

    Guys….

    The Second Amendment is national carry, protected by the constitution. “National Carry” as popularized in gun owner circles is simple, majority rule, legislation. It can be repealed, and reestablished, at will. If an enumerated right, protected by the constitution, how does simple legislation represent a more perfect solution?

    National Carry is no different than the notion among the Dims, that Roe v. Wade can be codified in simple legislation, representing a bullet-proof guarantee of an alleged “right”. They also do not understand: all national legislation must proceed from constitutional authority; simple legislation cannot modify/change/amend the constitution.

    • Please. You know that you can’t travel to all 50 states with your handgun on your person. You could do that 100 years ago. But the laws sadly changed since the turn of the century. The only way to fix this in the 21st century, is with a national carry law either from the congress or a ruling from the surprem court.

      And even then. I’m sure California, Illinois, New Jersey, and New York, would refuse to comply with that Supreme Court decision. And they would arrest anyone with a gun coming from another state.

      I believe we are coming to a point where the states will refuse to follow the Supreme Court. And it won’t be the first time when this happens.

      • “Please. You know that you can’t travel to all 50 states with your handgun on your person. ”

        Yes, I know. Again, how does simple (majority rule) legislation guarantee that which the constitution itself cannot protect?

        The battle is defending the existing constitution, not trying to trick fake that simple legislation is more valid than an enumerated right.

        Legislation declaring National Carry will last about two years, then the winds shift against. Then back again, two years later. This would be a win? All the effort to install National Carry is better expended seeking an SC ruling declaring 2A absolute, or yet another amendment to the constitution shutting off all avenues of attack/infringement on RTKBA.

        (Note: legislation repealing National Carry can contain a clause making it illegal, upon the president’s signature, to carry in states that do not have a permission slip law.)

      • “Please. You know that you can’t travel to all 50 states with your handgun on your person. You could do that 100 years ago.”

        We follow the same model as your driver’s license is valid in all 50 states. The simplest way to implement that is if you aren’t a prohibited person, you can carry anywhere in the US…

  7. Maura Healey will probably be the next governor. It will make the Libertarians the Liberals and the Left very happy to vote for a proud [email protected] woman, but who is as anti-civil rights, as any southern Politian in the 1950’s. All they care about In the Bay State, is that she has the correct sexual orientation.

    It was how Gavin Newsom got elected and survived a recall election in the state of California.

  8. District and Circuit decisions in Morin pre-dated Bruen.

    Court:United States Court of Appeals, First Circuit
    Date published: Sep 14, 2021

    The District Court’s denial of Morin’s motion for summary judgment and grants of the defendants’ cross-motions for summary judgment are affirmed .

    In 2004, Morin brought his pistol on a trip to Washington, D.C. Morin, 442 F. Supp. 3d at 411. While there, he visited the American Museum of Natural History, which displayed a sign stating that firearms were prohibited in the building. Id. Morin asked a museum employee whether he could check the pistol that he was carrying at the time. He was thereafter detained and placed under arrest for violating D.C.’s gun laws.

    In November 2004, Morin pleaded guilty to one count of attempting to carry a pistol without a license, and one count of possession of an unregistered firearm.

    • Yeah this part:

      “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.”

      just seems factually impossible, given the timeline. No need to resort to misinformation to illustrate the stance of certain courts.

  9. I am still wondering when this is going to hit California.
    We are still in the dark ages as the wheels of the courts turn slower than that at the DMV!

  10. Just an FYI about Epoch Times, while the do tend to swing conservative they are run and used by a cult to push propaganda. Not saying all their articles are wrong but it is something to be aware of.

    • Thank you, for your sage advice.
      I’m sure we will all consider it when making our decisions.
      Does this “cult” have a name? Perhaps a flag?
      How can we recognize it’s presence?
      We need to protect ourselves from nefarious intents, please inform.

      • It does. The Falun Gong. I personally don’t see them as any different than most other cults and think they are a victim of religious persecution in China, it helps to understand the background of a source to be able to pick up on some of the biases involved in their articles.

        • Epoch can be looked at as news with an anti-Communist viewpoint, or even as anti-Communist propaganda.

          Members of the Associated Press are mostly pro-Communist propaganda.

          Denouncing Epoch as cultist propaganda is taking it a bit far in my opinion.

  11. “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.”

    Ok, its early, been up all night at the lab finishing up a project and not enough coffee yet… but shouldn’t that be…

    “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 NOT survive in a post-Bruen world.”

    ?

  12. When does taking away the constitutional rights of a Citizen become a prosecutable crime?
    We are spinning our wheels playing defense.
    Leftists drill holes in babies’ skulls, rig elections, clamor that skin color is an actionable offense, then change small errors by those who disagree with them into “Felonies” punishable for life.
    When are these criminals going to be punished? Who is to punish them?
    How about:
    “NOBODY IS ABOVE THE LAW”

  13. @LKB
    “I think the tenor of this post is misplaced.”

    Did I get it right, that the SC can GVR, or instantly overrule the lower courts, granting direct relief to the original plaintiff?

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