HomeLatest ThreadsGreatest ThreadsForums & GroupsMy SubscriptionsMy Posts
DU Home » Latest Threads » Forums & Groups » Main » General Discussion (Forum) » "Massachusetts Supre...

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:35 AM

"Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upholds state's gun storage law"-could be HUGE!!!

notice to the ladies: this may be a viable gun control option for some!

Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upholds state's gun storage law, rejects challenge by Springfield man
http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2013/01/massachusetts_supreme_judicial_1.html

John McGowan of Springfield, who had a license to carry a firearm, was charged in November 2008 by Springfield police with violating the state's gun storage law. The charge came after a female roommate went into his second-floor bedroom, took his loaded handgun from an unlocked drawer in a side table, left the home, threw the weapon into a neighbor's bushes and then locked him out when he tried to retrieve the gun.

-skip-

McGowan, 71, moved in Springfield District Court to dismiss the charge of improperly storing a firearm, saying it infringes on a Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms in self-defense of one's home. The district court judge said McGowan raised "immense" constitutional issues.

The high court ultimately took over the case.

In a seven-page decision, the court held that state law is consistent with the Second Amendment and is aimed at preventing unlicensed people from getting access to a firearm.

"The prevention of accidents by those not authorized to use firearms, as well as the prevention of crimes of violence and suicide by those not authorized to possess firearms, are among the evils (the state law) is intended to prevent," the SJC decision said.

-skip-

McGowan's lawyer, John A. Rasmussen of Springfield, said McGowan must decide whether to stand trial in district court, attempt a plea bargain with the district attorney's office or appeal to the Supreme Court of the United States and see if the court takes the case.

***

from the court doc from above link:
On October 19, at approximately5:42 P.M., officers were dispatched to the defendant's house in response to a telephone callhe made about a domestic disturbance. When the police arrived, the defendant reported thathe had an argument with his female "roommate" over a ten-dollar loan, and that his roommatebecame angry, went into the defendant's bedroom, retrieved his loaded handgun from theunlocked drawer, left the house, threw the firearm into the bushes beside the neighboringhouse, and locked the defendant out of the house when he left to retrieve the weapon. Theofficers secured the handgun, which was loaded with ten rounds, one in the chamber and theremainder in the magazine. The defendant told police that the firearm was loaded that waywhen the roommate took it.

4 replies, 987 views

Reply to this thread

Back to top Alert abuse

Always highlight: 10 newest replies | Replies posted after I mark a forum
Replies to this discussion thread
Arrow 4 replies Author Time Post
Reply "Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court upholds state's gun storage law"-could be HUGE!!! (Original post)
farminator3000 Feb 2013 OP
bossy22 Feb 2013 #1
farminator3000 Feb 2013 #2
bossy22 Feb 2013 #3
farminator3000 Feb 2013 #4

Response to farminator3000 (Original post)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 01:47 AM

1. This is not completely surprising

Courts have been interpreting the second amendment as it is applied to "safe storage" laws with a significant amount of legislative discretion. The issue here is that the Heller Decision found against D.C. safe storage statute- which forced the gun to be unloaded and dissasembled/locked up at almost all times within the home. Most safe storage statutes (IIRC including MA) use wording that is similair to "all guns must be secured when out of the owners immediate control". Now, what defines "immediate control" is open to debate, but the key fact is that such a statute allows you to keep a loaded firearm that is "ready to go" for the purpose of self defense. For example, in MA, you could walk around your home with a loaded 9mm handgun strapped to your hip- its fully legal, but in D.C.'s case such an act (irregardless of the legality of the firearm itself) would be illegal

I hope this provides some helpful insight

On edit: I think more of these types of laws will be found constitutional. To explain how Heller is being applied (as simply as possible, but i might add this does not do the debate justice) in the very same way Griswald V CT was (the case that struck down the contraception ban in CT). That is, it is being used to knock down laws that are "outliers" or "outside public consensus".

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bossy22 (Reply #1)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:15 AM

2. thanks, one question...

you said the Heller case found against the D.C. statute, then said: but in D.C.'s case such an act (irregardless of the legality of the firearm itself) would be illegal

so what's the current law in DC? or what's Heller doing with his gun now? why's it still illegal to walk around @ home with it?

supposedly 16% of gun owners keep them unlocked and loaded, so there's a lot of law breakers out there...

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to farminator3000 (Reply #2)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 02:31 AM

3. current d.c. law

Allows for loaded weapons in the home. There safe storage law is retroactively based (some other states use this method as well) meaning that it doesn't necessarily criminalize unsafe storage but if said firearm gets into the wrong hands you can be held criminally liable.

The d.c. law I was referring to in my above post was the one that was shot down. IIRC it was the only one of its kind in the u.s.

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink


Response to bossy22 (Reply #3)

Mon Feb 4, 2013, 12:02 PM

4. why the 'retroactive' thing?

that sounds a little backwards.

but in D.C.'s case such an act (irregardless of the legality of the firearm itself) would be illegal

that's what threw me off- i should have assumed you meant 'would have been illegal'

Reply to this post

Back to top Alert abuse Link here Permalink

Reply to this thread