Judge Decides To Legislate From The Bench On Guns
Article from Reason by Brian Doherty.
Relying on certain stated or implied limitations on the weapons to which the Second Amendment applied in Justice Antonin Scalia’s opinion in D.C. v. Heller (2008), U.S. District Court Judge William G. Young this week granted summary judgment to Massachusetts in a lawsuit challenging a 1998 state law that emulated the federal government’s 1994 ban on certain weapons it characterized as “assault weapons.” The federal ban expired in 2004 but the Massachusetts version remained in effect.
In their original complaint, plaintiffs David Worman et al argued that a 1998 Massachusetts state law that banned certain types of semi-automatic rifles and certain sized magazines violated their Second Amendment rights (and that a later attempt to apply the ban to other weapons not specifically listed originally but now considered to be illegitimate “copies or duplicates” constituted a 14th Amendment violation of due process)
In his decision in Worman v. Baker, Judge Young declared that “assault weapons and LCMs [large capacity magazines] are not within the scope of the personal right to ‘bear arms’ under the Second Amendment.”
Why does Young think this? Because Scalia said in Heller that some weapons of primarily military use would not necessarily be covered by the Second Amendment (“weapons that are most useful in military service—M-16 rifles and the like—may be banned…”). Young believes that qualities of the weapons and magazines covered by the challenged law mark them as of primarily military use.
Read the entire article at Reason.
Image Credit: By KAZ Vorpal (Flickr: Declaration of Independence, with Firearm) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons