U.S. District Court Judge Dennis Saylor just upheld the Massachusetts “assault weapons” and standard capacity magazine bans in a ruling that denied our motion for a preliminary injunction. You can read the ruling here.
Our legal team is preparing to appeal this ruling to the First Circuit Court of Appeals. The appeal must be filed 30 days from the date of the ruling.
This ruling manipulates Supreme Court precedents Heller and Bruen in order to conclude that the gun ban signed into law by then-Governor Mitt Romney is consistent with the Second Amendment.
For instance, Judge Saylor used the Heller finding that handguns are “the quintessential self-defense weapon” to conclude that this means “legislatures have some greater degree of latitude when regulating firearms that are not handguns.”
The ruling builds on this, going so far as to claim that if a handgun is the “quintessential self-defense weapon,” firearms with features not found on a handgun make it less useful for self-defense.
That conclusion is particularly problematic because the actual quote from Heller states that while judges may speculate on why a particular gun is Americans’ choice of self-defense weapon, it is the people’s choice and not the role of judges to second-guess their decisions:
It is enough to note, as we have observed, that the American people have considered the handgun to be the quintessential self-defense weapon. There are many reasons that a citizen may prefer a handgun for home defense: It is easier to store in a location that is readily accessible in an emergency; it cannot easily be redirected or wrestled away by an attacker; it is easier to use for those without the upper-body strength to lift and aim a long gun; it can be pointed at a burglar with one hand while the other hand dials the police. Whatever the reason, handguns are the most popular weapon chosen by Americans for self-defense in the home, and a complete prohibition of their use is invalid. (D.C. v. Heller, emphasis added)
The Supreme Court ruled in Bruen that unprecedented societal concerns and dramatic technological changes require “a more nuanced approach,” and Judge Saylor took this to mean that concealed carry restrictions and fire codes on the storage of gunpowder somehow allowed the government to impose an outright ban on standard-capacity magazines.
Though it is disappointing to receive a bad ruling, this was the expected outcome as Judge Saylor called our interpretation of the Second Amendment a “suicide pact” during oral arguments.
We will be appealing this case to the First Circuit Court of Appeals as soon as we can, and we will not stop fighting for the Second Amendment rights of the people of Massachusetts.