Federal judge rules that the 2nd Amendment doesn’t apply to military-style rifles (Details)

Cropped Photo: Cory Doctorow / CC BY-SA 2.0

In 1998, Massachusetts banned assault weapons and large magazines. They said that these weapons are “not within the scope of the personal right to ‘bear Arms’ under the Second Amendment.” Today, a federal judge dismissed a lawsuit challenging that ban.

In the ruling, U.S. District Judge William Young asserted that the features of a military-style rifle are “designed and intended to be particularly suitable for combat rather than sporting applications.”

Young believes that the state of Massachusetts was within legal rights in restricting the weapons since the ban was enacted by elected representatives.

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“Other states are equally free to leave them unregulated and available to their law-abiding citizens,” Young wrote. “These policy matters are simply not of constitutional moment. Americans are not afraid of bumptious, raucous, and robust debate about these matters. We call it democracy.”

The lawsuit against the state was filed by the Gun Owners Action League of Massachusetts. The suit stated that the ban infringed upon their rights.

Maura Healey (D), the attorney general for Massachusetts, said that this was a victory.

“Today’s decision upholding the Assault Weapons Ban vindicates the right of the people of Massachusetts to protect themselves from these weapons of war and my office’s efforts to enforce the law,” Healey wrote. “Strong gun laws save lives, and we will not be intimidated by the gun lobby in our efforts to end the sale of assault weapons and protect our communities and schools.”


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