Why No Massachusetts Assault Weapon Court Action - Yet
Gun Owners’ Action League (GOAL) has received many inquiries as to potential court action regarding the so-called assault weapons/magazine ban in Massachusetts. This is especially important after Maura Healey’s notorious reinvention of the laws in 2016. The general eagerness for new action comes in the wake of the Supreme Court’s decision regarding NYSRPA v. Bruen.
Many GOAL members and non-members are aware that GOAL was a plaintiff in the Worman v. Healey case filed soon after Healey’s unilateral reinterpretation of the law. With great legal and financial assistance from the National Rifle Association (NRA), we spent three years in an effort to bring our complaint to the Supreme Court of the United States (SCOTUS). Along the way, each federal court supported the new ban. Eventually, SCOTUS declined to hear the case. This is an expensive problem when trying to get a case before the highest court, as they can simply decline to hear arguments.
With a new high court, there is more hope for our Second Amendment civil rights being recognized. We saw this in the groundbreaking Bruen case brought by the New York Rifle and Pistol Association with the backing of the NRA.
Shortly after releasing that decision in favor of our civil rights, the Court also ordered three cases dealing with assault weapons/magazines back to lower federal courts. The orders were to rehear the cases under the rules set forth by Bruen. Cases that GOAL has financially supported.
These cases are already in the “pipeline” and far along in the legal process. GOAL feels the most prudent and fiscally responsible action is to continue to support these cases the best we can. Before we use member money to launch another costly legal challenge, we first want to know how these cases are going to be handled. It may be that if they get back up to SCOTUS and the 2A community comes away with a win, we may not have to file any actions. If for some reason they are not successful, we need to clearly understand why. There is still a lot to learn and many different strategies that might have to be developed before spending a great deal of resources.
The short of it is, GOAL would love to hand Healey a defeat as she enters the corner office. However, it is a more fiscally responsible strategy to learn the disposition of these three cases prior to launching any new challenges. We also do not want any additional legal precedence in a court action loss. Such losses only build bigger walls for future challenges, something our local courts strive to do.
Association of New Jersey Rifle and Pistol Clubs, Inc. v. Bruck- https://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename=/docket/docketfiles/html/public/20-1507.html
Bianchi v. Frosh- https://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename=/docket/docketfiles/html/public/21-902.html
Duncan v. Bonta- https://www.supremecourt.gov/search.aspx?filename=/docket/docketfiles/html/public/21-1194.html