BELLEVUE, WA – The Second Amendment Foundation has been joined by several other groups and Second Amendment scholars in filing an amicus brief with the First U.S. Court of Appeals supporting a challenge of the Massachusetts semi-auto rifle ban.
Joining SAF are the Cato Institute, the Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Millennial Policy Center and the Independence Institute. The case is known as Worman v. Healey.
The case centers on a simple question: Can a state ban arms that are in common use by law-abiding citizens?
“We could hardly ignore a case of such importance,” said SAF founder and Executive Vice President Alan M. Gottlieb. “The ban on so-called ‘assault weapons’ now being enforced in Massachusetts under Attorney General Maura Healey’s expanded definition is both arbitrary and unconstitutional. It cannot be allowed to stand, based on common sense and principles set down by the U.S. Supreme Court in the 2008 Heller ruling.
“This case,” he added, “goes right to the heart of the right of a citizen to choose appropriate arms for self-defense and other lawful purposes. As our brief explains, the high court has emphasized twice that the Second Amendment protection is not limited only to weapons useful in warfare, nor does that fact that a particular firearm might have military utility deprive it of Second Amendment protection.
“Because the law includes an exemption for law enforcement and retired law enforcement,” he added, “clearly demonstrates that these arms are suitable for self-defense because all arms carried by law enforcement are for defensive purposes.”
The state hasn’t offered any evidence that the banned firearms are not commonly-owned, and the burden of proof falls on the state, he noted.
“The amicus brief puts it bluntly,” Gottlieb said. “The ban is unconstitutional.”