Court Decision re: Storage and Heller

RKG

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A Superior Court judge has ruled that the Massachusetts storage laws are not prohibited by the Second Amendment, per Heller, because they do not apply to firearms on the owner's person. Note that this decision assumes that the the Second Amendment applies to the Commonwealth (that is to say, it does not address the "incorporation" issue, but rather assumes it to come out our way).
 

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pdm

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Interesting. I wonder how this will go at trial (assuming this is just a pre-trial motion to dismiss, yes?).
 

Rob Boudrie

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The real problem is finding a mechanism to continue to prosecute members of the general public, but not go after the state cop who goofed.

It is interesting that they are relying on nuances of the decision, rather then an incorporation, argument. Since loss of an LTC strips all rights to possess a handgun, it would be interesting for that Marine acquited of assault, but who was denied a right guaranteed by the constitution, to bring an appeal based on Heller. If Heller "means what it says", and the court accepts that it applies to MA, he would stand a chance of getting an LTC-A (perhaps with restrictions) as the courts tend to take a dim view of depriving people of constitutional rights when they are found not guilty by a court.
 
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i am confused, and perhaps was about MA storage laws. Does this mean that when I am home, I can't take my guns out of the safe?
Correct, unless that gun is on your person and under your direct control. It is the opinion of this judge that if you take your shotgun out of the safe, carry it to your kitchen to clean it, place it on the table, then walk back to your safe to retrieve your cleaning kit, you are now in violation of MA storage laws.
 

Realtor MA

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Correct, unless that gun is on your person and under your direct control. It is the opinion of this judge that if you take your shotgun out of the safe, carry it to your kitchen to clean it, place it on the table, then walk back to your safe to retrieve your cleaning kit, you are now in violation of MA storage laws.
IIRC the gun does not have to be on your person but rather under your direct control. If you're home alone behind locked doors I can't imagine how anyone could argue that you weren't in control of the gun.

Edit: So as I reread the document I'm thinking the key word is 'store'. If there are several guns all over the apartment it's clear that they aren't all in use at the same time.
 
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Len-2A Training

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This aspect of Heller didn't look (to me) to be applicable.

I don't know the layout of this guy's condo/apt, BUT let's see if there would have been a more sensible defense here (playing "Monday morning quarterback"):

- IFF he lived on an upper floor, AND
- Access to said condo/apt was ONLY via one locked door,

. . . just maybe he could have used the defense that ALL the guns were under his direct control (assuming he didn't stupidly admit that "this is the way I store them all the time") WHILE he was in the condo/apt!

IANAL, but I'd contend that if there is only one way in/out and I'm the only person present (and possess a LTC/MG License), then all contents are "under my direct control" at that time.

BTW: Constables only do "gas shut-offs" on deadbeats and indeed usually do work with a local PO (paid detail by gas company/Constable) and a gas company worker. So this guy has other issues too. The Constable goes in with a Warrant to shut off the gas, thus has a legal right to access, the PO is brought in "to keep the peace" and as such anything they see "in plain sight" is fair game as evidence of a crime.
 

M1911

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IIRC the gun does not have to be on your person but rather under your direct control. If you're home alone behind locked doors I can't imagine how anyone could argue that you weren't in control of the gun.
What you and I think is reasonable is not necessarily the same as what a court will think. I would not expect a judge to agree with you on this one.
 

terraformer

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This aspect of Heller didn't look (to me) to be applicable.

I don't know the layout of this guy's condo/apt, BUT let's see if there would have been a more sensible defense here (playing "Monday morning quarterback"):
You must have missed this gem.
The defendant (who was in a wheelchair) had a loaded handgun in a holster at his waist. The gun was removed and the defendant was handcuffed. In plain view in the apartment, officers saw a handgun near some water bottles, and a rifle or machine gun leaning against the bedroom door. In the bedroom were additional guns around the room and on the floor, all unsecured.
Think outside the box here. He is disabled. For you and I who have full use of our extremities, the storage laws are an ineffective PITA dreamed up by idiots. For this guy they are onerous and he probably could have made a AWDA defense that he needed to store these in such a manner.
 

terraformer

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A Superior Court judge has ruled that the Massachusetts storage laws are not prohibited by the Second Amendment, per Heller, because they do not apply to firearms on the owner's person. Note that this decision assumes that the the Second Amendment applies to the Commonwealth (that is to say, it does not address the "incorporation" issue, but rather assumes it to come out our way).
Does it?
Although the Supreme Court leaves the question of the interpretation of state laws to the state courts, the Court in Heller was essentially in the position of a state court in construing the D.C. Code, since District of Columbia laws are interpreted in the first instance by the federal courts.
I would say the exact opposite by this statement. As I read it, this is clearly stating "that the 2nd is not incorporated but instead of telling you to go shove it based on a technicality I am going to play your game and tell you to go shove it based on a law (ETA: interpretation I think may be more accurate) I don't even think I am bound by." Or so that is how I read that.
 
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Bob P

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You must have missed this gem.


Think outside the box here. He is disabled. For you and I who have full use of our extremities, the storage laws are an ineffective PITA dreamed up by idiots. For this guy they are onerous and he probably could have made a AWDA defense that he needed to store these in such a manner.
Disclaimer: I do not agree with nor support the MA gun storage laws


That being said, given the law as it exists, the fact that he was carrying a piece would negate his needing to stash guns for easy access due to his disability. Your typical MA moonbat judge would rule that the gun he had on him was 'sufficient' to meet his need for self defense and the other guns weren't 'in use' but were 'stored' - thus negating any AWDA claim

I'm not saying I AGREE with this reasoning, I'm just thinking like a an anti.
 

Len-2A Training

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I didn't miss it. They didn't charge him for the gun he had in his waistband.

Can't imagine a brain-washed MA judge accepting that anyone needs more than 1 gun for self-defense.

I think making a cogent argument that if there is only one way in/out on an upper floor (no crawling in windows to break in) AND he is in the condo/apt at the time . . . that he has "direct control" of all firearms is a stronger argument (that it meets the INTENT of MGL C. 140 S.131L(a)) than AWDA (since they let him pass on the carried gun).
 

Spanz

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IIRC the gun does not have to be on your person but rather under your direct control. If you're home alone behind locked doors I can't imagine how anyone could argue that you weren't in control of the gun.

Edit: So as I reread the document I'm thinking the key word is 'store'. If there are several guns all over the apartment it's clear that they aren't all in use at the same time.
Not to be a nit picker here, but imagine:
take out shotgun to clean, go upstairs to find cleaning kit, get phone call, talk to mom, bring cleaning kit downstairs, someone broke in and stole shotgun.

Nice policeman: "so you were in the house, but upstairs when the robbery ocurred?"
About to be screwed citizen "yeah, I just went upstairs for a minute to get the clenaing kit"
Nice policeman: "so the WEAPON was out of your immediate control?"
About to be screwed citizen, getting wiser: "uh, oh...not really, I...uh"

!
 

Realtor MA

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Not to be a nit picker here, but imagine:
take out shotgun to clean, go upstairs to find cleaning kit, get phone call, talk to mom, bring cleaning kit downstairs, someone broke in and stole shotgun.

Nice policeman: "so you were in the house, but upstairs when the robbery ocurred?"
About to be screwed citizen "yeah, I just went upstairs for a minute to get the clenaing kit"
Nice policeman: "so the WEAPON was out of your immediate control?"
About to be screwed citizen, getting wiser: "uh, oh...not really, I...uh"

!
Even in this crazy State I can't believe that anyone would be charged in that instance. Please God. Tell me I'm right.
 

drgrant

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Even in this crazy State I can't believe that anyone would be charged in that instance. Please God. Tell me I'm right.
A man got nailed on safe storage for cleaning his guns and then having a heart attack. (him being carted out on a gurney = no control of guns)
Anything is possible in this dump.

There's also the suitability guillotine- eg, even if whatever you did, did not
violate a law, they can also take your license away, at the drop of a
hat.

-Mike
 
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A man got nailed on safe storage for cleaning his guns and then having a heart attack. (him being carted out on a gurney = no control of guns)
Anything is possible in this dump.

There's also the suitability guillotine- eg, even if whatever you did, did not
violate a law, they can also take your license away, at the drop of a
hat.

-Mike
Can you cite this case please?
 

Realtor MA

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A man got nailed on safe storage for cleaning his guns and then having a heart attack. (him being carted out on a gurney = no control of guns)
Anything is possible in this dump.

There's also the suitability guillotine- eg, even if whatever you did, did not
violate a law, they can also take your license away, at the drop of a
hat.

-Mike
Great. Well I've just invented a new product which should sell like crazy here in the Great Bay State. "Hoppe's #52 gun cleaning tether." Dead or alive. Wherever you go that firearm goe with you. For those that have to have multiple guns out of the safe we can offer "Hoppe's Octopus"
 
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It may not be applicable from the Heller case perspective, but the judge obviously has some reading comprehension problems when it comes to the 2nd Amendment. Every gun law in MA should be ruled unconstitutional. Your rights are being violated daily.
 

drgrant

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Can you cite this case please?
Not specifically but it's been mentioned numerous times on NES and elsewhere, from sources I'd consider reputable.

Unsecured guns = unsafe storage, if the PD really wants to push the issue. In the above case the guy could probably argue exigent
circumstances or something, but guess where the legal burden falls on- the gun owner, to dispute the bogus charge.

There are places in this state where such charges are almost a certainty- Brookline would be a prime example. Brookline will do anything
and everything to revoke an LTC.

Some anti PDs have also done the "surrender your permit or you'll get criminally charged" thing, too.

On the flip side, I know at least one person that was "let off" too, mainly because the LEO that responded wasn't a dick and just decided to let them
skate... not something I would count on, though.

-Mike
 
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It may not be applicable from the Heller case perspective, but the judge obviously has some reading comprehension problems when it comes to the 2nd Amendment.
Care to elaborate as to where the judge had some reading comprehension problems and cite the legal errors in the ruling? I am curious to learn from your legal knowledge of the specifics of the case.

Thank You.
 

namedpipes

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The answer is simple, but is in three parts:

Part 1.

"A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free State, the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed."

Source: Constitution of The United States of America"

Part 2.

Main Entry: in·fringe
Function: verb
Inflected Form(s): in·fringed; in·fring·ing
Etymology: Medieval Latin infringere, from Latin, to break, crush, from in- + frangere to break — more at break
Date: 1513
transitive verb
1: to encroach upon in a way that violates law or the rights of another <infringe a patent>
2obsolete : defeat, frustrate
intransitive verb
: encroach —used with on or upon<infringe on our rights>
synonyms see trespass
— in·fring·er noun

Source: http://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/infringe


Part 3.

SCOTUS holds that RKBA is an individual right, not a collective right.

SCOTUS / Heller http://www.supremecourtus.gov/opinions/07pdf/07-290.pdf


Summary:

If 2A affirms the right to keep and bear arms, without infringement, and if Heller affirms that right is individual, then clearly anything that violates that right is unconstitutional.

Keeping and Bearing encompasses storage and carry, obviously. Placing restrictions on those are clearly infringements.

I'm a bit handler by trade, not a lawyer, so I'm sure someone will pop up with a reason why this clear logic isn't correct, even though it is.

Now, since I'm a bit handler, I'm off to handle some bits.
 

Another_David

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In plain view in the apartment, officers saw a handgun near some water bottles, and a rifle or machine gun leaning against the bedroom door. In the bedroom were additional guns around the room and on the floor, all unsecured.
Walk in to your average gun store and you see the same. How are they any different?

(the big-box stores do lock their guns because their area is not attended)
 
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