• If you enjoy the forum please consider supporting it by signing up for a NES Membership  The benefits pay for the membership many times over.

Lawsuit filed against FLRB

Boston4567

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
676
Likes
920
Location
Merrimack Valley
You're exactly right. This is NO DIFFERENT than if the DEA told the Cannabis Control Commision not to issue retail cannabis license because that would be in violation of federal law. The state used to defend and support it's law regarding the FLRB, even under Deval Patrick's administration. The no longer do that.

It's different because state law explicitly and unambiguously incorporates federal law.

The correct comparison would be if state had a provision that said anyone not allowed to possess marijuana under federal law was not eligible to purchase marijuana under state law. In that situation, the Cannabis Control Commission would be in violation of state law if they issued licenses to sell marijuana.

Right now, any licensing authority that issues an FID or LTC to someone who has received FLRB restoration is violating state law if the person is a fed PP.

I don't know what the solution is here, but I do know state law is clear as day here. The issue is with whether federal law makes you a PP.
 
Rating - 100%
26   0   0
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
7,734
Likes
4,856
Location
My forest stronghold
It's different because state law explicitly and unambiguously incorporates federal law.

The correct comparison would be if state had a provision that said anyone not allowed to possess marijuana under federal law was not eligible to purchase marijuana under state law. In that situation, the Cannabis Control Commission would be in violation of state law if they issued licenses to sell marijuana.

Right now, any licensing authority that issues an FID or LTC to someone who has received FLRB restoration is violating state law if the person is a fed PP.

I don't know what the solution is here, but I do know state law is clear as day here. The issue is with whether federal law makes you a PP.
Ok Clarence Darrow. Most of the attorneys who deal with this think otherwise.
 

JJ4

NES Member
Rating - 100%
7   0   0
Joined
Jan 15, 2013
Messages
3,007
Likes
1,524
Location
South Central MA
Right now, any licensing authority that issues an FID or LTC to someone who has received FLRB restoration is violating state law if the person is a fed PP.

I believe the issue is that FLRB restoration makes a person no-longer-PP, or at least that is the intention.

It's circular logic trap:
- The Feds say you are a PP because MA said that you were.
- MA now says you are not a PP because they have restored your rights.
- The Feds say "no backsies". You are PP because MA said you were even though they now say you are not.
 

Boston4567

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
676
Likes
920
Location
Merrimack Valley
Ok Clarence Darrow. Most of the attorneys who deal with this think otherwise.

Maybe I'm not explaining my point well. I'm interested in the angle of attack here. I think what really matters is whether or not ATF's interpretation of federal law is correct. There are real questions there. But those questions can only be answered by a federal court.

The FLRB is required to follow state law. To the extent they don't meet, and to the extent they refuse to grant relief to qualified petitioners, they're breaking state law. I'm confident you could get a state court to agree.

But even if they do grant relief, it's futile once the application moves on to the licensing authority, because FLRB action is so narrowly defined. FLRB relief only restores a person's rights "with respect to such conviction or adjudication and that such conviction or adjudication shall not prohibit such petitioner from applying to a licensing authority," MGL c. 140 §130B.

FLRB relief doesn't require the licensing authority to issue. They still have to follow the full provisions of § 131, including the "federal law" catchall provision.

MGL c. 140 §131 says "no such license shall be issued [if possession of a firearm] would be in violation of state or federal law," and "[a] license issued under this section shall be revoked [...] upon the occurrence of any event that would have disqualified the holder from being issued such license[.]"

The controlling federal agency (ATF) is saying these people are PP notwithstanding FLRB relief. It's hard to imagine a state court not deferring to their judgment if the licensing authority refuses to issue on the basis of that "federal law" provision. And even if they did, that person would still be in jeopardy of federal prosecution. What we really need is federal clarification of Logan v. U.S.

---

EDIT: Wrote this before I saw Knuckle Dragger's response in another thread, he's way ahead of me: Mass LTC Holders with FLRB Reliefs Will Be revoked !
 
Last edited:
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
966
Likes
803
All about control none of us flrb guys are the same people we were years ago I’m sure and to be disqualified and judged for life on a misdemeanor is closed minded and insulting. Even career criminals get paroled at some point. GO JASON AND COMM2a !!
 

Comm2A

Director Comm2a
Dealer
NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Jun 20, 2010
Messages
149
Likes
1,072
We want to provide NES members with an update on this issue. Comm2A has committed to supporting about a dozen of these appeals for folks in various locations and using various attorneys. We want to create an issue that runs up the judicial food chain and forces a definitive ruling. We're covering half of the cost to appeal these denials in district court up to a maximum amount.

Court dates are dragging out a bit and we don't have any decisions yet. However, a couple of judges are very interested in the issue of whether the federal government can order a state agency to ignore state law. They clearly see a parallel between this issue and the issue of Massachusetts going its own way on marijuana and immigration. It's a tremendous help also that police chiefs have been willing to go on record in support of the affected gun owners.

One important caveat and warning: A favorable outcome that restores Massachusetts firearms licenses for successful FLRB petitioners will NOT resolve the underlying federal issue. These folks are still prohibited persons under federal law and must conduct themselves accordingly.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
966
Likes
803
I believe the issue is that FLRB restoration makes a person no-longer-PP, or at least that is the intention.

It's circular logic trap:
- The Feds say you are a PP because MA said that you were.
- MA now says you are not a PP because they have restored your rights.
- The Feds say "no backsies". You are PP because MA said you were even though they now say you are not.
Well put !! So where does the confusion take place !!
 

BUMPA01603

NES Member
Rating - 100%
66   0   0
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
3,692
Likes
12,293
We want to provide NES members with an update on this issue. Comm2A has committed to supporting about a dozen of these appeals for folks in various locations and using various attorneys. We want to create an issue that runs up the judicial food chain and forces a definitive ruling. We're covering half of the cost to appeal these denials in district court up to a maximum amount.

Court dates are dragging out a bit and we don't have any decisions yet. However, a couple of judges are very interested in the issue of whether the federal government can order a state agency to ignore state law. They clearly see a parallel between this issue and the issue of Massachusetts going its own way on marijuana and immigration. It's a tremendous help also that police chiefs have been willing to go on record in support of the affected gun owners.

One important caveat and warning: A favorable outcome that restores Massachusetts firearms licenses for successful FLRB petitioners will NOT resolve the underlying federal issue. These folks are still prohibited persons under federal law and must conduct themselves accordingly.

Kudos to you and your organization! We appreciate your efforts! Keep the updates coming
 
Rating - 100%
26   0   0
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
7,734
Likes
4,856
Location
My forest stronghold
Any word on legal costs from anyone reguarding the cost of all this legal wrangling ?
These folks are already several thousand dollars into it by the time they hire an attorney for the FLRB petition. FLRB petitions should be, and are designed to be self-service. But most people still hire an attorney and are smart to do so. Appealing the illegal revocation of these LTC represents and additional cost to the folks.

Comm2A has initially committed to a cost-sharing the cost of the district court appeals for up to 12 people. Those are going well. However, the real fun will start when the state refuses the district court's order to reinstate these licenses. We've allocated funds for those too :)

Just yesterday a judge ordered a (very willing) police chief to reinstate someone's license. We're very eager to see how the FRB responds. This issue hits a lot of nerves. The police chiefs are pissed off that they're being told what to do, especially since it's contrary to state law. Judges are getting it too, including and especially some more 'liberal' judges. They seem really interested that the FRB is ignoring state law simply to appease the feds which is completely contrary to the Commonwealth's policy choices in the age of Trump.

Stay tuned folks, this one is really fun.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
966
Likes
803
These folks are already several thousand dollars into it by the time they hire an attorney for the FLRB petition. FLRB petitions should be, and are designed to be self-service. But most people still hire an attorney and are smart to do so. Appealing the illegal revocation of these LTC represents and additional cost to the folks.

Comm2A has initially committed to a cost-sharing the cost of the district court appeals for up to 12 people. Those are going well. However, the real fun will start when the state refuses the district court's order to reinstate these licenses. We've allocated funds for those too :)

Just yesterday a judge ordered a (very willing) police chief to reinstate someone's license. We're very eager to see how the FRB responds. This issue hits a lot of nerves. The police chiefs are pissed off that they're being told what to do, especially since it's contrary to state law. Judges are getting it too, including and especially some more 'liberal' judges. They seem really interested that the FRB is ignoring state law simply to appease the feds which is completely contrary to the Commonwealth's policy choices in the age of Trump.

Stay tuned folks, this one is really fun.
Do you know what town that was in ?
 
Rating - 100%
26   0   0
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
7,734
Likes
4,856
Location
My forest stronghold
Do you know what town that was in ?
I'm not going to say yet because the judge ruled from the bench. As we get more of these in and they're written decisions, we'll get them listed.

We're bringing these appeals in different towns and counties so that as they're appeal, we either get a split or a bunch of decisions in our favor. We've only had 3-4 of these hearings and only one decision. Several more hearings are scheduled for September and October. This is just getting started.
 
Last edited:

Len-2A Training

Instructor
Instructor
NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 98.6%
71   1   0
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
53,368
Likes
12,344
Location
90% in NH
What is the hoped for end-result?

Having a LTC and PP Federal status isn't a good position for the victim.

MA isn't about to disenfranchise convicted felons from voting/holding political office, so nobody can restore those rights that were never taken away, thus FLRB function is really as useful as tits on a bull.

MA governors aren't going to be giving pardons to convicted felons so that they can get their legitimate gun rights back either.

The Feds aren't going to change their criteria for what amounts to restoration of rights.

I see this as a Mexican stand-off and nothing more.

Thus my question?
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
966
Likes
803
What is the hoped for end-result?

Having a LTC and PP Federal status isn't a good position for the victim.

MA isn't about to disenfranchise convicted felons from voting/holding political office, so nobody can restore those rights that were never taken away, thus FLRB function is really as useful as tits on a bull.

MA governors aren't going to be giving pardons to convicted felons so that they can get their legitimate gun rights back either.

The Feds aren't going to change their criteria for what amounts to restoration of rights.

I see this as a Mexican stand-off and nothing more.

Thus my question?
Those of us who have thousands of dollars and countless hours into leg work and multiple court appearances defending oneself against minor offenses are hoping for a better outcome ! The right to bear arms is the second best right to have in this country. The first is the right to vote.
 

Len-2A Training

Instructor
Instructor
NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 98.6%
71   1   0
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
53,368
Likes
12,344
Location
90% in NH
Those of us who have thousands of dollars and countless hours into leg work and multiple court appearances defending oneself against minor offenses are hoping for a better outcome ! The right to bear arms is the second best right to have in this country. The first is the right to vote.
I understand your desire. I also understand the Fed and MGL that the issue is based upon. I don't see a positive way for those to ever merge in MA.

So I was asking what the endpoint is. Get court rulings that say x? Get a court to force all the minor BS crimes to fall under the PP threshold? Etc. KD may be able to answer but the non-lawyer types (other than the Comm2A principals).
 
Rating - 100%
26   0   0
Joined
Jan 5, 2008
Messages
7,734
Likes
4,856
Location
My forest stronghold
What is the hoped for end-result?

Having a LTC and PP Federal status isn't a good position for the victim.

MA isn't about to disenfranchise convicted felons from voting/holding political office, so nobody can restore those rights that were never taken away, thus FLRB function is really as useful as tits on a bull.

MA governors aren't going to be giving pardons to convicted felons so that they can get their legitimate gun rights back either.

The Feds aren't going to change their criteria for what amounts to restoration of rights.

I see this as a Mexican stand-off and nothing more.

Thus my question?
That's a good and relevant question. At a minimum it's important to restore the status quo. The fact that Massachusetts has this process that allows people to regain their rights is important. We need to defend it even if the feds don't recognize that restoration. The federal courts have already been open to misdefelony challenges. A state level restoration process should only strengthen that type of challenge.

It's also important to call 'bull shit' when the state selectively chooses to abandon its sovereignty. Conflict is endemic to federalism, but when since when does a state allow the feds to direct a state agency to ignore state law without putting up a fight? Massachusetts is more than willing to fight the feds on marijuana, immigration, and other issues. But cuz guns', the FRB thinks it's okay to state statute, will of the legislature and submit to the federal bureaucracy. The legislature may be right or they may be wrong in passing some laws, but it's not the place of the state bureaucracy to subvert its own law.

So, why hasn't Comm2A used one of the FLRB relief recipients to challenge the feds?????? That's a simple answer. FLRB relief is too much of a good thing. In every case we've looked at to date, it would have been too easy for a federal prosecutor to prove that an FLRB plaintiff had violated federal law at some point by being unlawfully in possession of a firearm.
 

VetteGirlMA

NES Member
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Feb 3, 2015
Messages
4,270
Likes
7,069
Location
western mass
If comm2a and the victims do win I just hope that we never get a hard nosed gun grabbing liberal in the White House or the jig could be up for them. They would feel like illegal aliens.
 

Len-2A Training

Instructor
Instructor
NES Life Member
NES Member
Rating - 98.6%
71   1   0
Joined
Feb 26, 2005
Messages
53,368
Likes
12,344
Location
90% in NH
That's a good and relevant question. At a minimum it's important to restore the status quo. The fact that Massachusetts has this process that allows people to regain their rights is important. We need to defend it even if the feds don't recognize that restoration. The federal courts have already been open to misdefelony challenges. A state level restoration process should only strengthen that type of challenge.

It's also important to call 'bull shit' when the state selectively chooses to abandon its sovereignty. Conflict is endemic to federalism, but when since when does a state allow the feds to direct a state agency to ignore state law without putting up a fight? Massachusetts is more than willing to fight the feds on marijuana, immigration, and other issues. But cuz guns', the FRB thinks it's okay to state statute, will of the legislature and submit to the federal bureaucracy. The legislature may be right or they may be wrong in passing some laws, but it's not the place of the state bureaucracy to subvert its own law.

So, why hasn't Comm2A used one of the FLRB relief recipients to challenge the feds?????? That's a simple answer. FLRB relief is too much of a good thing. In every case we've looked at to date, it would have been too easy for a federal prosecutor to prove that an FLRB plaintiff had violated federal law at some point by being unlawfully in possession of a firearm.
Thank you. Now I have a better understanding of what you hope to achieve.
 

Boston4567

NES Member
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Mar 1, 2018
Messages
676
Likes
920
Location
Merrimack Valley
What is the hoped for end-result?

Having a LTC and PP Federal status isn't a good position for the victim.

MA isn't about to disenfranchise convicted felons from voting/holding political office, so nobody can restore those rights that were never taken away, thus FLRB function is really as useful as tits on a bull.

MA governors aren't going to be giving pardons to convicted felons so that they can get their legitimate gun rights back either.

The Feds aren't going to change their criteria for what amounts to restoration of rights.

I see this as a Mexican stand-off and nothing more.

Thus my question?
My understanding of the game plan:

1. Get state to overrule FLRB, meaning existing licenses are reinstated and new FLRB petitions may be filed and ruled upon.

2. Find the "right" plaintiff to apply for and obtain FLRB relief. The "right" plaintiff is one federal prosecutors can't show has possessed a firearm while a prohibited person.

3. After FLRB relief, sue in federal court. Probably no need to even push a 2A argument, because statutory law is sufficient.

What's key here is that ATF's interpretation is powerfully silly, and I seriously doubt even a leftist district court would uphold it. I doubt this would need to go as far as SCOTUS. Basically the ATF is claiming gun rights aren't a civil right. They're relying on a definition of "civil right" spelled out in dicta in a unanimous decision that was issued the year before Heller.

There is a 0% chance that 9 Supreme Court justices believed guns weren't a civil right on December 2007 and 5 of those 9 changed their mind by June 2008. The Court in 2007 just listed in passing what civil rights were under existing case law at that time. If the dates of the decisions were reversed, Logan v. U.S. would have listed gun rights. It's that simple. But ATF decided to go full retard.
 
Rating - 100%
6   0   0
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
38,829
Likes
17,677
But ATF decided to go full retard.
California has a procedure for first time domestic violence convicts to apply for 2A rights restoration. I believe that the current BATFE logic sprung from a desire on the part of the feds to nullify this.
 

amm5061

NES Member
Rating - 100%
1   0   0
Joined
Jun 20, 2016
Messages
7,278
Likes
5,605
Location
Holliston, MA
Look, if nothing else, the opportunity to call out the Commonwealth and bloody their nose in their own courts is too great a temptation to pass up.

This should be done at every opportunity; it is an important tool for keeping the State in check. To me, that's why Qualified Immunity is so dangerous. It strips away the only civil tool we the people have to hold individuals, and the .gov in general, directly accountable for actions which run contrary to the good of the people. Of course, this is why we have a 2nd Amendment.
 

rocket500

NES Member
Rating - 100%
46   0   0
Joined
Jul 9, 2012
Messages
2,912
Likes
906
Not being a lawyer I wonder if it would be possible to legislatively revise the process so that after FLRB rules in someone’s favor the case is either re-opened and the conviction somehow reversed or the ruling is pushed to the Governor with a recommendation of a pardon?

I’m guessing this might be easier than a federal lawsuit if the political will existed but I’m guessing it doesn’t because guns.
 
Rating - 0%
0   0   0
Joined
Jul 18, 2018
Messages
966
Likes
803
Not being a lawyer I wonder if it would be possible to legislatively revise the process so that after FLRB rules in someone’s favor the case is either re-opened and the conviction somehow reversed or the ruling is pushed to the Governor with a recommendation of a pardon?

I’m guessing this might be easier than a federal lawsuit if the political will existed but I’m guessing it doesn’t because guns.
Let’s get our LTC’s back and then petition the governor ??
 
Rating - 100%
6   0   0
Joined
Apr 24, 2005
Messages
38,829
Likes
17,677
Remember, pardons in MA come with and without restoration of gun rights. It is going to be a tough sell to get a pardon w/gun rights for a politically hot crime like first offense OUI. What governor hoping for re-election is going to come out as soft on OUI and Pro-Gun at the same time?

If anyone know of someone with an FLRB relief who has never owned guns, or surrendered the immediately after the original charge and never took possession, please contact Comm2A. The ideal person would be one with an OUI who has FLRB relief and never been a gun owner but wants to become one.

This issue is the legal equivalent of peeling an onion.
 
Top Bottom