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U.S. court weighs challenge to Boston gun restrictions

Yahoo News

BOSTON (Reuters) – A federal appeals court on Wednesday weighed whether the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to carry guns in public for self-defense in a lawsuit challenging the firearm licensing policies of two Massachusetts municipalities including Boston.

The arguments before the 1st U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in Boston marked the latest instance in which a federal appeals court has weighed the extent the Constitution’s Second Amendment protects the right to carry firearms outside of a person’s home.  

The extent of the right to gun ownership is one of the most hotly contested debates in the United States, which has seen a steady stream of mass shootings in recent years.

Gun-rights activists hope that appellate court rulings prompt the U.S. Supreme Court to take up its first major gun rights case since 2010.

David Thompson, a lawyer for the gun-rights organization Commonwealth Second Amendment, in court argued Boston and Brookline had imposed an unconstitutional requirement that firearm license applicants to prove they had a specific reason to fear violence.

“I don’t believe there’s any historical law from the time of the founding that imposed on law-abiding citizens the need to prove to the government that they had some concern about their safety,” he argued.

He cited a 2008 ruling in which the Supreme Court held the Second Amendment guaranteed a right to keep a handgun in one’s home for self-defense.

But lawyers for Boston and Brookline urged the three-judge panel to affirm a ruling from December that held that the restrictions do not violate the right of citizens to bear arms under the Second Amendment.

They argued Thompson was wrong in contending the policies amounted to a flat ban on carrying handguns in public as a quarter of applicants had obtained unrestricted licenses, a fact U.S. Circuit Judge Bruce Selya noted.

“It provides open opportunities for people to be able to carry,” Selya said.

The arguments came after a different federal appeals court on Tuesday in a case involving Hawaii held the Second Amendment guarantees a right to carry a gun in public for self-defense, joining two other circuit courts that have ruled on the issue.

Three others have reached contrary conclusions, creating a split that could prompt the Supreme Court to intervene.

Republican President Donald Trump is seeking to fill a vacant Supreme Court seat and make the court more conservative, raising the prospect it may take up more gun-rights cases.

(Reporting by Nate Raymond in Boston; Editing by Lisa Shumaker)


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6 Responses to U.S. court weighs challenge to Boston gun restrictions

  1. Martist says:

    “A federal appeals court on Wednesday weighed whether the U.S. Constitution guarantees a right to carry guns in public for self-defense…”

    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.

    There. I figured it out for ya, geniuses.

    • Former Railroader says:

      Please re-read the magic parchment called the Constitution.
      Read the part in the body of the document regarding Militias.
      Who is in charge of and controls the Militias?
      It is the the people in government.

      • Martist says:

        “Who are the militia? Are they not ourselves? Is it feared, then, that we shall turn our arms each man against his own bosom? Congress shall have no power to disarm the militia. Their swords, and every other terrible implement of the soldier, are the birth-right of an American … The unlimited power of the sword is not in the hands of either the federal or state governments, but where I trust in God it will ever remain, in the hands of the People.”
        — Tench Coxe, 1788

        Article I section 8 clause 15 and 16 refer to their militia, not the People’s militia.

  2. Norm says:

    Yeah, Fkn Ditto to what I said yesterday…. Who do these maggots think they are, or more pertinent, who we are?

    DTTNWO and All who serve it…

  3. Jolly Roger says:

    I’m tired of the endless debates that we all know the outcome of, and I’ve had it with anybody’s gun laws. The actual shooting is long overdue.

  4. JoeSTP says:

    “U.S. court weighs challenge” They better start weighing there survival curve, the people are coming!!!

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