In the case of Commonwealth v. Jason Loadholt, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled on whether a defendant’s criminal prosecution for Unlawful Possession of a Firearm and Ammunition is violative of a person’s ‘right to bear arms’ as guaranteed by the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution.
In his appeal to the SJC for his Gun/Firearms Charges, the defendant claimed that Massachusetts could not prosecute him for the various gun and ammunitions charges for not first having obtained a Firearms Identification Card because the United States Constitution guaranteed him, via the Second Amendment, his ‘Right to Bear Arms’.
In rejecting the defendant’s Constitutional claims in his appeal, the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court reasoned, citing United States v. Cruikshank, that the Second Amendment “does not by its own force apply to anyone other than the Federal Government.” Rather, the Second Amendment means that it shall not be infringed any further by Congress, as opposed to the States. The Court explained that the Second Amendment “is one of the amendments that has no other effect than to restrict the powers of the national government.”
At the end of the day, the Massachusetts Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees only an individuals right to keep and bear arms for defensive purposes. Without explicit saying as much, the Court seems to have upheld the requirement of obtaining a Firearms Identification Card for purposes of firearms and ammunition possession.
If you have been charged with Gun/Firearms Charges such as Unlawful Possession of a Firearm or Ammunition or Carrying a Loaded Firearm, it is important for you to speak with a Massachusetts Criminal Defense Attorney who has the experience and expertise to defend you.
With several years’ experience as a Boston Criminal Defense Lawyer, I am available 24/7 to held defend your gun charges. To schedule a Free Consultation to discuss your criminal case, Submit Your Case Online, e-mail, or call me directly at 617-325-9500.