Second Amendment of the U.S. Constitution states: “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. U.S. Const. amend II.”
Supreme Court ruled that the Second Amendment guarantees the individual right to posses a firearm in the home for the purpose of self defense. See District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008). And the Fourteenth Amendment provides: “No State shall … deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law”. U.S. Const. amend IV. The court held that the the Second Amendment “is fully applicable against the States.” McDonald v. Chicago, 561 U.S. 742 (2010).
Massachusetts is famous for being one of the most toughest states in regulating firearms. Just by looking at the M.L. Section 131: Licenses to carry firearms; conditions and restrictions says a lot. The law begins not with rights; it sets out restrictions. In other words, M.G.L. c. 140 §131 authorizes a licensing authority to place restrictions on the license, preventing the licensee from lawfully carrying a handgun on his person outside of his home. Residents of Massachusetts must obtain a license to both purchase and possess firearms, ammunition, and feeding devices. M.G.L. c. 140, §§ 129C, 131, 131E, c269 § 10. Under M.G.L. c. 140, § 129B., a Firearms Identification Card is a “shall-issue” license, if an applicant meets statutory requirements.
Local Police Chiefs/Commissioners administer firearms licensing for any person residing or having a place of business within the jurisdiction of the licensing authority. M.G.L. c. 140, §§ 121, 129B, and 131. Most of the time, the judge sides with the police deeming a petitioner who has had small indiscretions with the law in his or her teens and now a business owner and/or has a family, too dangerous to ever exercise their right to protect themselves and their loved ones.
Politics and money create a legal system reflecting the society. Question comes to mind is how the right became a restricted permit? In simple terms, some people are so scared of guns and gun violence that they would rather have no protection for themselves and others thinking they will be insulated by circumstances others aren’t as fortunate.
The police aren’t at our beck and call nor should they be. Many folks working in law enforcement put their lives on a line to protect us and do their best. They do reserve the right to protect themselves first and exercise their discretion whether the call is a true emergency. Police also can be very busy and cannot arrive fast enough. In 2005, U.S. Supreme Court ruled that Police doesn’t have a constitutional duty to protect. See Castle Rock v. Gonzales, 545 U.S. 748 (2005), is a United States Supreme Court case in which the Court ruled, 7–2 (Alito and Ginsberg dissented), that a town and its police department could not be sued under 42 U.S.C. §1983 for failing to enforce a restraining order, which had led to the murder of a woman’s three children that the estranged husband kidnapped earlier during the day and the police used their discretion and ignored a judge who ordered restraining order.
Without going into analysis as to how and why the children were kidnapped with an active restraining order that police chose to ignore and argument that restraining orders are given out too easily, the judge ordered it, the order was in place and the system failed Mrs. Gonzales who did everything right to protect herself and her children. This means that while a criminal element doesn’t care to obtain firearms legally, you are on your own!
By Margarita Smirnova
This post is for informational and educational use only and does not create attorney-client relationship.