Before everyone gets hysterical with their belief of the floodgates opening due to the recent deicision by the supreme court in MCDONALD ET AL. v. CITY OF CHICAGO, ILLINOIS, ET AL. CERTIORARI TO THE UNITED STATES COURT OF APPEALS FOR THE SEVENTH CIRCUIT No. 08–1521 Argued March 2, 2010—Decided June 28, 2010, I would like to point out that Macdonald, in its holding, is simply an application of Heller to the states.
In Macdonald, the city of Chicago tried to get cute with its licensing, by requiring a registration of all firearms but then refusing to register the guns. No doubt there will be some local hysteria produced by both sides to the argument, all in efforts to advance their ultimate goals. I would like to refer those who have issues with the holding or seek to use it as “proof” that municipal of state governments cannot regulate firearms at all to Justice Scalia’s words in the holding of this very case –
“It is important to keep in mind that Heller, while striking down a law that prohibited the possession of handguns in the home, recognized that the right to keep and bear arms is not “a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.” 554 U. S., at ___ (slip op., at 54). We made it clear in Heller that our holding did not cast doubt on such longstanding regulatory measures as “prohibitions on the possession of firearms by felons and the mentally ill,” “laws forbidding the carrying of firearms in sensitive places such as schools and government buildings, or laws imposing conditions and qualifications on the commercial sale of arms.” Id., at ___–___ (slip op., at 54–55). We repeat those assurances here. Despite municipal respondents’ doomsday proclamations, incorporation does not imperil every law regulating firearms.”
So essentially, a quick overview of our firearms licensing statutes under Chapter 140 sections 121 to 131 would appear to have a negligible impact by Macdonald. Will there be an increase in challenges by gun owners who are disqaulified for the statutorily enumerated reasons? No doubt. Will they succeed? Its doubtful, especially in light of the SJC’s decision in Runyan. In looking at Justice Scalia’s comments, it seems rather obvious that the plain language of our Firearm regulatory laws is neither an overreach or burden on the rights incorporated by the 2nd Amendment as defined by Heller and now Macdonald. The lesson learned from both Heller and Macdonald, is that a regulating authority may not get greedy. There are some issuing authorities in Massachusetts that have a blanket policy of not issuing LTC’s or FID’s at all. Under these rulings, once the appeal is made to district court, those Chiefs are going to lose unless a statutory disclaimer is present. But for the rest, their practices in issuing shouldn’t change at all.
Attorney Ronald A. Sellon