Skip to comments.DA appeals court rulings in weapons case
Posted on 03/06/2009 7:13:47 AM PST by marktwain
Billerica, Mass. - Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone is seeking to preserve gun safety laws by fighting two court rulings that could loosen gun storage regulations.
Leones office filed an appeal in the state appeals court, disputing a Lowell District Court decision to dismiss gun charges against a Billerica man for improperly storing a firearm and possessing a firearm without a valid firearm identification card.
Richard Runyans lawyers argued the charges against him were unconstitutional based on a Supreme Court case, Washington, D.C. versus Heller, ruling individuals have a right to posses weapons for self-defense and requiring that handguns be inoperable while stored restricts that right.
But Leone said requiring gun owners to keep their firearms disassembled or locked keeps people safe.
In this case, we argue that current Massachusetts law works to assure that firearms are secured so that only the registered owner can use it and that it does so without infringing on a persons Second Amendment rights, Leone said in a statement. We believe that this is a fundamental issue of firearm and child safety, and we will continue to present our arguments to the court.
Leone said the Bay State has gun storage laws in place to prevent firearms from falling into the wrong hands and preventing accidental shootings, particularly by children, as in the Runyan case.
On April 1, 2008, Billerica police were called to the Fernwood Road home of Runyan, for a report of a BB gun shot through a window. Police found Runyans 18-year-old son, Alexander, shooting a BB gun out the window at his neighbor, William Durant. Officers seized the BB gun from Alexander, who has Down syndrome.
Alexander, who was home alone during the day, showed police his fathers bedroom where they found two other guns stored under the bed in soft g carrying cases. Officers found a 12-gauge shotgun bound by a trigger lock and an unsecured semi-automatic hunting rifle, according to police reports.
Police later discovered Runyans firearm identification card expired in September 2005.
On Aug. 14, Runyan filed an instant motion to dismiss the gun charges against him.
Middlesex Assistant District Attorneys Sean Griffith and Kerryanne Kilcoyne argued that current Massachusetts law does not restrict an individuals right to carry a firearm, as guaranteed by the Second Amendment. Kilcoyne and Griffith also argued that in Supreme Court ruling of Washington D.C. v. Heller, the Court was clear that its decision did not undermine any laws regulating the storage of firearms to prevent accidents, as Leone said the states law does.
[Massachusetts law] does not ban the possession of functional firearms, only the improper storage, said reads the district attorney's appeal. Massachusetts law rules firearms must be stored so they can only be operated by the owner and requires they be equipped with a tamper-resistant mechanical lock or other safety device.
Since a threat to the public peace and order is great when a weapon is involved, surely, a state must be able to regulate the use and storage or firearms so as to protect and maintain the safety of its citizens, said prosecutors in their filing.
Prosecutors cited this as pertinent to the Runyan case, where the defendants son, who police believed to be severely handicapped, not only had knowledge on where his father kept additional guns but had easy access to and the potential use of unsecured firearms.
Middlesex District Attorney Gerry Leone is seeking to infringe on constitutional rights by fighting two court rulings that could loosen gun storage regulations.
When you start with a false premise, you're almost guaranteed a false conclusion.
The unlimited legal resources of the state DRIVES ME UP THE WALL. LEAVE US CITIZENS ALONE.
Your version of the first sentence would have been more accurate.
Forgive me if I’m wrong, but didn’t Heller specifically address the trigger lock issue in the ruling?
I am disappointed and concerned that the author voiced these opinions while improperly storing the computer used to exercise her free speech and freedom of the press rights, and that she is in possession of a computer without a valid First Amendment Identification Card ... I would say that requiring computer owners to keep their computers disassembled or locked keeps people safe ... Since a threat to the public peace and order is great when political speech is involved, surely, a state must be able to regulate the use and storage or computers so as to protect and maintain the safety of its citizens.
I seriously consider the propaganda spread by ACORN and other socialists, by HCI and other gun grabbers, and by Obama and other totalitarians to be a far greater danger to the public than firearms are. Is there a material difference between my (admittedly unconstitutional) comments and the ones in this article?
In other words, they are arguing that if a husband owns a firearm which he keeps in his home, and his wife and children are at home while he is away at work, current Massachusetts law works to assure that they will be helpless victims of any home invasion...