Skip to comments.SJC backs trigger-lock law on guns in homes
Posted on 03/11/2010 12:21:32 PM PST by neverdem
In a case that drew attention from the Gun Owners Action League and the Brady Center to Prevent Gun Violence, the Supreme Judicial Court yesterday upheld a state law requiring trigger locks on guns kept in peoples homes.
In what was seen by some as a victory for law enforcement and advocates of gun control, the states highest court ruled that the Second Amendment does not restrict the right of Massachusetts to impose its own rules on gun ownership.
We conclude that the legal obligation safely to secure firearms in [state law] is not unconstitutional, Justice Ralph Gants wrote for the unanimous court.
The gunlock case involved Richard Runyan, a Billerica man facing prosecution for keeping a rifle under his bed without a trigger lock. Police in 2007 discovered the firearm as they investigated complaints that Runyans then-18-year-old developmentally disabled son was shooting a BB gun at a neighbors house.
A Lowell District Court judge threw out the case. Middlesex District Attorney Gerard T. Leone Jr.s office appealed in 2009.
Leone said in a telephone interview yesterday that the SJC had struck the proper balance between the right to self defense and the right of society to prevent tragedies such as a child mishandling a loaded firearm...
In yesterdays SJC cases, Justice Gants wrote that an 1875 US Supreme Court ruling (called Cruikshank) remains in force and gives Massachusetts the authority to chart its own course when it comes to regulating firearms and ammunition...
(Excerpt) Read more at boston.com ...
I should have elaborated a bit more. Since they cited Cruikshank, the spawn of Slaughterhouse which basically tossed the "privileges & immunities" clause of the 14th Amendment, could this MA SJC decision affect SCOTUS' reasoning to reconsider Slaughterhouse? Thanks for your comments.
You can subtly hint that I must be some sort of moron for taking something presented in a forum at face value, but considering the sheer volume of absolutely idiotic legislation and regulation that pervades our nation, it is not unreasonable to assume that some municipality, somewhere, has conjured this sort of legal sorcery into being and that a fact check is warranted.
For that reason only, I believe it is much likelier that the Court will leave the Slaughter House cases alone, than reverse them. I agree with the logic of reversing them. but that's the harder way to reach the same result.
John / Billybob
A stupid, unenforceable law...
Why only home owners? Why don’t they require armed home invaders to have trigger locks? Why don’t they require police to have trigger locks?
This is double bull.
When the trigger lock is removed, you can have a gun accident.
I have several friends that are PA State Police and none of them has a trigger lock on any of their weapons.
Where are these police officers that you refer to?
States cannot transgress the 2nd amendment any more than they can the 1st. This is precisely why the 10th amendment basically procliams that ‘rights not enumerated above’ are left to the states. The 2nd is most decidedly enumerated above.
By your logic, states could enact speech codes ‘on-top’ of the 1st amendment.
Not how it works, bub.
I wonder if someone broke into your home in Mass and you dispatched him with a few well placed blasts, if his estate would sue you because you did not have a trigger lock installed because if you did, he would have gotten to you before you had a chance to shoot?
Hey state officials, I got your trigger lock right here!
I’d suggest you give some serious thought to your statement.
The second amendment clearly states that the right to keep and bear arms shall not be infringed.
That phrase is inclusive — local, state and federal laws, rules and regulations may not infringe on our God given right to bear arms so as to protect ourselves and our families.
I’m SURE that issue will eventually get raised in state court.
The family of some loser that got shot breaking into some wealthy person’s home will sue the homeowner for ‘wrongful death’ or some such nonsense, because they weren’t using a trigger lock on their firearm(s) when they defended themselves/property. Through the courts, they will attempt to do what their late criminal relative tried to do when he broke in.
Trigger locks can be dangerous, I remember one case where a pilot was putting the trigger lock on his gun in the cockpit of an airliner when it went off. Followed idiotic FAA procedures that were guaranteed to cause this sooner or later.
This was part of the opinion in Heller vs DC.
And THAT’S why Slaughter-House, Cruikshank, and Presser needs to be overturned.
“...police officers carry their weapons with trigger locks in place...”
Hey, Warrior, you really can’t be serious. I just checked with my son, a Deputy Sheriff in Ohio, and he laughed at me when I asked him if he knew any LEO’s who kept locks on their piece. He says, not if they don’t want to get killed. Not a chance, on duty or off.
Do you carry? Do you keep a trigger lock in place with your piece holstered, on your hip or under your coat? Not likely. Again, I say, you really can’t be serious.
And often in the fine print of these trigger lock laws, unlocking the gun to use it is technically a violation.
I see why sarcasm tags are so needed on FR. If you took that post as anything but sarcasm you are among the severely sarcasm impaired.