The United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts dismissed a complaint against the state’s “assault weapons” ban on Friday and expressly described similar bans as constitutional.
The court explained its decision to dismiss the complaint by stating that “the AR-15 and its analogs, along with large capacity magazines, are simply not weapons within the original meaning of the individual constitutional right to ‘bear arms.’”
Because a ban on the AR-15 and “large capacity magazines” is, in its opinion, constitutional, the court ruled that the question of whether a ban exists is one to be decided by legislatures, not judges.
The court added:
In the absence of federal legislation, Massachusetts is free to ban these weapons and large capacity magazines. Other states are equally free to leave unregulated and available to their law-abiding citizens. Their policy matters are simply not of constitutional moment. Americans are not afraid of bumptious, raucous, and robust debate about these matters. We call it democracy.
Whereas the District Court says AR-15s and “large capacity magazines” do not fall “within the original meaning of the individual constitutional right to ‘bear arms,’” Supreme Court Justice Neil Gorsuch used his confirmation to stress that the test for constitutional protections of a given firearm is whether it is in “common use.”