Posted August 29, 2018 8:22 am by Comments

By Joseph G.S. Greenlee, David B. Kopel, Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus, Matthew Larosiere Joseph G.S. Greenlee, David B. Kopel, Ilya Shapiro, Trevor Burrus, Matthew Larosiere

A Massachusetts statute prohibits ownership of “assault
weapons,” the statutory definition of which includes the most
popular semi-automatic rifles in the country, as well as
“copies or duplicates” of any such weapons. As for what
that means, your guess is as good as ours. A group of plaintiffs,
including two firearm dealers and the Gun Owners’ Action
League challenged the law as a violation of the Second Amendment.
Unfortunately, federal district court judge William Young upheld
the ban.

Judge Young followed the lead of the Fourth Circuit case of
Kolbe v. Hogan (in which Cato filed a brief supporting a petition to the Supreme
Court) which misconstrued from a shred of the landmark 2008
District of Columbia v. Heller case that the test
for whether a class of weapons could be banned was whether it was
“like an M-16,” contravening the core of
Heller—that all weapons in common civilian use are
constitutionally protected. What’s worse is that Judge Young
seemed to go a step further, rejecting the argument that an
“M-16” is a machine gun, unlike the weapons banned by
Massachusetts, and deciding that semi-automatics are “almost
identical to the M16, except for the mode of firing.” (The
mode of firing is, of course, the principle distinction between
automatic …Read the Rest

Source:: Cato Institute

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