Supreme Court decision could put Mass. gun laws at risk

Supreme Court decision could put Mass. gun laws at risk

The Supreme Court on Thursday struck down a New York law that gives local officials wide discretion in issuing permits to carry a handgun in a ruling that could potentially upend key pillars of Massachusetts’ own gun laws. In the 6-3 decision, Justice Clarence Thomas wrote that it’s unconstitutional for the state to require someone must prove a “special need” before getting a license, and that New York’s licensing regime violated the Constitution. The decision could have wide ramifications, including here in Massachusetts, one five other states besides New York that have laws that the court considers “analogues” to the so-called “proper cause” standard used in New York’s law. Justice Brett Kavanaugh, wrote in a concurring opinion that Massachusetts, New York and four other states “potentially affected” by Thursday’s decision may continue to require licenses for carrying handguns as long as they “employ objective licensing requirements” like those in 43 other states. In those, which are considered so-called “shall issue” laws, an applicant can get a gun license as long as they meet certain requirements, but “without granting licensing officials discretion to deny licenses based on a perceived lack of need or suitability.” Currently, Massachusetts law gives local police chiefs discretion to determine whether someone is suitable to have a license. Policymakers say that provision is a key part of the gun safety regime in Massachusetts, which has had one of the nation’s lowest firearm mortality rates. But the police chief provision of state gun law may be under […]

Click here to view original web page at Supreme Court decision could put Mass. gun laws at risk

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.