A federal district court judge in Boston last week upheld the state’s ban on AR-15 semi-automatic rifles, as well as any large capacity magazines.
Last week, U.S. District Judge William Young dismissed a lawsuit against Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey’s decision from 2016 to expand on the definition of “copies or duplicates” of AR-15s, as well as other semi-automatic rifles that are banned under a 1998 state law.
“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,'” Young reportedly stated.
In the midst of his ruling, USA Today reports Young borrowed verbiage from the late Supreme Court Judge Antonin Scalia, who was a firm believer that the Constitution should be interpreted in accordance with its original meaning at the time it was written.
Recall a ruling from 2008, that struck down a handgun ban in Washington D.C., when Scalia stated that the Second Amendment “does not provide a right to keep and carry any weapon whatsoever in any manner whatsoever and for whatever purpose.”
Young echoed those statements by saying “weapons that are most useful in military service – M-16 rifles and the like” aren’t protected by the Second Amendment and “may be banned.”
The NRA released a statement saying it was “extremely disappointed” by the decision, and even accused Young of twisting Scalia’s position.
Here is the full statement released by The National Rifle Association:
“Like all law-abiding Massachusetts gun owners, the NRA was extremely disappointed that the court upheld Massachusetts’s ban on many of the most popular firearms in America. Even more disturbing was Judge Young’s assessment that the ‘AR-15’s present day popularity is not constitutionally material’ and that ‘Justice Scalia would be proud’ of this ruling.
“It is outrageous that Judge Young is taking advantage of the fact that Justice Scalia is unable to refute such a claim. Justice Scalia’s position on the question of whether the AR-15 is protected by the Second Amendment is clear. In the 2015 Friedman v. City of Highland Park case, Justice Scalia joined a dissent which stated that the decision by millions of Americans to own AR-style rifles for lawful purposes ‘is all that is needed for citizens to have a right under the Second Amendment to keep such weapons.’ As long as politicians and judicial officials continue to flout the law in order to advance a political agenda, the five million members of the NRA will be here to hold them accountable.
“While the plaintiff’s attorneys are reviewing their options those of us here at the NRA will be here to assist in any way possible.”