Posts tagged "McGowan"

Commonwealth v. McGowan (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-011-13)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.  If you find a typographical error or other formal error, please notify the Reporter of Decisions, Supreme Judicial Court, John Adams Courthouse, 1 Pemberton Square, Suite 2500, Boston, MA 02108-1750;  (617) 557-1030;     SJC‑11076   COMMONWEALTH  vs.  JOHN MCGOWAN. Hampden.     October 1, 2012.  ‑  January 29, 2013. Present:  Ireland, C.J., Spina, Cordy, Botsford, Gants, Duffly, & Lenk, JJ. Firearms.  Constitutional Law, Right to bear arms.  Statute, Validity.       Complaints received and sworn to in the Springfield Division of the District Court Department on November 18, 2008.   A motion to dismiss was heard by Jacques C. Leroy, J., and questions of law were reported to the Appeals Court by him.   The Supreme Judicial Court on its own initiative transferred the case from the Appeals Court.     John A. Rasmussen for the defendant. Katherine Robertson, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.       GANTS, J.  General Laws c. 140, § 131L (a), makes it unlawful to store a firearm that is not carried by or under the immediate control of the owner or other authorized user unless the firearm is secured in a locked container or equipped with a safety device that renders the firearm inoperable by anyone other than the owner or other authorized user.  The issue presented by the reported questions is whether § 131L (a) is unconstitutional in light of the United States Supreme Court’s decisions in District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570, 635 (2008) (Heller), which held that the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution guarantees an individual the right to keep and bear arms for self-defense in the home, and McDonald v. Chicago, 130 S. Ct. 3020, 3036, 3050 (2010) (McDonald), which incorporated the guarantees of the Second Amendment into the Fourteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, making the Second Amendment applicable to the States.  We conclude that, where § 131L (a) allows the owner of a firearm to carry or otherwise keep the firearm under the owner’s immediate control within the home, and where the storage requirements are reasonably designed to prevent persons who are not licensed to possess or carry a firearm, including felons, the mentally ill, and children, from gaining illegal access to a firearm, § 131L (a) falls outside the scope of the right to bear arms protected by the Second Amendment.   Background.  The parties stipulated to the following facts, which are contained in a stipulation and a police report dated October 19, 2008.[1]  The defendant owned a Smith & Wesson 40 caliber semiautomatic handgun, which he kept loaded and […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - January 30, 2013 at 6:11 am

Categories: News   Tags: , , , ,