Posts tagged "1006018"

Ramirez v. Commonwealth (Lawyers Weekly No. 10-060-18)

NOTICE:  All slip opinions and orders are subject to formal revision and are superseded by the advance sheets and bound volumes of the Official Reports.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-12340   JORGE RAMIREZ  vs.  COMMONWEALTH.       Suffolk.     December 5, 2017. – April 17, 2018.   Present:  Gants, C.J., Gaziano, Lowy, Budd, Cypher, & Kafker, JJ.     Firearms.  Constitutional Law, Right to bear arms, Severability.  Statute, Validity, Severability.       Civil action commenced in the Supreme Judicial Court for the county of Suffolk on March 21, 2017.   The case was reported by Hines, J.     Benjamin H. Keehn, Committee for Public Counsel Services, for Jorge Ramirez. Kathryn Leary, Assistant District Attorney, for the Commonwealth.     GANTS, C.J.  We once again confront the question whether the absolute criminal prohibition of civilian possession of a stun gun, in violation of G. L. c. 140, § 131J, violates the Second Amendment to the United States Constitution, which is applied to the States by its incorporation into the Fourteenth Amendment.  In Commonwealth v. Caetano, 470 Mass. 774 (2015) (Caetano I), we held that § 131J did not violate the Second Amendment right to bear arms, as interpreted by District of Columbia v. Heller, 554 U.S. 570 (2008).  However, the United States Supreme Court, in a brief per curiam opinion, concluded that each of the three explanations we offered to support this holding were inconsistent with propositions stated in Heller, and therefore vacated the judgment and remanded the case for further proceedings.  See Caetano v. Massachusetts, 136 S. Ct. 1027 (2016) (Caetano II).  That case was later dismissed as moot after it was “resolved . . . to [the parties’] mutual satisfaction,” so we did not there revisit the question of § 131J’s constitutionality.  But we must revisit it in this case, where the defendant was charged in a criminal complaint with possession of a stun gun, in violation of § 131J, among other crimes, and moved unsuccessfully to dismiss that count of the complaint, arguing that § 131J unconstitutionally infringes on his Second Amendment rights. We conclude that the absolute prohibition against civilian possession of stun guns under § 131J is in violation of the Second Amendment, and we order that the count of the complaint charging the defendant with such possession be dismissed with prejudice. Background.  We summarize the agreed-upon facts relevant to this appeal.  On November 5, 2015, at approximately 2:15 A.M., Officer Sean Matthews of the Revere police department was on patrol when he observed a vehicle with a broken taillight that was […]


Posted by Massachusetts Legal Resources - April 17, 2018 at 10:23 pm

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