WASHINGTON, D.C. (October 25, 2019) — Today, Firearms Policy Coalition (FPC) announced the filing of an important Supreme Court brief in the case of Worman v. Healey, a challenge to Massachusetts’s ban on so-called “assault weapons” and “large-capacity” firearm magazines. The brief is available online at FPCLegal.org.
“In holding that the Second Amendment protects arms ‘in common use’ in D.C. v. Heller, the Supreme Court made clear that the Amendment reserves to the people, rather than the government, the decision of which arms the people may select for self-defense and other lawful purposes,” explained FPC Director of Research and brief author, Joseph Greenlee. “By taking that decision away from the people and banning some of the most popular arms in the nation, Massachusetts violated Supreme Court precedent and the fundamental, pre-existing right protected by the Second Amendment.”
FPC was joined by amici organizations Cato Institute, Firearms Policy Foundation, California Gun Rights Foundation, Second Amendment Foundation, Citizens Committee for the Right to Keep and Bear Arms, Jews for the Preservation of Firearms Ownership, Madison Society Foundation, and Independence Institute. Joining Greenlee as co-authors on the brief were David Kopel, law professor at the University of Denver and Research Director at the Independence Institute, and Ilya Shapiro, director of the Robert A. Levy Center for Constitutional Studies at the Cato Institute.
FPC is engaged in several other challenges to bans on constitutionally protected arms, including Miller v. Becerra, a lawsuit seeking to declare California’s “assault weapon” ban unconstitutional and enjoin its enforcement as to most common semi-automatic firearms.
Firearms Policy Coalition (www.firearmspolicy.org) is a 501(c)(4) grassroots nonprofit organization. FPC’s mission is to defend the People’s rights—especially the fundamental, individual Second Amendment right to keep and bear arms—advance individual liberty, and restore freedom.
- Massachusetts bans many of the most popular semi-automatic firearms in the country, characterizing them as “assault weapons.”
- Massachusetts also bans standard magazines capable of holding more than 10 rounds, characterizing them as “large-capacity feeding devices.”
- The Supreme Court in D.C. v. Heller (2008), held that the Second Amendment protects arms “in common use.”
- Evidence in the case showed that Americans own over 114,700,000 of the banned magazines, and tens of millions of the banned arms.
- Despite being among the most common arms in America, the First Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the prohibition, concluding that the government’s interest in banning the arms outweighed the People’s interest in owning them.
- Several other federal circuit courts have reached similar conclusions, under a variety of different tests. The Supreme Court, however, has not yet ruled on an“assault weapon” or “large-capacity magazines” ban.
- FPC and its fellow amici filed this brief requesting that the Supreme Court hear this case to determine whether the government can prohibit law-abiding Americans from possessing some of the most popular arms in the country.