Massachusetts High Court Upholds Restriction on Gun Permits

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SalFalko / Flikr and MCT Direct

On Tuesday, the Supreme Judicial Court of Massachusetts shot down a petitioner’s claim that a state law -- forbidding the issuance of firearm carry permits to individuals who, as juveniles, committed felonies -- was unconstitutional.

Mirko Chardin, now 33, was adjudicated as a delinquent for carrying an unlicensed pistol when he was 14. Because of that charge, he was denied a permit in 2010. Later that year, Chardin filed a judicial review complaint in the Boston Municipal Court, with a judge ordering a dismissal in favor of the Police Commissioner in March 2011. Chardin was eventually granted a full court hearing in April 2012.

“Chardin’s challenge to the statute is unavailing, and Massachusetts may continue to enforce its provisions to protect the health, safety, and welfare of its citizens,” the opinion stated.

The opinion, penned by Justice Francis X. Spina, states that the legal statute falls within the “presumptive lawful regulatory measures” spelled out by recent United States Supreme Court cases, such as 2008’s District of Columbia v. Heller and 2010’s McDonald v. Chicago.

“We conclude that [the state law] does not burden conduct that falls within the scope of the Second Amendment,” the opinion of Chardin vs. Police Commissioner of Boston reads. “To the contrary, the statue embodies a long-standing and well-recognized prohibition on the possession of firearms by a particular group of individuals -- those who have committed a felony.”

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